Italy (Strudel’s version)

Postiano view

StrudelAllBluelarger copy Almost a year ago, I started plotting our next vacation – Brandon and I wanted it to be a big, fat trip, and figured that would involve some forethought and financial planning. Just like Streusel, I’ve always wanted to go to Italy (who doesn’t?!) – from what I’d heard, it’s a country filled with passionate people, amazing history, and pasta. But we also decided to make it an active vacation, where we could indulge our love of food and scenery with our love of hiking and exploration.

 

Since hiking would be the basis of the trip, I started with researching options for our target timeline, in October. Although neither of us has ever been interested in a group tour, we figured that if we were going to go on a real hiking adventure in another country we’d need some help. We narrowed our options to either Machu Picchu or a Southern Italy Volcano route (I know – such tough decisions I have to make!). In the end, we decided on Italy – with just two weeks, we wanted to maximize our time and see as much of whichever country we visited. That seemed more feasible with the Italy trip. While I’m sure Peru would’ve been amazing, I can’t say enough about our adventure in Italy!

 

Our vacation was an amazing combination of beautiful food, incredible sights, and really great people. I spent two weeks marveling over everything – how old the cities are, the amazing beauty of the country, and mostly, how very lucky I was to be able to have these experiences.

 

Capri hike  old house - Capri hike

 

 

 

Our first few days were in Rome, both to see the sites and give us some time to work out our jet lag before the hiking began. Here’s some photos: the Vatican, a sign with directions about appropriate dress (which just looks like an anti 1950’s swimsuit poster), the Victor Emmanuel monument (that mustache is 5′ long!), and Rome at sunset

 

 

 

rome collage 4

 

 

 

And some views various parts of southern Italy, including Agerola, Capri, Postiano, and Amalfi

 

town of Amalfi

 

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P1030697        view from hotel

 

 

amalfi moon 1

 

 

We hiked four volcano ranges: Vesuvius, Stromboli, Vulcano, and Etna. Seeing the lava on Stromboli was honestly an experience of a lifetime, and the giant craters on Mt. Etna were just unreal.

 

 

Here’s Mt. Vesuvius, as seen from Pompeii (we did hike up to the crater and saw it first hand):

 

pompei and vesuvius

 

And lava under a full moon, on Stromboli:

 

Stromboli

 

 

Here’s  Vulcano – the steam was thick and smelled strongly of sulfer, and when we got caught in it (the wind shifted), I think my lungs got scrubbed out:

 

crater at vulcano

 

 

 

And a few from Etna. As with the other craters, they’re so giant it’s hard to get a sense of their enormity and vastness. This is just my feeble attempt:

 

Etna crater

 

Etna steam

 

Etna

 

 

Of course, there was plenty of food:

 

Capri picniccheese plate

grilled veggie platepizza

producetomatoes

Trastevere paniniwine!

 

 

 

And finally, a bit of proof that we were actually there – I didn’t just steal someone else’s photos:

 

P1030789M&B Stromboli hike

M&B Stromboli sunsetM&B Etna

 

 

 

 

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