Saturday, 9 April 2011

Visiting Italy

Ahh Easter holidays, how I love you. An escape from the crazy world of studying and boredom, diving into the place of  serenity peace and...and pasta.

Italy! My home from home is nestled in the Tuscan hills, a place of sanctuary. When its not flooded by screaming children that is, but to be honest that's the way I like it! My family and I have been going to this particular part of Italy once or twice every year since I was seven and now I cant imagine life without Italy.

Pisa, Firenzi (otherwise known as Florence), Lucca, Volterra, and next Tuesday, Rome!
If your travelling to Italy, here are some of the best places to go.

You should go to...

Pisa because of the leaning tower of course! In that whole area by the Basilicas you can find cute market stalls to lure in tourists like yourselves but don't be too wary, the bracelets are genuinely desirable. If your feeling badass buy yourself a knock off Chanel/Gucci/Prada bag, I personally wouldnt but I know that some people dont share my views about knockoffs. This is a tourist hotspot so don't be surprised if someone tries to sell you something. About the Leaning Tower of Pisa... it is a really long way up but don't be disheartened you'll make it! When I was younger I made it up there in a pair of Heelys very similar to these, without a problem!

The view up there is fab. Definitely worth the hike. Here's a picture from last years visit.

Firenzi because, firstly, of the beautiful Duomo and Baptistery. Italy has the most beautiful churches and you just must visit Florence to see their renaissance churches. Inside the baptistery are the most stunning tapestries and religious art work, the roof of the connecting Duomo can not be described so here's a picture.

The outside is pretty too.

You can in fact, climb up the Duomo (there's more steps than the Leaning Tower, I swear!) like I did for the first time last year. It's so exhausting but if you a photographer, believe me it's worth it! Here's the view from the roof.

Impressive, right? Firenzi really has everything. It's known as an open-air Museum. At the Piazza della Signoria you can see Michael Angelo's David, a load of those people who pretend to be statues on the connecting Palazzo Vechio; the Loggia dei Lanzi is across from the Piazza, it is full of statues, including Perseo holding Medusa's head, just around the corner is the Uffizi Art Gallery, I love Uffizi. 

The Uffizi Gallery owns Botticelli's Primavera and the Birth of Venus as well as Filippino Lippi's Madonna and Child with Two Angels. The Uffizi is huge so save maybe two days to scour the whole Gallery, but do not miss the gift shop! I own my own Birth of Venus canvas in my bedroom, how awesome. For more details on Florence click here.

I know, this blog seemed to turn into a travel blog but how could I forget the Chanel store directly across from Dave at Piazza della Signoria, and the best vintage stores running down alley's either side of the Chanel store. With all this running around your feet could get pretty tired, however there's a solution... hire one of these.

Lucca because it's by far my most favourite place ever! Like many of the Italian towns it is surrounded by a huge wall. What my family and I do is hire bikes and cycle all around the wall and through the town, everyone does it. Its the best form of transport and such a laugh. I think I looked pretty good on my bike with my Lulu Guinness handbag in the basket.  Lucca is kind of famous for it's towers, especially Guinigi Tower, a rooftop garden with a view. Lucca and Tuscany on the whole is a hot spring spa. I have never been to one but am planning to this year, so I will let you know how it is. Firenzi has so much more to offer than Lucca, but  Lucca is my favourite place in Italy. 

Volterra home of the Volterri from the Twilight Saga movies. 

Great photographic opportunities are available, the panorama is breathtaking. Volterra is famous for alabaster, you can visit the on site alabaster museum. Oh, and at the tourist spot you can get all your free Twilight merchandise, if you so wish. 

So if your off to Italy remember to try visit the places above, you wont regret it!

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