Make a wish. It's the most famous fountain in Rome, the Trevi Fountain. Turn your back, toss a coin over your left shoulder into the fountain, and it ensures that you'll be returning to this amazing, ancient city again.
In the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, it's the 'goddess of love and beauty' ~ Venus. This very famous painting by Botticelli in 1485 is The Birth of Venus. "Born of the sea foam and propelled by the winds." It's said that the artist painted her "in a modest pose as she attempts to cover her charms with her long blond hair."
From the family orchards to the market ~ amazing fruit, olives, produce, and seasonal delights. And then there's the truffle.. and a real authentic Italian truffle pasta dish below. Locally found truffle, shaved delicately, and generously, on top of homemade pasta that was tossed in a Grana Padano wheel. So many incredible tastes from farm to plate.
The oldest bridge in Florence, the Ponte Vecchio, was built in 1345 to replace an original bridge built in 996. It's just over a half-mile long and was originally built for the farmers and food markets. It's now a place to buy locally made and fine jewelry. It's a pedestrian-only bridge that connects the two banks of the Arno River in Florence. There was hardly a ripple on the river on this day.
Florence at night in the square. Music, dining, dancing, strolling, conversation. Beautiful.
The strength of the mountains, the staggered vineyards, and the colorful community of Cinque Terra perched on the rugged cliffs over the Mediterranean Sea and Ligurian Sea. It was first developed over a thousand years ago for farming. It's just one of five towns perched on the cliffs that are connected by walking trails. Cinque Terra is also known for a very famous sauce that was started here... pesto.
Near the island of Capri in the Mediterranean are these famous three rocks, known as the Faraglioni rocks. They're said to be the meeting place where the beautiful and enticing sirens would sit and sing their sweet songs to enchant the crews of the nearby ships.
Lemons, mint, basil, olives, and here's some garden dill trailing down a hand built stone wall. You never know what you might find when walking down the trails... beautiful vistas, and even a nibble along the way. I couldn't help myself... sniff, snap, taste. 😋
The Officina Profume-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is know as one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. Founded in 1221, the herbs and flowers were grown in the gardens to make medications, balms, and pomades for the monks' hospital.
"A sacred temple of fragrances and herbal culture. The year 1221, was the year of the foundation of what would become officina with herbs used to create ointments, unquents, elixirs, with the healing power of apothecary."
Herbs, flowers, and plants. These were the ingredients for their pharmacy and the base of the medicine and care treatments they made by hand then. For us, it's also the base of the care treatments we make by hand today. The old fashioned way is truly the organic way.
The ancient and charming city of Luca, established in 180 BC, with its wide walls to protect the city. These massive walls still stand and now offer a beautiful mile long stroll or bike ride with views of the towers and village safely protected inside.
The blue grotto. With the seas calm and the tide low, we were able to scoot down in a row boat to enter the inside through the mouth of the grotto. Once inside, our boat rowing guides started serenading us in Italian. Their songs were beautifully echoing throughout. 🎶
A boat ride to Sorrento, Positano, and the Amalfi Coast. Sorrento is a wonderful place to stay and enjoy the Amalfi Coast. The food is centered around the freshest fish caught in the local waters, the lemons grow on ancient terraces up and down the hillsides, and the ocean air is gentle, fresh, and welcoming in the summer heat.
A walk in the historic lemon grove in Sorrento, Italy. It's said to be 800 years old and is still producing fruit. Birds, citrus aromas, and gentle Mediterranean breezes make it so special in the middle of the city.
This is my favorite photo. To me, it encapsulates Italy. The rolling hills are covered with citrus, Cypress trees, vines, olives, and farm lands, and the breezes lovingly share all of this. The clouds hover like graceful cotton balls, and the blues and greens from the sky and terrain seem to intertwine at the horizon. When you come into our Wisconsin studio, you'll see a print of this in person. We were walking in Siena, and this landscape reached out and grabbed us. We had to capture it. It's Italy.
If there's one thing that we felt and learned from the people of Italy, is that the passion for food, family, creativity and art of all forms, and the connection between nature and the life they enjoy... runs deep.
You can feel this in every bite you take and in every village you visit.
They celebrate youth and age with the same vigor and enthusiasm. Why would we celebrate this in any other way?
This has been fun ~ thanks so much for joining me!
Ciao for now! 😘
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