A Day in Portofino

A Day In Portofino
A Day In Portofino

Today I’m sharing the last of our photos from our Italy trip. For our last day in Italy we took a train to Portofino. The ride was a little over two hours, but the trains are so hassle free that I just brought a book and the time flew by. Once we got there we hopped on a bus from the train station to Portofino itself, and spent a few hours gazing at the sights and window shopping.

A Day In Portofino

We ate fresh sea food for lunch. I had a bellini, which was superb, and I also got really excited that the menu called a vodka cranberry with lime a Cape Codder. I grew up spending my summers at our family’s home on the Cape, so I love that Cape Cod is noted even in one of the world’s most famous resort towns.

A Day In Portofino

There are designer boutiques all along the harbor, along with charming restaurants and a sculpture garden.

A Day In Portofino
A Day In Portofino

There is also a path to climb up the hillside, where we saw the most stunning views. I don’t really have the words to describe how wonderful and beautiful this place is. I am a person who likes to be on the go, even on vacation, but time seemed to stop in Portofino. I could have spent the entire day just sitting on a bench looking at the harbor.

A Day In Portofino

We decided to dress preppy for the occasion to fit in with the yacht-setting locals. I wore my blue and white Brewster dress, which is perfectly for almost any occasion. It is light and comfortable, rarely wrinkles and always feels pretty and flattering. I also wore my straw hat (similar, under $15) and my Supergas, though I did take them off to dip my toes in the water.

A Day In Portofino

Look at how clear the ocean is. I have a major seaweed phobia, so the sight of ocean water without a speck of kelp really speaks to me, haha.

A Day In Portofino
A Day In Portofino

Some final photos of the harbor.

If you are in Italy I highly, highly recommend taking a day to relax on the Ligurian coast. It is just magical. I can’t wait to go back one day. Fingers crossed.

Dress

Hat (similar, under $15)

Sneakers

Folding Sunglasses

Thank you guys so much for following along on our adventure and all your sweet comments. It’s been so much fun to share my experience with all of you, and if anyone has any questions about planning a big trip please reach out with questions! I love sharing travel tips and tricks, and helping other people have a great vacation.

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A Day On Lake Como

A Day On Lake Cuomo
Lake Cuomo

The last three days of our Italy trip we stayed in Milan and did day trips outside the city. After seeing The Last Supper and the Milan Duomo we spent a day on Lake Como. It is a little over an hour outside the city by train, and it is magical there!

A Day On Lake Cuomo

We could see why Goerge Clooney bought a vacation home there the minute we stepped of the train. The mountains rise right out of the lake, like something out of a story book. All of the homes are built into the sides of the mountains, gradually rising into the clouds. The water is full of sail boats and fishing vessels, and many of the restaurants catch fish for their dishes every day.

A Day On Lake Cuomo

We ate lunch at a restaurant overhanging the lake and the food was delicious. If you are going to Lake Como anytime soon, or any vacation spot for that matter, I highly recommend making a reservation. Places tend to fill up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on a great meal because the place is booked.

A Day On Lake Cuomo
A Day On Lake Cuomo

After lunch we took the ferry (it goes all over the lake, and was inexpensive. It’s a great way to see all the little towns, and to float in the middle of the water!) over the Bellagio. It is built onto the mountain and provided stunning views of the lake. We hiked up to the top of the visitor path area, and sat in a park for a while admiring the sights.

A Day On Lake Cuomo

We also had to stop for gelato, of course.

A Day On Lake Cuomo

I wore my Persifor dress (similar, on sale) in the sail boat print, which seemed fitting. I also wore my trusty Superga Cotu sneakers. Can you guys tell how much I love these shoes? I wear them almost every day. They are so comfortable and cute. I love the way they look paired with a dress. I also carried my folding Ray Bans, which fit nicely in the camera bag, and my packable bow backed hat. This hat can fold up, and pops back in to place when you take it out of your suitcase. It shaded my face nicely, it’s still hot on the lake in August, and I adore the bow. I mean, it’s a giant bow on a sunhat! What’s not to love?

A Day On Lake Cuomo

Similar Dress / Hat / Sneakers / Sunglasses

The lake is so magical. It’s amazing that it is such a famous resort destination but still had a very relaxed chill vibe. I can’t wait to go back one day. I’ll have to work on getting an invitation from the Clooneys. ;)

What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited?

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A Day In Milan

Doesn't the lion looks furious about all of the pigeons?

Doesn't the lion looks furious about all of the pigeons?

The next stop in our Italy vacation was a day in Milan. We stayed in the city for three days, taking day trips to Lake Cuomo and Portofino for two of the days. The city is a lot different than Rome or Florence. There were modern sky scrapers and office buildings, along with above ground train tracks. It felt more industrial, but still featured beautiful Renaissance construction.

Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper

We spent the first day entirely in Milan and saw the Duomo, Milan's enormous Cathedral, and Leonardo DaVinci's Last Supper.

Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper

I hadn't realized that The Last Supper is painted on the actual wall of a church, so everything about the painting was a complete surprise. The painting truly was awe inspiring, it seems to glow despite how faded it is. 

Milan Duomo
Milan Duomo

The Cathedral is simply massive. It looks a little like a giant frosted cake. The level of detail on the outside is just amazing. Every carving is different, and there are hundreds of them. We opted to take the elevator up to the roof, and were able to actually walk around the roof of the church and look out on the city. The first time I've been on the roof of a church, haha. It was a little scary to be honest, but if you aren't afraid of heights it's worth it to have such a spectacular view.

Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper

I opted to wear my hat and my Gal Meets Glam Lauren dress (on sale) since shoulders and knees had to be covered to enter the church. It was very hot that day, so I wanted something modest but also lightweight. In addition I wore my trusty Superga sneakers. This is my second pair since I wore through my other ones after a few hundred miles of walking. They are so comfortable and look cute with dresses.

I also want to mention that this Gal Meets Glam Lauren dress is currently 40% off. It is one of my favorite pieces and well worth the price, I think. The shape of the dress is so unique, and reminds me of the dresses of old Hollywood movie stars. It's also quite flattering, and I love the orange and brown print, though it also comes in a blue print. It dry cleaned well, and runs true to size (though if you have a larger chest I would size up). 

Have you ever been to Milan? Or on the roof of a church? 

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Day Trip to Florence

One of the days we stayed in Tuscany we took the train on a day trip to Florence. What a gorgeous city. It has such a unique blend of beauty and history, and the food was wonderful. While we where there we saw the Florence Duomo, enjoyed a guided tour of the Uffizi  gallery with City Wonders tour company and...took 3 story a potato sack slide! When you top this off with some of the best pizza and gelato I have ever eaten you have a pretty perfect day.

Day Trip to Florence

This is the Ponte Vecchio, a bridge built in the 13th Century. It is famous because shops still line the bridge all the way across, as used to be the custom. Walking across it felt like stepping back in time. 

Day Trip to Florence

Isn't this pizza glorious?! We got it at Mangia Pizza and it was just as good as it looks.

The Uffizi museum was breathtaking. Paintings like the Birth of Venus were even more stunning in person than I expected. I left feeling inspired, and excited to visit the many museums in D.C. Also, if you are planning a trip to Florence anytime soon I highly recommend booking your Uffizi tickets through a skip the line tour ahead of time. The line was quite long, and tickets to the museum were sold out that day if you didn't pre-purchase your tickets. We scheduled our tour the day before, and got one of the last English speaking tour time slots available with any company. 

Day Trip to Florence

This potato sack slide was such a surprise. We were wandering the beautiful streets and came upon it. It was so fun to slide down, and surreal to ride a giant slide in a Medieval building! 

Day Trip to Florence

For the trip I wore my Persifor Carter dress (on sale) again. I didn't want to bring a bag because my shoulder was hurting me (an old injury) and it was supposed to rain. The two pockets on the front this dress were the perfect solution - they held my ID, credit card, phone and my folding sunglasses (which by the way are so convenient. The fit in even the smallest bag). 

Day Trip to Florence
Day Trip to Florence

It was a perfect day, and I hope to go back for longer some time in the future. There is so much to see, and the city is so beautiful. Have you ever been? I'd love to hear about your adventures! 

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A Bike Ride In Tuscany

A Bike Ride In Tuscany
A Bike Ride In Tuscany

After our time in Rome we took a train to the Tuscan region of Italy. We stayed at a lovely villa, the Castel Monastero, right outside of Sienna. If you are ever looking for a resort in Tuscany I highly recommend it. The staff was so friendly and kind, the rooms are beautiful and the food was divine. It was a little slice of heaven for three days, and a perfect place to spend our one year anniversary. 

A Bike Ride In Tuscany
A Bike Ride In Tuscany
A Bike Ride In Tuscany

One of the days there we rented bicycles and went on a ride through the countryside. We cycled past countless acres of vineyards, which felt like riding through a day dream. Around every bend in the road was another gorgeous view, and a perfect place to stop for pictures. I wore some J.Crew shorts and my favorite white tee ever. It's so soft and comfortable and not at all sheer. That, my favorite sneakers (Superga is an Italian brand so that worked well!) and lots of SPF and I was good to go. 

A Bike Ride In Tuscany

White tee / Shorts / Sneakers / Folding Ray Bans 

The beginning of our ride was mostly uphill, which made for a very fun and quick ride home! After riding my bike in Florida for a few years I wasn't used to cycling uphill for so long! It worked out well, however, because the ride home took no time at all - if you can tell from the clouds we just missed thunderstorm. We got back to the hotel with just enough time to jump in the pool to cool off and then eat some of the bread and cheese we found at a local grocery. 

A Bike Ride In Tuscany

Riding through the vineyards is one of our favorite memories from the trip, and we can't wait to ride around the D.C. area to explore and enjoy the sights. If you go on a trip anywhere before the snows hit I recommend renting bikes. It's a great way to see the scenery up close and make an amazing memory.

Have you gone on any memorable bike rides lately? 

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Gal Meets Glam Dress in Italy

Today I'm sharing photos from our day in Vatican City. We booked the tour through City Wonders, and it was an amazing experience. The tour included an open air bus ride around Vatican City and the gardens, which are stunning. I highly recommend touring the gardens if you ever get to go; they are not part of most tours, and are not available every year, so seeing them and the included sculptures felt extra special. As a practicing Catholic visiting the Vatican meant an enormous amount to me on a spiritual level, but I sincerely believe that no matter what your faith is you will find beauty and meaning in the works of art, gardens and statutes throughout the country. It's truly a slice of the past few thousand years of human history all in one stunning location. 

Gal Meets Glam Lauren Dress

To enter St. Paul's Basilica you have to have your shoulder's and knees covered. I decided to wear a long dress because the weather was far too hot for pants. My Gal Meets Glam Lauren dress (on sale!) seemed perfect! It's demure but lovely, and I loved the feeling of the dress swishing around my legs as we walked through the museums and property all day. I also wore my new favorite hat (essential in the summer heat) and a cross body bag so that my hands were free to take pictures. 

Gal Meets Glam Lauren Dress

Dress (on sale!) / Hat / Bag

The Vatican
The Vatican

Doesn't the dome look like part of a dream? The Churches in Italy are breathtaking, I can't wait to share the Florence Duomo and Milan Duomo with you. The fact that human hands built such enormous structures full of so much beauty before the age of machines will never cease to amaze me. 

Have you even been to the Vatican? Or any other structure that you can't believe human hands built? I'd love to hear! 

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Ancient Wonders

Roman Forum

On the second day of our Roman Holiday we booked a tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum. We booked through the tour company City Wonders and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the tour. We used them for the Colosseum, the Vatican and a tour in Florence and every tour guide was knowledgeable, prompt, answered questions and spoke excellent English. The tour groups were not larger than 20 people and we skipped all the lines, which in some cases were very long. 

Roman Colosseum

For the Colosseum tour we opted to also see the newly underground area. This is the behind the scenes area of the stadium, and is only recently opened to the public. I found Roman engineering fascinating, and really enjoyed seeing the staging area. There was even an elevator for lifting gladiators and animals into the stadium! Imagine, an elevator in the first century A.D. 

Roman Colosseum

The tour also included the Roman Forum, which was at the heart of Roman life. I found the triumphal arches particularly breathtaking. The level of detail in the sculpture is amazing, as is the fact that such detail has lasted so long. 

Roman Forum

It was very hot out, so I wore an older Lilly Pulitzer t-shirt dress that I knew would be cool. I also wore my new boater hat. The hat ended up being an excellent choice; the tour was so bright that some people bought them from street vendors before the tour started. If you are going on vacation to a hot location anytime soon, I highly suggest bringing a hat. I felt stylish, and did not get a sunburn (I also wore SPF, of course). 

Lilly Pulitzer Dress
Lilly Pulitzer Dress

Hat / Dress (similar)

What I found the most stunning about the ruins is how they pop out at you in the middle of a modern city. Wedged in between a burger joint and a gelato joint is the Colosseum, in remarkable condition, after almost 2,000 years. I truly felt so blessed to be able to see it. 

Does anyone have any Roman or Italian history book suggestions? I haven't studied it since high school, and I feel so inspired to put my student cap back on and brush up on my ancient history!

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