At the end of each month I am going to send out a summary of the highlights of the month. I will tell you about any travel bargains I’ve found and update you on our plans for upcoming trips and activities. Here is the summary for June 2017.

Our Italian Adventures

Firstly, apologies for the delay – I have been too busy having fun and it took a couple of extra days to get this post out.

June has been mostly travelling from one side of Italy to the other – in a kind of zig zag way. We started off the month in Siena, then heading to Pisa to get that one photo of the Leaning Tower. It was only one night there before moving on to Lovely Lucca. That’s how I say it in my mind, because Lucca was such a leafy, green relief from so many towns that simply did not have room for trees.

Lucca

The green of Lucca. Notice the tower in the middle with trees growing on it.

From Lucca we headed across country to Bologna, to test out their namesake, spaghetti bolognese. I discovered it’s actually not called that, and is quite different to what we know today, but it’s still really good. Since we were nearby, we also ducked over to Modena and checked out the Ferrari museums both there and in nearby Maranello. We also did a bit of food and wine tasting in the area too.

June 2017

Spritz! This is a common Italian drink, often had before dinner. It is refreshing, and, we discovered, quite potent!

Back west we went then on the next leg of our zig zag to Milan. The first two nights we stayed out north of Milan, and did a day trip up to Stresa and the Borromean Islands. We were there to see Isola Bella. Translated this means beautiful island, and indeed it was! The day was stolen though by a group of magnificent white peacocks, that happily paraded around showing off for the crowds.

Isola Bella

The terraced gardens of Isola Bella.

Stresa

One of the more well known cousins showing off for the ladies – who just don’t seem to care!

The next two nights were in Milan proper, and we spent the day checking out the Milan Duomo, castle, the park, some shops…just the usual stuff!

Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a stunning mall in Milan

Lierna was our next stop, a sleepy little town on the edge of Lake Como. We enjoyed some R&R, in between trips to the next town to see Italy’s shortest river, laying in the sun by the beach and a whole day exploring Ravenna, Bellagio, Cadenabbia and Villa Carlotta.

Lake Como

The lovely town of Varenna as the ferry approaches in the rain.

Lake Como

Enjoying the sunshine and Spritz on the banks of Lake Como

An eventful day of travel during a public transport strike got us to Padua. From there we were only thirty minutes train ride into Venice, where we did a food and wine tour that was heavy on the wine! We also spent a full day exploring Padua, before moving even closer to Venice for a night in Venice Mestra, the mainland part of Venice. A few more hours in Venice was capped off by laying near the pool as the sun dipped behind the trees.

Venice

Buildings along the Grand Canal in Venice

Venice

The most beautiful bookshop in the world, Acqua Alta

Padua

In Padua we visited the oldest (or second oldest depending on who you ask) Botanic Gardens in the world

Moving again – we struggled to get last minute accommodation near Venice, so moving was unavoidable! – we went out to the Island of Burano. This island is well known for it’s colourful houses. It’s quiet and peaceful, and gave us a base to explore nearby Murano and it’s glass, and Torcello islands. We also got the chance to catch up with a school friend Simon hadn’t seen for about twenty five years even though he lives fifteen minutes from us at home. He just happened to be in Venice the same time we were.

Burano

One of the many photos I took of the colourful houses in Burano

Trento, in the north of Italy was our last stop in Italy. It will always be remembered for the heat. The whole of Europe was experiencing a very rare heat wave, and Trento go up to 36 degrees with almost 90% humidity. In a place more accustomed to ice and snow, there was no air-conditioning so we just had to put up with it. We didn’t have a lot planned here, so it was great to discover a festival was occurring in the city for the exact same days we were there. We got to do quite a few things that we otherwise would not.

Trento

The view over Trento from the castle.

So it was farewell to Italy, and we made our way to Innsbruck in Austria. We loved this little town immediately. Probably not so little really, but the centre of town had a very relaxed, small town feel about it, even with all the tourists. The scenery around the city was spectacular, and we had gone from boiling hot to snow in two days when we went up the mountain overlooking Innsbruck.

Innsbruck

The mountains above Innsbruck, where there is still snow, even in summer

Innsbruck

The buildings in Innsbruck are almost as colourful as Burano

We ended the month at one of the places we were most looking forward to, Saalbach-Hinterglemm in the Austrian Alps. We met up with my cousin Emma and her family, and even though the weather had turned cold and rainy with my arrival, we caught a gondola up into the mountains and spent a whole day hiking back down. Even with a few clouds, the views were amazing.

Coming Up

July means we only have two weeks left in the Schengen zone before we have to leave. We will be spending a bit more time in Austria, then visiting Bratislava in Slovakia before going to the Czech Republic. We will be visiting both Brno and Prague, meeting friends in the latter for a weekend.

After that – not exactly sure yet, but we’re thinking about Romania, then Bulgaria and Albania. Do you have any suggestions in those countries? Let me know in the comments below.

Catching Up

In case you missed them, here are my June blog posts:
May 2017 Summary
Travel Diaries – Rome
An Easy Budget Visit to the Colosseum
Travel Diaries – Naples
Travel Diaries – Tuscany
Things to do in Siena, Italy
One Day in Pisa
Things to do in Lucca

Don’t forget to follow along on social media where you will see some content that does not make it onto my blog.
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Blogging Wins

Again, why did I add this section??? Hahaha. While this month was better than last month in page views, it was still not my best month. Pinterest is finally starting to give me more views after all the work I have done on there, but I realise that I still have a long way to go.

I have struggled a little with keeping up with writing posts in June, but I am well prepared for July as I tried to remedy my arrears towards the end of the month. Nearly everything above will be explained in more detail in upcoming posts. With so much exciting travel coming up, I hope I am able to catch up a little between the touristing!

Take care all, please enjoy my posts coming up in July.

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