Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Happy Place

I mentioned in a post recently that one day soon I wanted to write about my love affair with Italy. Today’s the day. Actually it might take me more than one post but I'll spread them out so I don't sound like a travel brochure. I’ve made five trips to Italy in the past six years, different cities, each one molto bella. And I'm pretty sure I could write a whole post on the two or three or twenty pieces of Italian pottery I might now own.

In my house Italy is affectionately referred to as ‘my happy place’. I love everything about it… the scenery, the food, the wine, the history, the art and the people…especially the people. They love their visitors, they want you to love their country, and while I speak only about 20 words of Italian, communication is rarely a problem. There might be a whole lot of pantomime happening at times but it’s lighthearted and friendly. Life moves at a different pace there and as one Italian friend said to us, ' Why would I feel stress..look at where I live.’ Oh, and did I mention the food?

One of the biggest benefits to living overseas for a period of time has been the opportunity for travel. We have taken full advantage of that opportunity and have been to many cities in many countries. But honestly, I think there is something in the Italian air that makes me want to go back again and again.

I've decided to make this first 'trip' post about Venice because on this date, one year ago today, my husband and I were in that most amazing city. Venezia. It was a wonderful 5 days and we did a lot of the typical touristy things. Venice draws a huge tourist crowd so I’m not sure if I’d like it as much in the hot, crowded summer months (lots of Europe is without air conditioning), but this was March and it was lovely and not overly crowded. We stayed in a hotel right on St. Mark’s Square which was convenient for lots of the most popular sites and for hopping on and off the water taxis we used to explore other areas. It doesn’t take long to get used to the idea of ‘no roads’. Everything happens by boat and the water taxis run like buses would in any other city.

We spent a lot of time in St. Mark’s Square, visiting the magnificent church, feeding the pigeons, and sipping Prossecco on the piazza.

We crossed a lot of bridges.

We rode in a lot of boats that meandered thru countless narrow canals (streets). And as we floated along we wondered about that very first person who said, ‘Hey let’s drop a piling down a few hundred feet and build magnificent buildings where there isn’t any dry land.’

We saw art and architecture and a little bit of everyday life in a city with water for roads

We brought home a beautiful souvenir from our day trip to the island of Murano where hand blown glass is made.

We saw some spectacular views.

We dined waterside

We hated for the week to end.

Like I said...my happy place.


  1. So many of your pictures look just like mine! We went to Lake Garda last September and made sure to see Venice for a day. It was great!

    I didn't pick up any blown glass, but now I see I should have. It's a beautiful piece you have there.

    We are going to Rome in June and are taking a Mediterranean cruise to Turkey, Greece, and also Sicily. It should prove to be fabulous.

  2. Wow! Thanks for sharing your pics. I love Italy. We were fortunate enough to go about 10 years ago, but didn't go to Venice or Milan. The food was so awesome and I hope to be able to go back some day.

  3. Thanks for sharing all the memories and pics! Someday we want to go to Italy too. Venice sounds amazing.

  4. I posted about Italy in my 55 things about me. Italy was my favorite country when I visited Europe many years ago. I did not get to Venice, but I loved Rome, Pompeii and Florence. Italy is an amazing place. I want to go back sometime. Enjoyed your post and your pictures so much. Love & blessings from NC!

  5. I know what you mean about Italy! I was there 6 years ago and plan on going again in the near future hopefully. My sister is going next month for the first time ever. Boy is she in for a treat isn't she!?!

    Loved Venice! It isn't for everyone but I enjoyed it.

    Loved, loved, loved Florence. It was my most favorite of all our cities...oh, and loved Siena too!

    Your Murano vase is BEAUTIFUL!

  6. I feel like I have heard all of this before. My best friend loves Italy! Her and her husband would go back, again and again and again. They have been - I think 3 times now - and just go on and on about it.
    Thank you - for taking me there, for sharing your experiences. It was so fun. I often wonder if I will ever go there - don't know. No one knows what is in store for them, right?
    Loved the pictures. You guys look so cute!!!!

  7. Oh, that makes me want to go to Italy. That's another place my mom has wanted to visit. I'm not sure we'll ever make the trip, but seeing your beautiful photos and reading about each place kind of makes me feel like I'm there. I really did get chill bumps reading this post.

    My parents (not sure why??) know some Italian and when we girls were little they would speak Italian sometimes in the car so we couldn't understand. ;) My dad still says a few words every now and then.

    I love all the pictures. I can see why you call it your happy place. Can't wait to read more!

    Love from Oklahoma!

  8. I have never been outside the US except for Canada. Thank you for letting me see a little bit of Italy (your happy place)through your eyes. It looks breath taking!!

  9. Your Venice pics and mine are interchangeable, save for the people in them! Ha! That's my happy place, too. It's where my boyfriend (now husband) proposed to me 11 years ago!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm going to have to come by yours more often so that I can travel vicariously through you! :)