Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Now on to my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE part of the trip, Tuscany.

Carleton asked me what some things I wanted to do while we were in Europe were and I really didn't know, he's the one who'd been there two or three times already, not me, so I felt like he would know better. I knew I wanted a romantic kissing picture in front of the Eiffel Tower and after doing some research I wanted to go to Montepulciano (where the Italy scenes in New Moon were filmed). It was about two hours away from the hotel we stayed at, but how often do you get to go to Europe for three weeks? I figured now was my chance. We stayed in Florence the whole time, but we rented a car for two of the days we were there and drove all over Tuscany.

The first day (and all the other days we didn't have the car) we just stayed in the area, went to see the duomo, all the outdoor shops and walked around the city.
florence duomo
The lines for a couple of the museums were ridiculously long so we decided after waiting for an hour and not moving that we would do other things. We walked up to the Piazza Michelangelo which has a replica of David since we skipped that museum. It's a beautiful area that overlooks Florence.

The next day (our first day with the car) we went to Montepulciano. It was AMAZING. The city is gorgeous as well as the drive there. Drivers in Europe are INSANE, with two lanes there will inevitably be 5 of 6 cars side by side at a time, and people on mopeds are even crazier than the average driver. We were pretty much terrified at all times while driving. Our GPS apparently had a faulty connection so halfway to Montepulciano it died, thank goodness for Carleton and being ten thousand times better at directions and "feeling the way" than me! I would've been so lost and pulled over crying had I been driving without him. We finally made it to the right area, eventually found a place to park and started the steep walk up to the clock tower as seen in New Moon. FYI, the fountain Bella runs through is not really there. Carleton, being the good sport he is, did some New Moon/Edward reenactment pictures for me:) Love him! This time I decided I wouldn't add sparkles to his skin:)
carleton as edward

We went inside and on our way back down from the tope there was a young boy (maybe 12 or 13) with two girls around his same age, perhaps a little older. Carleton and I were standing behind them when all of a sudden his whips off his shirt and the girls start clawing at his chest and trying to kiss his cheeks. Apparently we weren't the only ones with this idea. I snapped a quick picture from behind;)

I then got my pictures in the doorway and we were on our way to explore more places.

We took pictures in alleys and of the beautiful surrounding scenery.

We headed back to the car just drove around the neighboring cities and through the country. We pulled over to check out some vineyards:

We saw the most amazing sunflower fields so of course I made Carleton pull over for picture time. Good thing I brought my tripod! Unfortunately the sun was SOOOO bright so it was not ideal for pictures. We would wait for clouds to come but they'd only last a few seconds and I forgot to bring my remote so I had to set the timer and run, we somehow managed to get some ok pictures although I had a much different idea in mind.
Oh well.

Carleton also snapped some pics of me that I think turned out really good, who knew he was such the photog!
After we packed up the camera and left our spot we had been on the road for maybe two minutes when I saw even more sunflowers...we pulled over again:)



The next day we went to La Spezia were we hiked Cinque Terre (the five beautiful cities). What started as a 5K hike turned into a 9K hike (we didn't realize this until we'd finished it). The first stretch was really tame, anybody could've done it. DSC_4336

Places like the picture below were all over Italy, people put locks on fences, benches, gates, etc. then lock them and throw the key in nearby water. It's supposed to symbolize being together forever, I thought it was so cute so we looked for locks everywhere we went so we could do it. I'd heard about it before we even left for our trip but forgot to buy one in the states, darnit!

After the first city it got more and more treacherous we were climbing up rocks and when we'd stop my legs started shaking uncontrollably, still despite the difficult hiking circumstances this was one of my favorite days of the entire trip. Thank you, Anna for recommending it! I wish I would've taken more pictures, but there was this REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY annoying family behind us that we were trying to keep our distance from.


On our way back we stopped by the leaning tower of Pisa:

The panda was a great (and tiny!) car.

This next picture is completely unflattering, but we had to get a picture of one of the foods we ate almost daily, gelato!

Oh how I miss it...Carleton and I want to buy a villa in Tuscany so we can go there often, anybody care to go in on it with us? :)


Longey said...

I am totally in for a villa in Tuscany with you!! It was my favorite area of Italy when I visited! Love your beautiful and artistic pictures!!

Erin Long :)