travel bug

Siena and Cinque Terre Spotlight

Two other fantastic spots I traveled to in Italy included Siena and Cinque Terre. Siena reminded me of a larger Lucca, with several bell towers, the famous Piazza del Campo, and amazing panoramic views from various lookout points.

While in Siena, my husband and I went on a wine tour to Montalcino region. What a treat! I wish we had more time to explore this region and the other wine villages close by. The famous Brunello di Montalcino gives any wine I've tasted prior a run for its money. The wines here are so full and flavorful, I seriously wanted to take the vineyard home with me! Highly recommend doing a day trip to a winery, we used Franco Fadda tours. Franco knows his stuff as he lives in the Montalcino region. He takes you to local wineries and included in the tour is an authentic Italian meal (4 courses!!). 

Cinque Terre. Yup, totally moving here. If you are looking to see some of Italy's beautiful coast, this is the place to go. I loved Riomaggiore, the town we stayed in. Not to mention our studio was located right in the harbor off the water. Amy, from Riomaggiore Reservations, has stunning apartments and studios at a very fair price! There are 5 villages, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso. I didn't make it to Corniglia, but the remaining villages are all fantastic. Monterosso is more resort like, and has the best beaches. Vernazza is stunning but the most popular so tourism is crazy here! Manarola is picturesque and similar feel as Riomaggiore. It may be because we stayed here, but Riomaggiore was my favorite village.  If you are into hiking, take advantage of all the coastal trails between the villages. Be mindful of trail closures when planning your hike. I did the Monterosso to Vernazza trail. Warning, the first hour is HARD! You are going straight uphill for a good portion of the trail, but if you can stick it out, the views of Vernazza are stunning.  Love love love Cinque Terre!

Siena and Cinque Terre photos are up! Cinque Terre definitely lives up to all the hype, the towns are absolutely...

Posted by Ellie Ann Photography on Thursday, July 23, 2015

Lucca, Florence, and Pisa Spotlight

I must say, traveling to Italy is always a dream come true. I absolutely LOVE the overall feel of the country, the amazingly delicious food (PASTA FOR LIFE!), and breathtaking views. Pisa was the first stop in Italy, and to be honest, besides the big tourist attractions (leaning tower, cathedral, etc), I didn't fall in love with this city.   Granted, I was only here for a few short hours!

Next was Lucca, and I can't express enough how wonderful this city is. You really get thrown into the Italian way of life. The town itself is pretty small so is easy to explore on foot. The nightlife is extremely lively and so fun to just walk the streets. I also had the best pesto dish here, I could seriously eat that stuff forever. A lot of amazing churches, bell towers with scenic views, and great pedestrian walkway around the city walls. Highly recommend adding this to your list of stops while in Italy!!

Florence was the last town I saw. I traveled here back in 2006, and this time, I felt the tourism got the best of me. The Duomo is definitely worth the climb as you get panoramic views of the city. The Statue of David as well was pretty fantastic, but the fees to get into the museum are a bit outrageous. However, Florence, hands down wins the best gelato! Make sure to visit Gelateria Carrozze (get mint chocolate chip!).

Happy Wednesday! Italy is one of my favorite countries to visit. Whether it's my Italian heritage or love for pasta, I...

Posted by Ellie Ann Photography on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ireland Spotlight

Ireland was such an amazing country to visit. I've never seen such a lush, green country before! My travel itinerary included the following stops: Dublin, Wicklow Mountains, Kilkenny, Rock of Cashel, Kenmare, Ring of Kerry, Dingle, and Doolin. It was quite an aggressive schedule, but renting a car (while scary at times), allowed my husband and I to hit each spot! Highly recommend Ireland as your next destination if you love scenic views, guinness, live music, and history!

Finally able to share a preview of photos from Ireland! I've never been to such a lush, green country. Driving on the...

Posted by Ellie Ann Photography on Wednesday, July 8, 2015