italy

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We had our first summer visitor this week and we did a little bit of exploring. The weather put on a great show and we had to head to the beach. Now, when I say “beach” this is a bit different to what I grew up with at home, ie sand gradually giving way to sea, with waves either gentle or aggressive. The beaches here are cement stretches that turn to rocks with a drop into water where you can’t touch the ground. I have to say though, that even though the beaches themselves might not be as pretty to photograph I prefer the fact that I don’t get sand all over me when applying sunscreen and that there aren’t really waves which I am still kind of nervous of as an adult. Plus the water is much warmer than that in Cape Town.

We decided to take a little boat trip across the harbour to the fishing village of Muggia. I hadn’t yet visited so it was new for me too, which is always fun.

The beach is a strip that admittedly looks onto the industrial complex that stretches between Trieste and Muggia although the water itself is clear and lovely! It is the village itself that is quite lovely. We didn’t go into any of the churches (as we were in shorts) and ignored the sign for the medieval castle assuming it would probably just be a shell. After wondering around and snapping pictures for about 15 minutes we simply found somewhere to eat and settled down for about an hour in the heat of the day.

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We settled on ‘Trattoria Splendor’ which seemed like somewhere the locals headed and had a simple but delicious pasta with mushrooms. The lady (who we assumed was the owner) thought we were absolutely crazy for wanting to sit outside (in the shade) when it was so cool inside. After muttering a lot while taking our orders she promptly sent her husband out with our drinks and food. He was a delightful flirty old gent of the kind that you find quite endearing. I would recommend anyone to try it out if you just so happen to be in the area, the menu is predominantly meaty however.

I’m looking forward to heading back with other visitors in the coming months, and maybe I’ll duck inside one of the churches.

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This month for the #1day12pics challenge I went with a theme again. It was suggested by Lauren who thought that “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” would be appropriate as I am getting married this month. It was great fun and not too hard to fit into the theme as it was the most beautiful blue sky day (which has since continued). I love this as it gives a great insight and will be a lovely reminder to me in the future of our first summer here in Trieste.

I took part using my iphone and posting on Instagram again, I did struggle a little bit to keep it to every hour but did take 12 pictures.

I thought I would share the pictures in reverse. Above is the gorgeous sunset that ended the day while we were having a bbq at our friends’ house. I am currently a little obsessed with the blue sky in the evenings. This was about 9pm and hence a big jump in the ‘hourly’ rate.

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6(ish): A new necklace (worn to bbq). Who says you can’t put a little effort in, even when hanging out with friends at home? | 5(ish): Blue plastic bottle (reflection) filled with ‘frizzante’ water. | 4(ish): Two churches in Trieste which are pretty old. The one on the left is 17th century and the one on the right is 12th century. Taken while walking home. | 3(ish): Trying a new gelato flavour.

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2(ish): reading in the shade. This seemed a popular book on my feed! I love this classic cover but this one from (I think) Rob Ryan is truly beautiful. | 1(ish) Shorts season! A new pair as I haven’t worn shorts in years but after the temperatures this week (a consisten 32ºC) think I will need a ton more. | 12(ish) Watching the world go buy while sitting on the pier. What better way to spend a blue sky day. | (11ish) Said blue sky.

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10(ish) Laundry feels more manageable when the sky will dry it in a few hours. 9 (ish) breakfast for two with ‘borrowed’ plates (ie come with the rental). It was about the only way I could squeeze borrowed in.

I haven’t shared the 12th picture of a fan which I took on waking up. We have an old ceiling fan. I have to say I just wasn’t that happy with the picture and will probably delete it from Instagram. I suppose the one problem with Instagram (and that I have particularly found with challenges) is that you just take and share and sometimes even as you are sharing it you know it is not your ‘best’ stuff. This is also a problem I have found with my ’100 happy days’ challenge’ as what makes me happy isn’t always that photogenic. Posting on a blog allows more time for consideration while as Instagram is … instant.

What are your thoughts. Have you gone back and deleted Instagram pictures?

Also don’t forget to link up if you took part and posted on your blog or Instagram.

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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.

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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?

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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!

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

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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.

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1015 Coming into Venice – still foggy (iphone pic)

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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.

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

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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).

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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?

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Do you normally treat yourself to a birthday outfit?

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