Earlier in July, I got to go on the most incredible trip to what I didn’t know was my dream destination. I had never really thought about going to Italy, mainly because I thought I’d never have or save up enough money to go, but with my business starting to thrive, and one of my brides ending up living there, there wasn’t an excuse not to go!
I landed in Venice, where Alexa picked up me. I was completely giddy from the italian I could hear all around me. As we got in the car and drove to Vicenza where she lived, she kept laughing at me. Because I would say, “OH. MY. GOSH. That building is SO ITALIAN!” to just about everything I saw. Telling me that we were still in the “ghetto part of the city,” and to wait until we got to the middle where the old architecture was. I couldn’t believe how old everything looked and was still functioning perfectly! I was surprised by the amount of red clay roofs there were and remember thinking… “yup, that’s totally italian. That’s exactly what the movies look like.”
We spent the first day touring around Vicenza where she lives, eating Gelato because that was necessary and ending it in the home of the coolest chef, Lucas for an authentic cooking class! Pesto bread with homemade Basil Tagliatelle (basically fettuccine noodles), with a tomato, almond paste for the first course, Pork roast and rosemary potatoes for the second course and homemade gelato for dessert!
We pulled a couple all nighters preparing for some styled shoots and did a shoot in Venice. Not only is it the city on water, it’s also a giant maze if you didn’t know. We rode a gondola while in Venice! That was one of my big requests while in Italy and it was worth every euro! I was completely fan girling it up!! We then ventured off toward the countryside of Italy driving through fields, hills and wineries for our second shoot in Aqua Petrarque! After which we took a little time off and country hopped through Slovenia to Croatia!
I adored Croatia! Everything there was floral and full of so much character! We stayed the night in Rovinj toured around until that next morning where we visited Bale and then onto Pula to go cliff diving at the blue caves along the coast. This was one of my favorite things about the trip! There was even this food bar completely hidden in the trees that had the BEST popsicles! I think the craziest thing about croatia was their money system. It was almost 7 Kuna to every 1 dollar!
After exploring Croatia we made our way back to Italy and traveled up to Lake Garda. When I pictured a lake, I imagined something I could walk around. Instead, it was cities long taking us hour to drive beside but man was the view worth it. Lake Garda was an absolute favorite place of mine. The whole thing felt like I was in a movie. Walking along, grabbing gelato, watching the swans swim along the lake as the sun set over the mountains across the water. We ended the night with a couple original water paintings and headed back to Vicenza to get back to work.
In Vicenza, I tried all the cheeses, and pizzas you could think of, and I even tried raw tuna, duck and raw shrimp. DO NOT…. try raw shrimp.
Our third shoot was at this adorable winery, Cantina Pegoraro. This was probably one of my favorite shoots while I was out there because of the sweetest couple and because I felt so relaxed! Following the shoot we took a day to drive up to the northern part of Italy really close to Switzerland and Germany hiked the Dolomites (the back half of the Swiss Alps). Last, our fourth and final shoot was in the very town where it all started, downtown Vicenza the night before hopping on a plane and flying back home to a husband with a baby in his arms and a little boy with a bouquet of flowers and a sign that read, “Welcome Home Mommy!” My heart is completely full! I’m so grateful that I got to experience so much and which I could write it all down and show every picture but these are some of my favorites!