I recently returned from a trip to Italy with my dear friend Jenny! We spent our first night in Rome, three days in Cortona (Tuscany) participating in a cooking class at Il Falconiere and then our final days back in Rome before flying home. Dusty and I had been to Italy back in 2013 but hadn’t had the opportunity to visit Tuscany. Let me just say…it was amazing! I loved the laid back atmosphere, slow pace life style, beautiful views, food, people and vino of course! I’ve compiled some of my favorite images from the trip to share with you below. Enjoy!
Amsterdam, we had an unexpected 7 hr layover…we found some reclining chairs and Starbucks, so we were all set. On the way from Amsterdam to Rome I sat next to a lovely young girl who was about 8 years old. She knew 4 languages. When she asked how many I knew…I sort of blank stared and then uttered “just one…” ….ouch.
We woke up the next morning and enjoyed “coffee” at our little guesthouse. Italian coffee is much much different than American coffee…and much stronger!
Our host at the guesthouse was such a gentleman! He carried our bags for us (poor man) and helped us navigate a great place to eat later that evening. We definitely would recommend Rest Guesthouse for your future Rome trip!
We hopped a train the second morning of our trip (Sunday) and headed off to Tuscany (Cortona) where the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” was filmed. The area is just as dreamy as it is in the movie! We arrived at the local train station in Cortona…things were quiet and still for a Sunday morning. Which was way different than what we had just experienced after 24 hours in Rome.
Waiting for a car to pick us up and bring us to Il Falconiere!
We stayed in the old farm house that you can see in the photo below. The rooms were beautiful and held true to the historic Italian countryside theme they boast on their website. Which we loved – of course!
Some people might be bothered that there aren’t screens on the doors/windows. I on the other hand loved it…
Our first night at Il Falconiere we met the owners, who were our hosts for the three days we would be staying there. I held their falcon…which was a tad freaky!
We then did a tour of the vineyard and wine cellar before doing some wine tasting. The weather and season was very similar to lower Michigan’s right now…so most things were still in bloom or just budding.
That night we had an amazing dinner – which was delicious and then we went straight to bed. Jet lag had us pretty tuckered out…so much so that we failed to get up in time for our 10:30 a.m. sight seeing excursion of Cortona (yikes)! Talk about jet lag! I don’t remember the last time I slept that late. The photo below is a view of the countryside from the village of Cortona. That little walled area below is their local cemetery.
After some lovely site seeing we ventured to a beautiful little restaurant in the village for some great food! A caprese salad was a must! So fresh and yummy.
That afternoon we had our first cooking class! It was a lot of fun, I learned how to roll pasta and make some yummy dishes.
After our first day of cooking we had the chance to eat what we prepared (fancied up by the professionals) but tasting our hard work was a lot of fun!
The next day we had an easy going morning. Breakfast was honestly to die for. I felt sort of like that girl off of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory…you know, the one who eats so many sweets she turns in to a blueberry…or something like that…but to be honest, I walked in to what felt like a room of food heaven. After breakfast we got ready walked around the vineyards and property and then started cooking some lovely pasta!
And then of course….we ate what we cooked for dinner!
After dinner we went to the town of Cortona where we mingled with the locals, walked the winding streets and took in the views.
We also got a photo by the home that was used in the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun”!
After what was a lovely 3 days in Cortona/Tuscany we headed back to Rome! While in Rome we went to the St. Peters Basilica, Vatican and also to the Colosseum and the Forum.
An authentic and common Italian appetizer plate!
I could add the rest of my photos but I am sure by now you have seen enough food photos to last you forever! Hope you enjoyed seeing a little glimpse of our lovely trip.
Have you been to Italy? If so, where? If you haven’t been yet, where would you like to go?