Holiday recap: Tuscany and Liguria

 Hi dolls!

I'm checking in with you on a grey, chilly Friday at the end of September, but just three weeks ago I was living the life over in sunny (incredibly hot) Italy. I figured I'd post some of my favorite travel memories of this year's big trip, because it's always nice to share beautiful moments with others. I'm doing this the quick & dirty way instead of spending too much time layouting or thinking about what to write, so buckle up and enjoy the ride babes.

We've been to Italy four times now - once to Puglia, once on the Tuscan coast, once in the heart of Tuscany near Siena and this time just 20 mins outside of Florence, our favorite city in Tuscany. This year however, we also spent about a week in Liguria, a beautiful region with rugged coastlines, colorful little towns and the best pasta pesto in the world (pesto Ligure was invented there).

The places we visited:

  • Prato
  • Pistoia
  • Fiesole
  • Colle Di Val D'Elsa (including that gorgeous riverfront hike)
  • Florence (multiple times)
  • Siena
  • Lucca
  • Portofino/San Fruttuoso
  • Santa Margherita Ligure/Rapallo/Chiavari
  • Cinque Terre

Fiesole: what I loved most here was, of course, the view on Firence but also the ruins of the temple and the Roman theatre, which had been made entirely wheelchair accessible!

Colle Di Val D'Elsa hike: just completely unreal how blue the water was here (pictures don't do it justice). Such a great way to spend an afternoon, hiking along the waterfalls and river and taking a dip whenever you get too sweaty!

Pistoia: small but very cute and quiet, and apparently it has a large relevance to the pilgrimage routes to Compostela! (PS I made this top and the skort myself and I was so proud)

Prato: we really enjoyed the museum here, and just wandering around the streets watching the locals live their life. Again, very quiet despite us being there in August.

Ah, Firenze. I could return to this city time and time again and not get tired of it. This was our first time visiting Uffizi and while I enjoyed the Louvre more, Uffizi is completely stunning and boasts some incredible, must see works of art (like Artemisia Gentileschi's Judith Slaying Holofernes and Botticelli's Venus!!)

Just a quick shot of an evening drive through the Tuscan countryside along the Strada Statale 222 Chiantigiana. Dreamy.

Santa Margherita Ligure/Rapallo/Chiavari. There's just something about the sun glittering on that blue, blue sea, and those beautiful little towns that is completely magnetic and energizing.

The hike to San Fruttuoso from Portofino, and taking the ferry back. This is one of my ultimate highlights. My boyfriend was suffering throughout basically the entire hike and I'm very grateful he made the effort to go along with me anyway, because I would not have wanted to miss this for the world! My muscles were shaking by the time we were doing the last descent but those views over the mediterranean and being able to chill out and swim at such a spectacular place after a grueling hike? Priceless. I also feel like we got a similar experience to the much more well known hikes between the Cinque Terre villages, while only meeting about 10 people during our 3h hike. Magical.

Portofino. To me, the only sour note in all the places we visited. Beautiful, sure, but everything here is insanely expensive and catered to a jetset crowd, making Portofino feel incredibly artificial and just not enjoyable to me. Would not visit again.

But Cinque Terre! Ah. I had fears about being disappointed because this place is SO well known, SO all over social media, SO bustling with tourists. And yes, it was very, very crowded. But as soon as you walk onto the beaches, watch the towns quiet down later in the day, swim in that deep blue sea and eat pesto dish after pesto dish: all of that fades away. This was hands down my favourite day out of our entire trip, and I would go back (and maybe spend a night there?) in a heartbeat.

To end this light post with a quick side note: every summer we become more dilligent about sun protection (I also always have something covering my head ever since I got heatstroke in Curacao), and we never went outside without SPF50. Now, I like trying new brands and I just got two trial tubes of Ultra Violette sunscreen. First, their SPF50+ Hydrating Skinscreen which is a moisturizer & a sunblock in one so it's perfect as a facial sunscreen, the second is their Rose Sheen Screen SPF50+ lip balm. Let me tell you: these are sublime. 

Aussies really know what to put into their sunscreen. I LOVE how the Hydrating Skinscreen does not leave me oily or shiny and goes very well underneath my foundation, and the lipbalm is shiny and glossy and not sticky, just a pleasure to use. Now, Ultraviolette is still expanding its market and is currently only being shipped internationally to countries near Australia but I'm crossing my fingers that it makes its way over here so I can stock up. This is just the best sunscreen I've tried if you're looking for a 2-in-1 product.

So there's that! Hope you enjoyed this quick & dirty little holiday recap.

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