italy

crossroads-weekend-wanderings-mycreative

This weekend was one of those calm relaxing kinds. Lots of our friends went away for the weekend but saving for the wedding / honeymoon meant we stuck to home this time around.

weekend-wanderings-mycreative

Friday was the only day with decent weather forecasted and we went for a long walk to make the most of it. Up the hill in the middle of town. Noted how green things were looking. Spotted some places we want to try out. Discovered an awesome new bakery / coffee shop / bar / live jazz bar (is that not just the best combination ever). We ate focaccia for lunch. Then gelato from a place we hadn’t tried. Then we sat in the main square and enjoyed the sunshine and people watched.

Saturday was rain. Discovered a new amazing woodwork shop where I want everything. There is a wall decorated with rolling pins. A workshop which has a glass ‘wall’ so you can see what is going on. And you can buy wooden block houses by weight! We met a friend for an afternoon coffee (at the place discovered Friday). That turned into a drink and then waiting for two hours for them to slice up all the bread that hadn’t sold which was then served as complimentary bar nibbles. They served it with hummus and tapenade. A simple dinner but so good. I wonder if free dinner with drinks is the best part of this place? Then gelato. Or that?

weekend-wanderings-sunset-mycreative

Sunday more rain. Out for a wonder despite the rain. It cleared up and we met friends for a drink in the main square. The clouds cleared for the most gorgeous sunset.

Monday more rain. Tim made breakfast. For lunch we were craving piadini and headed out despite the rain. Another new gelato place we wanted to try was closed. Got home and a friend messaged. I went out to join her for a hot chocolate (thick with hazelnut bits). Then a drink. Then home for leftovers because the shops hadn’t been open for two days (oops, we’re not in England anymore).

Looking forward to the next two weekends which are also long ones!

1day12pics-april-1

0855 On the train to Venice. Out of the window picture number one.

1day12pics-april-2

0932 From sunshine in Trieste it had become slightly foggy. Hopeful that it would clear! Out of the window picture number two (it is a two hour ride to Venice). I like to pretend which rambling, falling down farmhouse I will buy when travelling on the train through the countryside.

1day12pics-april-3

1015 Coming into Venice – still foggy (iphone pic)

1day12pics-april-4

1151 First on the itinerary (after a cornetto) was a visit to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. I loved spending the day with this guy. He loved staring intently at Pollacks. I suppose this is a place that will always be busy. At this time of year when there are slightly fewer tourists it was pretty packed with school groups. But it is an amazing collection with Picasso, Pollack, Twombly, Miro and many more.

1day12pics-april-5

1222 The blue sky made an appearance. The rest of the day was weather perfection.

1day12pics-april-6

1320 On the search for some food. We passed through St Mark’s Square but for this trip I was keen to explore the quieter parts of the island city so we continued on to the Castello area. It is incredibly hard to find vegetarian food in Venice that isn’t in one of the tourist restaurants (and thus not really great food anyway). I did some research to find a vegetarian friendly lunch at a little cafe called Le Spighe. It is pay by weight for a variety of options of salads, pies, etc. The food was good but it was pricey for what it was (€27 for 2 plates of food – not piled high – and a shared cola).

1day12pics-april-7

1428 After lunch we headed to a greenhouse which has been restored and turned into a nursery/coffee shop. We had an afternoon spritz and some biscuits. Weird combo but that’s allowed on your birthday. Right?

1day12pics-april-8

1536 This park at the end of the islands was perfect for a wander and a relax.

1day12pics-april-9

1600 Walking around the quiet neighbourhoods there is lots of washing hanging up. If I lived in Venice I would live in this area just because the streets are wider and houses must get more light inside. The little warrens around the more central areas must lead to very dark apartments.

1day12pics-april-10

1734 Gelato time! This is from Il Doge. A bit too cold but the Crema del Doge flavour is awesome – cream with chocolate drizzle and candied orange.

1day12pics-april-11

1854 More walking. I forgot how much distance there is between places and how if you don’t want to take a waterbus (which costs €7 a trip) it can take a long time to get around. The places I wanted to try out were pretty far apart. Too far apart as it turned out because by the time we found the little bar where I wanted to get an evening apertivo it was too late and we had to head to the station to catch our train home. Trying to find the place in the maze of streets which we passed did mean that I captured this beautiful light though.

1day12pics-april-12

1936 Farewell Venezia. Until next time.

museo-storia-ed-art-5-mycreative Last week I met up with Erynn, a lady I was introduced to through Twitter who had recently moved to Trieste. We decided to head to a museum and settled on the Civic Museum of History and Art. We walked up the hill that sits in the centre of town and which was where the ancient city of Tergeste (as it was known to the Romans) started. Some Roman ruins remain and the cathedral is built on the foundations of some ancient buildings. The Museum is just a little bit down from there. It is about the strangest ‘entry’ to a museum that I have ever experienced in that we had to ring a bell to get in, someone met us at the door then we had to go down some stairs, out the ‘back’ door and into another adjoining building. The man who met us at the door had disappeared but re-entered from another door, took our money and then disappeared again to bring us back tickets. As you can imagine we were the only people in the museum – which is quite fun actually.

Despite it’s name it is more history than art, containing sections on Egypt (there was a full mummy!) and Paleolithic man (with pieces that had been found from caves in the area) as well as some Mayan pieces and perhaps pieces from the middle ages. There is no signage in English but it was fun working out what the stuff was.

The best part of the museum though was the garden. It is overgrown, full of seemingly discarded statues which seem to be waiting around for something to happen, benches, balcony metalwork and pieces of masonry. I loved it. I might even be willing to pay the €5 museum entrance fee just to spend all day in the garden.

museo-storia-ed-art-2-mycreative museo-storia-ed-art-3-mycreative museo-storia-ed-art-1-mycreative museo-storia-ed-art-7-mycreative museo-storia-ed-art-8-mycreative museo-storia-ed-art-10-mycreative museo-storia-ed-art-11-mycreative museo-storia-ed-art-6-mycreative museo-storia-ed-art-4-mycreative

Surrounding the garden are apartments which look down onto this little oasis. I might be tempted to move if I could get one of the flats that look into the garden.

museo-storia-ed-art-9-mycreative

stripes for venice

 

venice stripes Next week is my birthday and Tim has taken the day off school so we can celebrate, We decided to take a day trip to Venice. It is only two hours away by train so a reasonable distance for a day out. We are planning on getting an early train, visiting the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, having a nice lunch, wandering around and then some apertivos before we hop on the train back.

Although our opinion gained from our last trip to Venice wasn’t so favourable I am really looking forward to giving it another try. Plus this time we at least know that it is an expensive city and will be prepared.

Aside from doing research on where we will eat/drink I am pondering a birthday outfit. I am inspired by the quintessential Venice staple: stripes.

venice stripes burano-pink-stripes burano-pink-grey-stripes burano-stripes

I love a good stripe and my wardrobe is filled with them but I can’t help but always been drawn to more!

stripes for venice

Do you normally treat yourself to a birthday outfit?

Sources for outfit inspiration image: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

a walk along barcola

barcola-trieste-seastairs-mycreative barcola-trieste-cover-mycreative barcola-trieste-cover-miramare-mycreative barcola-trieste-beach-stairs-3-mycreative barcola-trieste-beach-stairs-2-mycreative barcola-trieste-beach-stones-and-surf-mycreative barcola-trieste-beach-stairs-mycreative barcola-trieste-life-ring-mycreative barcola-trieste-lounging-mycreative barcola-trieste-sea-gazing-mycreativebarcola-trieste-walking-miramare-mycreative

The weather this weekend was springtime perfection. Warming and clear and spring-full with just a slight chill in the air but comfortable enough to go coatless. What bliss.

Tim and I decided to head down to the Barcola area of Trieste to have a nice walk. Barcola is a suburb of Trieste which runs along the sea and there is a long promenade with areas for sunbathing and swimming. I imagine when the weather warms up slightly it will get quite crowded but it was still fairly quiet at this time of year. It has that hint of art deco about it that I think all bathing areas around the world seem to have with bright blue and copper piping.

The walk ends at Miramare Castle which I will tell you more about another time but you can see it in the background in some pictures.

barcola-trieste-scale-rust-mycreative

I was confused by the proliferation of scales along the walk. Are people really going to weigh themselves when they go down to the sea? Surely that is not the time you want to know you’ve had too many gelati?

I was also happy to find that there were some pebbles along the beach as I had been wondering where I would find some for some still life styling. I was as happy as a kid who had found a treasure, see …

barcola-trieste-sea-stones-mycreative

I think we will definitely be spending a lot of our summer along here. I am already planning picnic brunches and lunches and sundowners.

 

grotta gigante - giant cave grotta gigante - giant cave grotta gigante - giant cave

Sunday we went to one of Trieste’s ‘famous’ tourist attractions, the Giant Cave. It isn’t the biggest cave in the world but it is in the Guinness Book of Records for being the biggest cave which tourists can visit. So it is the biggest one you will ever see, unless you are a speleologist. It is 100 metres high and around 130 metres wide. This requires walking down 500 stairs on the one side and bit of a wander near the bottom and a climb up 500 stairs on the other side so not for the rather unfit. The tour was lead by a specialist. There are lots of science centres in Trieste so I don’t think they have them in short supply.

A visit to the cave was part of Tim’s birthday present. His birthday was a few weeks back and though I wanted to give him a massive expensive present as a symbol of appreciation (isn’t that always the way) I just didn’t have the money. It isn’t a new idea but I made him a sort of mixed ‘box of adventures’. Inside was a notebook that I had got in trade for some photographs, some money for earphones that he was after (so he could have a soundtrack for his adventures) and some ‘adventure vouchers’. Using vouchers meant that I could spread the cost while still showing how much I care. Other vouchers include things like ‘a date night somewhere new’, ‘an adventurous read’, ‘prints of some instagram adventures’ as well as things that don’t cost money like going on a hike.

They key with this type of present is making sure you act on them. As the giver I would say it is my responsibility. Put the vouchers up on the fridge or somewhere you will see them so you will be reminded to use them and not just make it a crappy present.

Have you ever given vouchers for a birthday? Or would you? I’d love to hear your ideas

On a side note don’t you love the graphic for cave on the signs?

giant-cave-sign-mycreative