Before we visited Italy - twice - in 2016, I didn't understand why so many Americans seem to have a love affair with the boot-shaped country. There are so many beautiful places in this world, delicious food can be found in every corner, and there are hundreds of good wine-producing regions scattered from Europe to South America. I naively thought there were other countries "just as good as" or, dare I say, even better, than Italy to visit. But after visiting Rome (which, I did love, but not enough to necessairly go back), and then spending a week driving through northern Italy, I have one thing to say: I get it now. I understand why so many people have fallen in love with this county, why people dream about moving to Tuscany and buying an old farm house to fix up. I would even hazard to say that I am now one of those people.
When we were there, we made a lot of stops along the way. We visited hill towns in Tuscany, had lunch in the Dolomites, spent an afternoon swimming at our farmhouse B&B. While these places don't necessarily make for a good blog post, we took far too many pictures of the sights we saw to let them sit on a hard drive and not share them. So while this post is light on words, it's heavy on pictures. I hope that some of them inspire you to visit Italy for yourself one day!
I know this one was already share in our post about the Dolomites, but it's just so pretty!
On our drive from the Dolomites to Venice, I spied this suspension foot bridge crossing a gorge. Of course we had to stop! No joke though, we know EXACTLY where this should be on a map, but it's not there.
If you're in the Venice area, you NEED to head out to the Prosecco Road and see it. It's crazy pretty!
While we were a little less than impressed with Venice overall, I won't deny the fact that it can be a pretty city to visit.
Perhaps our favorite part of the entire road trip was the time we spent in Tuscany. We didn't hit up any of the major cities - by design - but spent a lot of time driving the back roads and admiring the stunningly beautiful landscapes. Our farmhouse stays provided the perfect opportunity to relax amidst the vineyards.
We did stop in at a couple little hill towns - which are, ironically, probably two of the most popular - during our drive. When in Volterra (made famous by the Twilight series), we saw all these little pieces of colorful pottery in amongst the building stones in the mortar.
If you've been following along for a while now, you probably already saw this one in the post about the Genoa Aquarium. But I still love it! I can't believe how little Evelyn was here (we just celebrated her FIRST BIRTHDAY!)
We also made a pit stop at a seaside restaurant for lunch and dipped Evelyn's toes into the Mediterranean. She was less than impressed!
Milan was one of our last stops and I was kinda blown away by the cathedral. It's stunning!
But the real reason we stopped in Milan was to see the Last Supper.
Our return trip took us through Switzerland and the Alps. The little shack in the lower part of the picture - that is the ONLY time we have ever been stopped crossing borders in Europe! The refugee situation was getting more intense in Europe at the time and I think they were stopping everyone who wasn't crossing at a major highway, but it was still surprising! And one tip if you're driving - for the best views, take the longer, but MUCH more scenic, routes in Switzerland!
We loved the week we spent on this trip. It was a perfect way to wind down our time in Europe and spend some time relaxing before our house hunting trip and big move back. Even months later, I'm still captivated by Italy and miss how easy it was to travel over there.