Revisiting Your Favorite Places

“You’re going to Italy… again?” I kept hearing when I told friends about my upcoming trip. The implication was why not go somewhere you haven’t been before and I get it, believe me I do. There’s a whole world out there and I haven’t even been to South America yet, no less Asia or Australia. But Italy is easily my favorite place to vacation and  I found myself just simply wanting to go back. Do I really need to explain myself?

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Italy is fucking amazing. Who doesn’t know this?  The food, the wine, the art, the history… all the ancient shit and intriguing Catholic morbidity! My friend, Carolyn, and I found super cheap tickets leaving out of Philly and I had enough points for a free round trip ticket to Florence, my favorite city. Sold.

To be vegan while traveling in Italy is a pleasure. How things have changed since I first visited 18 years ago. In my wildest dreams, I don’t think I could have imagined this plate of pasta being served to me, dairy-free and smothered in truffles.

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I’m trying not to drool over such explicit food porn but it’s hard…

I don’t eat a lot of bread because normally I just don’t love it and let’s face it, you should love love love bread if you’re going to consume so many empty carbs, right? In Italy, however, the bruschetta is impossible to resist. Impossible. And oh so worth the carb overload.

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Although we spent most of our time in Florence, we also had forays to other cities. There was the day that we got to spend outside of Verona at the Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella winery owned by descendants of Dante Alighieri.

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We even got to meet the proprietor, the dashing Serego Alighieri, himself!  And of course, wine was had. Lots of wine. To be honest, the entire trip was a wine-soaked blissful adventure.

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Then there was one awesome accidental overnight trip to Rome because after that we missed our stop and it was the last train of the night. You know how annoying that is, and how a mistake can be so very expensive when you’re traveling. But hello, there are worse places to be stranded in than Rome, right?

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Pro-tip that bears mentioning here: carry a photo of your passport in your phone in case this happens to you. Naturally because we weren’t expecting to have to find a last minute hotel, we weren’t carrying passports. You cannot check into a hotel or even an AirBnb for that matter, without one!

I’m going to split up my travelogues because there is too much to fit into one post. Just a glance through these shots, though, should be enough to convince anyone why I make repeat trips to Italy, right?

Our final full day in Italy deserves special mention because this was a place I had never visited before, the gorgeous Medieval town of Certaldo. IMG_0314.jpg

As if this vista isn’t enough, there’s a church that has the body of a Saint on display. She was interred in this church in 1367!

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Beata Giulia da Certaldo

And no trip to Italy is complete without a visit to see the head of St. Catherine in Siena.

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She doesn’t show up as well in photos

Some people totally don’t get our fascination with the morbid side of Catholic traditions, but hey, that’s their problem. Lucky me to have a friend and travel partner who totally gets it, right?

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And there you have it. I will have you know that I’m already planning my trip back to Italy this fall with Danny so he, too, can understand my slight obsession with this glorious place.

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