Celebrating 10 years ♥ [Image Heavy!]

January 8, 2018

Just a heads up that this post is very image heavy.... I had to choose from the almost 700 photos...

 

This past summer my family and I took a beautiful vacation through Greece and Italy. We had been planning to go to Italy for quite some time to celebrate our ten-year anniversary. We spent 6(!) weeks in beautiful Mediterranean surroundings and we have now all been bitten by the travel bug and cannot wait to travel again!

 

My hubby and I often reminisce, and we still can't believe that we've been married for 10 years! I don’t know where all that time went, and I’m always shocked at how quickly that time went by. We’ve looked back on all the things that we have accomplished and cannot wait to see what other blessings will be in store for us.

 

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I love studying history. My first degree is actually in Archaeology 😊(bet you didn't expect that!) I find it so fascinating. So, Italy was a no-brainer. I wanted to be surrounded by beautifully, historical places and art work. It doesn’t hurt that both my hubby and I are Assassin’s Creed fans so the persuasion that had to happen was minimal.

 

So although, a blog post doesn’t even come close to showing you the beauty and wonder that we were able to experience, it will give you a glimpse into all the things we experienced while we were there! I'm not gonna lie... there will be another post that will be more travel tips and discoveries that we personally experienced and will probably be filled with impromptu (and way funnier) cell phone shots of our journeys *GASP* what?! not a pro camera the whole time?! (lol when you're walking 50 000+ steps a day, there are some days you just want to travel light! 😑)

 

Our first leg of our trip we went on a Mediterranean Cruise. We started in Venice and got to visit amazing places like Athens, Crete, Santorini and Croatia which made a round trip back to Venice. After Venice, we used trains to travel to Florence, Sorrento,  Positano on the Amalfi Coast, and Rome. We went on additional tours that brought us through Monteriggioni, Siena, San Gimignano, Vesivius, and Pompeii just to name drop a few historically famous places. 

 

Every time were were in a historic site (I do this in places in Canada that are not even that old in comparison...) I always think "WOW! I can't believe people walked here thousands of years ago! Like they were just living their lives, coming to visit their temple/government/friend/insert place here..." and that is what I love about history... Seriously, people are amazing and I think that for a people to build monuments that still stand to this day is a huge testament of engineering and thought! At one point in Rome, we came across a bakery that was down the street from our residence, Antico Caffe Greco, that was 250 years old this year... This Bakery is older than Canada.... They have been baking cakes and pastries for longer than Canada has been a country. And I love that! It is definitely sonder at its finest! Loving history is what makes me love photos and photography so much! So much history, experience, and life caught in one moment of time!

 

Anyways, lets move on to what you are probably here for... Photos! Here are a few photos from Athens!

 

In Croatia, we got a little taste of King's Landing (any Game of Thrones fans??) This staircase is the same one that is on front of the Great Sept Baelor from the show. (uhhh... if you didn't know already, or haven't figured out, I'm also a super nerd and super proud of it). I wish I could have gotten a clearer view of them, but I was honestly standing in front of this staircase for 15 minutes waiting for people to thin out and it just never happened. So I took what I could get and got out of that SUN! 

not only was the water so beautifully clear, it was so warm! We live in a city that has a lot of clay in the water (and is named after our muddy water) so to be able to see water where you could see the bottom of the sea floor was just AMAZING! After doing our first day of walking tours and feeling that Mediterranean heat, we went prepared with swimsuits and jumped off the port with other beach goers to cool off . Even though it was as warm as bath water, it was so refreshing after a full day of walking in the sun! 

 Picture Perfect Santorini ♥

Back to Venice! We ate so much gelato! We also had BEAUTIFUL family photos done by the amazing Charmaine Mallari. A photographer friend from Winnipeg that traveled all the way to Italy just for us! 

 

After Venice, we took the Frecciarossa Trains to Florence. Our hotel was just down the street from Santa Maria del Fiore affectionately known as Il Duomo (The Dome). We come from a city that has apartments that are 30+ stories... I grew up in Toronto with the CN tower less than an hour walk away. I have never had a building take my breath away like Il Duomo did.

It👏Was👏Stunning👏 

 A photo of Il Duomo that does not do it the least bit of justice

 Just outside our hotel, a photo of the Palazzo Medici

 The archway of the Siena Cathedral

 the Courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery... which we took at sunrise to avoid the Military tank that usually parks just to the right of the photo... 

 

After Florence we went to Sorrento, this beautiful coastal town known for its famous lemons and limencello. There were lemon trees all over the place, and it made me so happy to see fruit trees all over the place! Seriously I was so obsessed. I have never taken so many selfies... all with Lemons! 😄 Winnipeg is so cold for so much of the year that the only crop that grows well are grains, which looks beautiful to have those prairie photos in weddings... not so much for for selfies. 

 Visiting Pompeii

 Mount Vesuvius in the background while walking around Pompeii

 Coastal views in Positano

 Positano is one of the popular beaches in Italy. The water is clear and refreshing after laying in the sun. 

 

After Positano we took the trains to Rome. We stayed in an apartment in Belsiana just down the road from the Spanish steps. Everything that we wanted to see in Rome was fairly close to where we stayed so we racked up our step counters just walking every where we could. 

Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II... We went on a tour and the guide told us about how much Roman people dislike this building... They call it The Wedding Cake Because of all its white marble. 

 The bridge leading up to Castel Sant'Angel

How did I get no one in front of me during this photo? I have no idea, there are people everywhere we went! 

St. Peter's Basilica. We were going to go in (its free, because its a place of worship), but the line up the day we went wrapped all the way around St. Peter's Square in 50°C direct sun.... 😓​

​Can you see that lineup?! ... that's only half of it

 The ever famous Colosseum! 😮 We signed up for a night tour at the Colosseum thinking we'd avoid crowds (we did!) and double benefited as it was SO MUCH COOLER at night (both in temperature and awesomeness) 

The "stage" where people are standing is where the original floor of the Colosseum used to be. They only cover a portion that it did before so that you can see what it looked like under the flooring where all the gladiators used to hang out. 

💯‼️

 

We visited other places in Rome including the Roman Forum, Pantheon, Vatican Museum, The Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and so many gelaterias! But I think this is a good place to end of for this extremely image heavy post! Nothing will compare to the places and the actual memories of being there but reflecting back on these photos really helps to appreciate and share the majesty!

 

I hope you enjoyed virtually travelling with me and my family! ❤️

 

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© 2020 Stephanie Hodgson Photography #CelebrateLove