Never Been Seen Travel Photos of Our Family Trip to Italy

family trip to Italy
Roma! Every trip to Italy should have a plate of spaghetti as delicious as this! Ripe summer tomatoes, fresh basil and garlic = perfection.

Our family trip to Italy

There is never enough space in each post to share every favorite moment and travel photo. I try not to bombard you with too much copy or too many photos, therefore lots of photos are left behind! I wish I could include a photo album every time I publish! However the next best thing is to just tell a story with my never been published photos from my recent BIG summer family trip to Italy.

On social media I have actually noticed several bloggers and non-bloggers have taken extensive trips this past summer. When you travel to Europe, so very far away, it is nice to try to squeeze in as much as you can while you are there. Although the argument can be made that you move pretty quickly and don’t get to dive too deep into each city you visit.

We actually did a little bit of both. We stayed in one villa for a week in Italy in order to enjoy the countryside, slow down, relax and spend quality time with the family and then we usually spent several nights in each city after that. Craig and I left Italy and flew to Mallorca and then I flew to Berlin to take a Viking River Cruise from Berlin to Prague and lastly I stayed in Budapest, Hungary for four more nights. A BIG beautiful summer of travel. For today I am just sharing a little more of Italy.

Read moreNever Been Seen Travel Photos of Our Family Trip to Italy

An Italian Cooking Class in Tuscany for the Whole Family

Italian cooking class
The divine Chef Dania at La Chiusa – How cute is she? So talented too!


Italian cooking class

Who wants to go to an Italian Cooking Class? Me!

How many of you have dreamed of taking an Italian cooking class that is actually in Italy? Yes, me too! Last summer I enjoyed my time with Tuscan Women Cook so much, but I was traveling alone. I had a total blast, but often I was thinking how much fun it would be if my family was there with me too!

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Our Dreamy Life at the Villa on our Trip to Tuscany ~ Our family style feasts, local wines and spritzin’

trip to Tuscany
Gus, Linda, Craig, Me, Alex, Brent, Kylie, Nick

More adventures from our trip to Tuscany!

For our trip to Tuscany, trying to decide the best itinerary and finding the perfect accommodations was a fun process, but truthfully a bit stressful for me. I am confident when I plan travel for myself or with just Craig, but to include six other discerning travelers, I wanted everything to be just right. No one dictated a thing, it was just my need to make sure that everyone had the very best possible experience! Through the tour company Palio Tours, we found the perfect size villa for our party of eight. The enormous house was just big enough to allow every couple to have their own room and offered several indoor and outdoor living spaces where we could all hang out, but it never felt overwhelming or too large to navigate.

Read moreOur Dreamy Life at the Villa on our Trip to Tuscany ~ Our family style feasts, local wines and spritzin’

Adventures at The Palio in Siena ~ An Exhilarating Experience

Piazza del Campo – The Palio

Hold on to your seat, you are in for a wild ride at The Palio!

Before we even arrived at The Palio in Siena, I knew that it would be a vibrant, colorful spectacle, but it was way bigger than we imagined! The passion and emotion that runs through the crowd feels like a strong electric current. Not a seat or section of pavement was available and the famous Piazza del Campo was transformed into a carefully constructed racetrack with an audience of thousands of excited Italians, mostly from the walled city of Siena.

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I’m Back From The BIG Summer Travel Adventure It was…absolutely AMAZING!

summer travel
The German Cathedral in Berlin

I am back from the BIG Summer Travel Adventure – It was…absolutely AMAZING!

Miss me? I’ve just returned from twenty-nine adventure-filled days in Europe. Here’s how it went!

  • I traveled to six countries – Italy, Spain, England, Germany, Czech Republic and Hungary
  • Eight total flights: Los Angeles to London to Rome, Florence to Barcelona to Palma to Berlin, Prague to Budapest to London to Washington DC to Los Angeles
  • 2 trains
  • 2 Viking ships
  • Many kilometers by Viking Coach
  • Two rental cars
  • Multiple cabs
  • Several subway rides
  • Miles walked? Who knows!  A lot!

Read moreI’m Back From The BIG Summer Travel Adventure It was…absolutely AMAZING!

BIG Summer Travel – Where are we going this time?

summer travel
Majorca, Spain

Summer Travel Update

Hey fellow adventurers! I wanted to check in to let you know that we are embarking on a BIG Summer Travel Adventure!

Craig and I will be traveling with our family to see The Palio in Siena, Italy with a quick couple of days in Rome! Next, we say goodbye to the family and fly to the gorgeous island of Majorca, Spain. We visited last summer and it was so spectacular that we just had to go back! And there’s more…

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Adventures in Italy ~ Our Big Summer Trip to See The Palio in Siena

the Palio in Siena

Are you familiar with The Palio in Siena?

The Palio di Siena is one of Italy’s most famous sporting events. It is a horse race with unique rules and centuries-old history. My guess is that you may have never heard of it either! About ten years ago our close friends Nick and Victoria, who are world travelers (67 countries), shared their story of the Palio in Siena. Craig and I were captivated and totally hooked. We vowed one day we would see this special event as well!

Read moreAdventures in Italy ~ Our Big Summer Trip to See The Palio in Siena

 Adventures of Empty Nesters: A Year in Review – How Much Fun Did We Really Have?

 

2017 was a very busy and truly spectacular travel year!

So I decided to do a quick year in review, not to boast about how many places I have been, but to unpack, pause and appreciate what can be accomplished through thoughtful planning, careful research, great relationships, accumulated miles and points and the best dog sitter in the world!

I started the year with knee surgery on Jan 6th, so the pace of the travel was slow in the beginning, but it quickly picked up in early March. I may not have been fully recovered but we had adventures to take, people to see and places to go. There was no sitting around.

Read more Adventures of Empty Nesters: A Year in Review – How Much Fun Did We Really Have?

A Perfect Day in Siena with Tuscan Women Cook

A perfect day in Siena
Piazza del Campo is the principal public space of the historic center of Siena, Tuscany, Italy and is regarded as one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares.

Every day is a perfect day in Siena ~

A perfect day in Siena
The spectacular clock tower or Torre del Mangia of Siena was built 1338-1348 and is located in the Piazza del Campo.

The title of this post is a bit misleading. It should read “every day is a perfect day in Siena and Tuscan Women Cook”! Ask any traveler fortunate enough to have visited this remarkable city and they will tell you it is their favorite.

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Tuscan Women Cook :: My Italian Cooking School Dream Adventure!

Tuscan Women Cook - an Italian cooking school
One of the stunning views from La Chiusa and Tuscan Women Cook in Montefollonico, Italy

 

Staying & eating & learning at La Chiusa with Tuscan Women Cook ~

When I sat down to write about my experience attending an Italian cooking school called Tuscan Women Cook, I honestly struggled with where to begin. There were so many incredible experiences, new friends, Italian hospitality and food and wine so good it could make you cry, which makes describing it all a challenge! We visited historic churches and cathedrals, family wineries, cheese and wine shops, local restaurants, walled medieval cities and managed to take a shopping trip or two!

Italian cooking school
La Chiusa – A dreamy destination
Italian cooking school
A rustic stone wall of rooms at La Chiusa where we spent the week.
Italian Cooking School
An unedited photo of a basket of golden zucchini blossoms on the colorful patio of La Chiusa!

Read moreTuscan Women Cook :: My Italian Cooking School Dream Adventure!

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