Italia Part I

 When Dan and I got married a little over a year and a half ago, we decided to honeymoon in the following year; gives us something else to look forward to. Besides, we got married in Puerto Rico, so that was essentially a mini-moon. This past October, our trip to Italia was a celebration of our one year of marriage as well as both of our birthdays (go Libras!). And here we are, 8 months later and I finally have a partial recap of the trip. No words or pictures will do this trip justice, but I'll do my best. Enjoy!

When Dan and I got married a little over a year and a half ago, we decided to honeymoon in the following year; gives us something else to look forward to. Besides, we got married in Puerto Rico, so that was essentially a mini-moon. This past October, our trip to Italia was a celebration of our one year of marriage as well as both of our birthdays (go Libras!). And here we are, 8 months later and I finally have a partial recap of the trip. No words or pictures will do this trip justice, but I'll do my best. Enjoy!

 Dan and I spent the first night in Riomaggiore at a small inn. When we arrived, the sun was just about setting, so we raced to capture a few photos before it got too dark. I absolutely adore the colors of the houses.

Dan and I spent the first night in Riomaggiore at a small inn. When we arrived, the sun was just about setting, so we raced to capture a few photos before it got too dark. I absolutely adore the colors of the houses.

 That first evening we dined at a restaurant called  La Lampara . I don't recall what we had but for our first meal in Italy, I do remember walking out feeling very satisfied. A tidbit we learned: Always ask for the vino de casa (wine of the house) - the wine is always good and cheap!

That first evening we dined at a restaurant called La Lampara. I don't recall what we had but for our first meal in Italy, I do remember walking out feeling very satisfied. A tidbit we learned: Always ask for the vino de casa (wine of the house) - the wine is always good and cheap!

 The next day, Dan and I tried to visit as many of the fishing villages as possible before heading out. But first, cappuccino.

The next day, Dan and I tried to visit as many of the fishing villages as possible before heading out. But first, cappuccino.

 Vernazza was by far my favorite fishing village. There was a lot going on and so much buzz. And of course, the colors. Look closely here, do you see me?? Another tidbit: Cinqueterra has some of the best pesto, so we had to pick some up. It was delish and we were totally bummed when we ran out.

Vernazza was by far my favorite fishing village. There was a lot going on and so much buzz. And of course, the colors. Look closely here, do you see me?? Another tidbit: Cinqueterra has some of the best pesto, so we had to pick some up. It was delish and we were totally bummed when we ran out.

 In San Gimignano, we stayed at an amazing boutique country inn,  Locanda dell' Artista . One of the owners was on site the two nights we were there and he gave us some amazing local restaurant recommendations. If you ever find yourself in San Gimi, this place is a must. I was completely obsessed with their toiletries. So much so I had to seek it out when we made it to Florence. From San Gimi, we did day trips to Volterra and Sienna. Dan and I had a rental for most of the trip (ditched it in Florence) and it was amazing driving through the different towns and stopping in a few along the way.

In San Gimignano, we stayed at an amazing boutique country inn, Locanda dell' Artista. One of the owners was on site the two nights we were there and he gave us some amazing local restaurant recommendations. If you ever find yourself in San Gimi, this place is a must. I was completely obsessed with their toiletries. So much so I had to seek it out when we made it to Florence. From San Gimi, we did day trips to Volterra and Sienna. Dan and I had a rental for most of the trip (ditched it in Florence) and it was amazing driving through the different towns and stopping in a few along the way.

 We wandered around Volterra, popping in and out of little shops, sipped on cappuccinos, indulged in meat and cheeses, and of course gelato.

We wandered around Volterra, popping in and out of little shops, sipped on cappuccinos, indulged in meat and cheeses, and of course gelato.

 You know I have a thing for doors, right?

You know I have a thing for doors, right?

 A friend had recommended  La Taverna di San Giuseppe  for lunch. It was ah-mazing. Pictured above is a mixed board of meats. My fave thing on the board is in the upper left hand corner. It's best described as hot pate.

A friend had recommended La Taverna di San Giuseppe for lunch. It was ah-mazing. Pictured above is a mixed board of meats. My fave thing on the board is in the upper left hand corner. It's best described as hot pate.

 In Siena, we visited the duomo. The exterior is beautiful, but....

In Siena, we visited the duomo. The exterior is beautiful, but....

 the inside is where it's at. What a beauty.

the inside is where it's at. What a beauty.

 Stopped in Montalcino to try some Brunello wine, with yet another meat and cheese platter.

Stopped in Montalcino to try some Brunello wine, with yet another meat and cheese platter.

 Here we are, somewhere between Montalcino and San Quirco. San Quirco was our home base for a few nights, with day trips to nearby towns.

Here we are, somewhere between Montalcino and San Quirco. San Quirco was our home base for a few nights, with day trips to nearby towns.

 First thing on the agenda when we arrived in San Quirco: find a meat and cheese shop. And trust me, we didn't have to look hard! We bought enough so that I could pack us a little snack for our daily road trips.

First thing on the agenda when we arrived in San Quirco: find a meat and cheese shop. And trust me, we didn't have to look hard! We bought enough so that I could pack us a little snack for our daily road trips.

 We visited the town of Pienza, which is known for its pecorino cheese. So of course, we found a shop that properly packed them for travel (yes, we basically bought a wheel of pecorino). We still have some in our fridge:) Also, I happened upon a little leather shop that made beautiful bags:  Officine904 . If you need to know, I picked up a nice little crossbody as a souvenir. 

We visited the town of Pienza, which is known for its pecorino cheese. So of course, we found a shop that properly packed them for travel (yes, we basically bought a wheel of pecorino). We still have some in our fridge:) Also, I happened upon a little leather shop that made beautiful bags: Officine904. If you need to know, I picked up a nice little crossbody as a souvenir. 

 A quick drive from San Quirco, we had dinner at a restaurant in Montalpulciano, which came highly recommended by same friend as above:  Osteria Aquachete . The popular item here is the T-Bone. The butcher chops up your piece and brings it over to you for the OK. We indulged on a starter of pecorino cheese and pear with bread. Some vino de casa too, of course. I pretty much had to get rolled out of there (we couldn't finish our T-Bone!). Reservations are a MUST, as they only have two seatings for dinner

A quick drive from San Quirco, we had dinner at a restaurant in Montalpulciano, which came highly recommended by same friend as above: Osteria Aquachete. The popular item here is the T-Bone. The butcher chops up your piece and brings it over to you for the OK. We indulged on a starter of pecorino cheese and pear with bread. Some vino de casa too, of course. I pretty much had to get rolled out of there (we couldn't finish our T-Bone!). Reservations are a MUST, as they only have two seatings for dinner

I will pause here and continue with the second part of our trip in another post. I'm sure the suspense is killing you ;)