Planes, Trains, and Water Taxis

After two weeks in Italy I decided that I needed to do some exploring. Not just to the small towns nearby but to Rome, Florence and Venice. Lucky enough for me getting around is much easier there. They have a great train system which is very easy to navigate. So week three I was driven to Rome, took the train to Florence, then train and water taxi to Venice. Back to water taxi and bus to airplane to London. Needless to say it was a long week of lots of travel. I did get to see three amazing places I would not have without said travel. Each place is so very different in each way and really needs there own posts. So here goes Roma!

To be honest, I was not super interested in going to Rome and have not a single good reason why. Now I can’t believe I wasn’t interested! What an incredibly beautiful city. It is very walkable and big without being huge. Not to mention how historic it is and feels. Being in Rome you have to do touristy things and thats really where the crowds are but they can be easily avoided. Our two day adventure in Rome was not nearly long enough but at least it is a good jumping off point for next time. Because yes, there will be a next time.

Since my first art history class I have always had a love and curiosity for the Pantheon. For some reason it has been a building that has stuck in my brain for years so it was top of my list to see while in Rome. 

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The facade of the Pantheon.

What an incredible building. Set in a small square it is now closely surrounded by homes, shops, and restaurants.  

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Side view. I took some photos of the oculus that were ok. There were so many people crammed inside it was hard to get good shots. Here is one that will do. 

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The next place that blew me away was the Trevi Fountain. I had seen it in my art history classes but small photos do not do this place justice. Like the Pantheon, it is now tightly surrounded by buildings on all sides. I actually just read that due to the cold winter weather they have had in recent years it is starting to crumble. It really is a spectacular piece to look at. After trying my hand at stone carving it truly is a joy to see works like these. Lets just say that my stone carved piece was not nearly as impressive! 

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From ground level. I threw in a euro for good measure. 

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Amazing details.

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You can see a little how close the other buildings are. 

 

Our short tour of Rome also included the Spanish Steps as well as the Vatican. There was also lots of eating and wandering through the streets of Rome. I’ll see you again soon Roma.

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Grapevines

As far as I can tell life in Tuscany seems to be centered around family and friends, good food, and great wine. It has not been hard to get into the swing of things and take a few moments to enjoy the simple and wonderful things in life. A few days ago I was able to go on tour of a local vineyard and spend the afternoon wine tasting. Which in my opinion is not a bad way to spend the afternoon let alone your career. Tenuta di Trinoro is a beautiful spot in the middle of the Val d’Orcia surrounded by gardens, animals and of course grapes. This vineyard plants each hectare much more tightly to have the maximum grape production. It makes picking with machines quite difficult so it is mainly done by hand.

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The red stake is to show which variety of grape has been planted there. Each variety gets a different color. 

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Barrels of wine. 

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Some of the wines we tasted. 

I believe I could get used to life at a vineyard. Off to Rome tomorrow! Will try and post something more exciting while there. A doppo!!

Hotel Monteverdi

It has been a beautiful few days here in Monteverdi with many exciting happenings. I was lucky enough to attend a German/Italian wedding, find and then lose a scorpion in my bathroom and help the Monteverdi hotel vision come to life. It is still hard to believe that I am actually here and am so looking forward to the rest of my stay. 

As it turns out the hotel is still under major construction but there are two rooms, one above the cafe and the other on the upper level across the street, that are mostly finished. Both rooms are simply stunning. Ilaria has such an amazing eye for space and design.

The room that I helped set up is in the midst of the construction and we needed a ladder to get in. I was working with two Italian women, who speak little English, and we ended up having an international moment of hilarity when I was trying to climb out the window onto the ladder and ripped my pants. It was no small hole! It was an enormous hole that made a classic and perfect ripping sound. As you can imagine we all laughed and laughed even with a language barrier. Unfortunately I did not get any pictures of this room but hope to while I am here. It has a beautiful fireplace and eventually will have its own private garden. The other room, above the cafe, I was able to take some photos of. All of the rooms have stunning views and these two were no exception! 

It will be exciting to see how much they have accomplished on the hotel by the time I leave!

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Bathroom with amazing tub, shower and fossilized tree.

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Seating area that can be used as an extra bed as the table folds up influenced from peasant life. All linen and burlap textiles.

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Headboard turned closet. The opening has a mirror behind it so if you are standing at the foot of the bed you can still see the view. 

 

 

 

Buongiorno Italia!!

Across the ocean from one small town to another, I have finally made it to Italy!! I have been given the most amazing opportunity! For the next 3.5 weeks I will be working with Interior Design, Ilaria Miani, to help with the hotel at the Villas of Monteverdi. The villas they have finished are so elegant and beautiful I cannot wait to work and learn from her. So far I’ve eaten amazing food, had delicious wine and met some amazing people. I’m certain that those will continue to be so and maybe I’ll pick up some Italian phrases along the way!! Stay tuned for some photos!

 

Ciao!!