I’m so excited to share the third post of our four-part honeymoon! I’ve been prioritizing the delivery of my clients’ new images now that busy season is in full swing, but I couldn’t resist working on our honeymoon photos when I had a few free hours this weekend. It already feels like Italy was two lifetimes ago, and it was lovely to spend yesterday’s rainy afternoon remembering these crazy adventures with my husband!
If you missed the first two Italy posts, here’s the link to Amalfi Coast & Capri, and here’s the link to Rome. The fourth and last part of this series will feature the most photogenic city in the world: Venice!!!
Because our experience in Rome was chaotic at times and packed with 30 miles of walking, Emmanuel and I were SO GRATEFUL to have a couple of days in the quiet hill town of Orvieto to just relax and recover.
Orvieto is a tiny medieval town perched on top of a huge chunk of volcanic stone. We knew it would be charming from the pictures we saw ahead of time, but as an added bonus, Orvieto had the most lovely breeze. After sweating our way through Italy in July, we were really grateful for the milder weather. It was also nice to have a break from fearfully guarding my bag against pickpockets! At one point we just fell asleep in the grass in the middle of the afternoon. That luxury was not lost on me.
This was our adorable Airbnb! To get from our room to the center of town, it was quite a (literal) hike up the hill, but well worth the views at the top.
We asked our host about the grapes on her property, and she told us they’re called “strawberry grapes.” They are exactly what they sound like — grapes that taste like strawberries! Mind blown.
Orvieto’s cathedral is quite a sight from all angles. The town is closed off to visitor cars, so we enjoyed just sitting on the ground in front of the cathedral and taking in all of its details. The front is filled with more ornamentation than I’ve ever seen in my life. The sides seem a bit like an optical illusion and I couldn’t look at them for too long without getting dizzy.
On our first evening in Orvieto, we went for a walk at sunset and accidentally stumbled into this stunning overlook. I felt like I was in a Disney fairytale or something. How do places this beautiful actually exist in real life?!
There was nobody around to take our photo, but we gave it our best shot anyway! Thank goodness for self-timer, because this is now one of my favorite photos of us of all time!!
Of course, we were still on a mission to find the best gelato in all of Italy…
As our trip went on, I became more comfortable with asking strangers to take their photo. When I asked these four men, “Posso fare una foto di voi?”, they laughed and let me take this image. I’m sure my Italian was horrible but I’m so glad they agreed! 🙂
We visited a local shop for a wine tasting, followed by pasta carbonara, which seemed to be a popular dish in Orvieto.
From Orvieto, it was a quick train ride to Florence. We prepped ourselves for another city adventure, but we were surprised to find that Florence felt wayyyy more laidback than Rome. We experienced a really young, vibrant, trendy culture filled with artists, hipsters, hippies, and more delicious food than we ever hoped for. Of the three larger cities we visited (Rome, Florence, and Venice), Florence wasn’t quite as photogenic as the other two, but it was such a lovely city to just BE in. Awesome vibes.
This was the view from our Airbnb. We we were located right around the corner from the Duomo, which made it super easy to crash after long days on our feet. I also loved that we had shutter-style windows so that I could watch what was happening down on the street, just like the Italians!
After our less-than-ideal touristy experiences in Rome, we decided to skip the line to see Michelangelo’s David. Instead, we enjoyed the bronze replica at Piazzale Michelangelo. No regrets!
I just couldn’t get over the stunning panoramic views from Piazzale Michelangelo. It felt like we were on top of the world.
The stairs overlooking the city fill up with tourists looking for prime seats to watch the sunset.
After viewing Florence from above, we hurried back down to the Arno River to visit Ponte Vecchio at sunset.
Ohhh, Venchi. The most delicious gelato chain to ever exist, in my opinion.
The view from Piazza Michelangelo was just so beautiful that we decided to go back for a second afternoon. We just hung out for hours and never ran out of things to see. Between Florence’s beautiful skyline, the interesting people around us, and the breeze at the top of the hill, I could have stayed all day.
We spent so much time at the top that E’s cell phone died, and I didn’t have an international data plan. So we blindly navigated back to the main part of town, winding our way through back streets.
To commemorate our last night in Florence, we splurged for dinner at Parione by recommendation of a friend. This was my favorite meal of our entire three-week trip to Italy! The food was delicious, and the restaurant was so cozy and romantic. If you visit Florence, you have to pay this place a visit!
Cinque Terre, like many places in Italy, is pretty much a photographer’s heaven. And especially THIS photographer’s heaven. Given my love of bright colors, I just couldn’t get enough of Cinque Terre’s crayola box. It all seemed like candy! Even the water was so blue that it looked fake. I promise you that I didn’t Photoshop that color blue — it looked like that in real life!
Rather than spending money dining in an overpriced tourist restaurant, I highly recommend ordering a takeout pizza, grabbing a bottle of wine, and eating on the rocks at sunset. One of the cheapest, most enjoyable dates you can have!
One of our best friends went on her own Italian adventure in July, and she planned her travels so that we could the three of us could have a little rendezvous in Cinque Terre for a day. Liz has been a part of our story seemingly forever, from the beginning of my whirlwind relationship with E, to singing BEAUTIFULLY at our wedding reception, to adventuring with us in Italy. We’ll be friends for a lifetime, and I’m so glad we have some Italian memories to add to our collection. 🙂
This was our little Airbnb (highly recommended!) We chose Manarola as our home base, partly because I thought it was the most picturesque, but mostly because it was quieter and less touristy than some of the more popular towns. Our room had a balcony that overlooked the main street, and we loved hanging out and watching everyone pass by.
Another “big camera” selfie!
The five little towns are connected by train, and it was mostly easy to hop from town to town. However, we became very familiar with the word “sciopero,” or strike. Every day the trains would completely shut down from 2-4 p.m. We thought this was hilarious, because it basically meant that the workers were demanding an extended lunch break. 😉
On our last evening in Cinque Terre, E kindly humored my request to take a sunset photo of Vernazza from above. We took a little mini hike to get to this lookout. Not surprisingly, we were in the company of several other photographers who had the same idea! 🙂
Thanks for reading! Until next time….Venice!!!