Travel Log: Trapani, Italy

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I am finally sharing some of my favorite photographs taken in Trapani, Italy. Trapani is located in Western Sicily and is absolutely gorgeous. I visited with a group of ladies who all gathered to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday. We spent about 4 days in Trapani and really just enjoyed the city and local area, trying out some of the local specialities, wandering through the cobblestone streets, and enjoying “la dolce vita.”

We enjoyed arancini, lots of cappuccini, cannoli, ate dessert for breakfast (always my favorite), and drank the local bar out of amaretto (true story). Several of us got lost on the way to check out some Greek ruins in Segesta; we made it eventually and had some wonderful accidental adventures in the process. We took a ferry over to Favignana and some of us toured the island via scooter (which I blogged about here). It was such a wonderful few days, filled with food, fun, and friends – and such unforgettable memories. I am so glad I brought my camera along to have photographs to remember our time by.

 

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Always happiest around the sweets 😉

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Palazzo Senatorio di Trapani, at night

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Casarecce al Pesto Trapanese e melanzane fritte (a Trapanese specialty – casarecce pasta with a traditional Trapanese sauce with fried eggplant)

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Palazzo Senatorio di Trapani

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Almond granita

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Cannoli + cappuccino for breakfast

City Eats: Coffee at the Gucci Museo Caffè, Florence

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One of our normal routines while in Florence, was to find coffee and a treat each afternoon. One particular afternoon, we discovered that the Gucci Museo that was around the corner from the apartment we were staying in, had a café. Honestly, I cannot think of a better place for a lover of both fashion AND coffee to stop and enjoy a cappuccino and treat. As one might hope, the presentation is every bit as beautiful as the clothing and accessories that the brand is known for. The tiramisu was stunning in presentation and absolutely delicious, while the addition of the sugar in the shape of the Gucci logo fantastically took the entire experience over the top. I loved every bit of our time spent in the Gucci Museo Caffè.

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SICILY, Italy: Scooting Around Favignana

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While living in Europe, so many places were easily accessible by plane, car, or train. I normally shy away from plane travel, as I am a fearful flyer, but there was one trip I could not miss and that was one that was in celebration of a dear friend’s 50th birthday. The trip’s location was Sicily, Italy; Trapani to be exact. So, aboard the plane I hopped and off to Sicily we flew for 4 super fun days with the girls to celebrate a milestone birthday and wonderful friendship!

One of the coolest experiences we had while we were there was the trip over to the island of Favignana. We ferried from Trapani and then a group of us rented scooters to explore the island on. If I am being honest, I was pretty nervous and sure I would wreck the thing, but I also didn’t want to miss out on what was sure to be an only-in-Italy experience.

I am so, so glad I chose to climb on that scooter despite my fear! We were gifted with some of the most gorgeous and picturesque landscapes and glimpses of the water, we got to see so much more of the island than we might have on foot, and we made tons of lifetime memories.

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Travel Log: Viareggio, Italy

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On our last trip to Florence, Jason and I took an AM train and spent a day in the seaside city of Viareggio. Located on the Tyrrhenian Sea, Viareggio was initially established as a port for the neighboring city of Lucca and is known for its shipbuilding industry.

Viareggio is also known for the ‘Carnivale di Viareggio,’ whose parade was first organized by wealthy citizens of the city and held in 1873. The first parade was not all celebration, however, and turned into a protest when some of the city’s citizens refused to be forced into paying high taxes and wore masks to the parade in protest. The red and white adorned clown, Burlamacco, has greeted carnival guests since 1931 and his colors were chosen as a nod to the traditional beach umbrella colors of the city.

We started our day in traditional Italian fashion, with a cappuccino and a (ridiculously delicious, chocolate-and-hazelnut-filled) pastry. We spent the rest of our day appreciating the city’s charm and stunning art nouveau architecture via “La Passeggiata,” a promenade which spans 3 kilometers and is filled with restaurants, gelaterias, and shops. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the beach which concluded with a lunch of seafood pasta, Aperol spritzes, and a seaside view. We ended our day with what else? Gelato.

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Travel Log: Florence, Mercado Centrale

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On our last trip to Florence before moving back to the States, Jason and I spent a morning eating our way through Mercado Centrale. Packed with food and artisan stalls, Mercado Centrale is a covered market located in the San Lorenzo neighborhood of Florence. Jason and I started our trip with a cappuccino and croissant at the café located on the second floor. I loved getting our mornings in Italy started with a cappuccino and pastry, while we took in the surroundings of wherever we happened to be that day. It allowed us the chance to relax and reflect before getting full days worth of touring started.

After consuming our morning meal, we walked back downstairs to check out all of shops and stalls. There was so much fresh fruit, vegetables, pastries, and bread – and of course, pasta, wine, salamis, and fresh cheeses (like our favorite, buffalo mozzarella!!) We sampled bruschetta, cheese, and Italian cookies. We purchased cookies for consumption back in our apartment, pasta and treats to take back home to Germany, and a few gifts for friends.

We ended our morning with a flipping amazing cannoli from Savini (and may have come back and had another for breakfast on a different day) and set out to explore more of our favorite city in Europe.

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Travel Log: Pisa

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Jason and I visited Pisa byway of Lucca and on the way to Florence a few summers ago. We were in such close proximity to Pisa, that we had to make a quick stop to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Even Dublin had a good time in Pisa!

The Leaning Tower of Pisa was designed to be perfectly vertical, but it apparently began leaning during construction. The amount of water in this area prevented the foundation from being placed any more than 10 feet in the ground and before the second story was even built, the south side of the tower began to sink. Today the tower stands at about 60 meters and in 1990, was leaning at about a 10 degree angle.

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After seeing the tower, we found ourselves at a little ristorante for some pizza. While the pizza was delicious, the treats we discovered at the pasticceria next door were even better. You know me, the sweets get me every time!

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Caffè a Roma

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One of my absolute favorite things about living in Europe was taking the time to enjoy a coffee, preferably outside. It was often while enjoying a coffee that I reflected the most on the amazing experience of living and traveling overseas.

Jason and I visited Rome twice while living overseas. The first trip was only a day and while we saw most of the must-sees, we were not able to really take our time and get the feel for the city. So, on our second trip to the city, we began our day by enjoying a caffè at Antico Caffè Della Pace, a place with a history beginning in the 19th century. From our table, we had a wonderful view of the church of Sante Maria della Pace. The only thing better than enjoying a caffè outside in Rome? Enjoying our caffè with a view.

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