Posts tagged Italy

Scuba Diving (and Almost Dying) in Ponza, Italy

An easy day on the water relaxing and scuba diving they said. And it was, until that part I nearly died. Maybe that is a little overblown for the sake of drama, but when you are meters deep below the surface with lead weights strapped to you starting to fall unconscious, you might freak out as well. Everything began and ended fine, because I wouldn’t be writing to you today and showing you this gnarly video if I was dead, but there was an in between bit that I thought I was doomed.

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Featured Country: Italy

Ever since I was a wee little boy, Italy was the country I dreamed of seeing over everything else. It was probably the badass gladiatorial culture that fascinated me as a youngin’ but as I got older it was the history and impact on the world that drew my curiosity. I never thought I would see it, like it was a fantasy place from movies. But after I had to leave Thailand because of the military coup, Italy was my first choice to visit. Over the course of a month… Read More

Get Green! Explore Fontanaro Organic Wine and Olive Estate in Umbria.

The moment I stepped foot in the backyard of Il Fontanaro, I knew I was going to quite enjoy myself. Maybe it was Bob humming along as he cut the lawn, or maybe it was the pool beyond the hedges the overlooked the green gum-drop dotted hills around, or maybe it was the hammock swaying in the breeze (after all, hammocks make everything better). Maybe it was the drive through the valley that did it, or the old brown dogs that greeted us after passing by the family vegetable garden. Even… Read More

A Traditional Italian Dinner at Campodalto Eco-Villa in Umbria, Italy.

Family values are a big thing in Italy. And even bigger, are the enormous and lengthy family style dinners that Italy is famous for. And while staying at Campodalto in the hills of Umbria, I had my first experience which made a lasting memory. Something happened to me during the five days of my stay in the hills of Umbria. On that hour or so ride from Rome late at night to Paciano where a 10-day blog tour of Italy would be kicking off, I could not have imagined what it… Read More

Weekly Photo Mojo: Fireflies light up the hillside in Umbria, Italy.

Up in the hills above the 15th century town of Paciano Italy and overlooking the countryside of Umbria sits the villa of Campodalto. At the beginning of my 10-day blogger tour through Italy, this sight was one of the more unexpectedly memorable ones — and it happened on day one after arriving late night to Campodalto where we would stay during our time in Umbria. I just remember wandering outside and into the back lawn that was pitch black. The distant town lights glowed, but the sea of fireflies overpowered… Read More

Paradise in Italy: Staying at Frontone Beach Villa on Ponza Island

It’s not every day that you get to look out of your window and see the ruins of a 15th century palace. Or fortress. Or house of a wealthy family. Whatever it was atop that hill across from our villa on Isola di Ponza — that crumbling structure barely clinging to whatever historical moment in time it came from — it was a magical sight. Something out of one of my fantasies. I always dreamed of exploring ruins and castles as a young boy, but I had never thought I’d… Read More

Weekly Travel Photo: Il Trasimeno Lake in Umbria, Italy.

Long golden grass dancing on a gentle wind, bright yellow and purple wild-flowers peeking out of the hills, dark green-brushed mountains in the distance climbing out of the horizon and surrounding the turquoise lake shimmering under the summer sun. This is Il Trasimeno Lake in the region of Umbria in Italy. Here, our blogger group on tour around Italy began a hike with UmbriAction that would take us through the hills around the lake, showing us the beautiful and unique agriculture and wildlife. Though we had quite a hike ahead,… Read More

From Umbria to Ponza: 10 Days of Travel Around Italy

Oh how the adventures of backpacking can swing dramatically from lows and highs. Trust me, I would know, because for a chunk of my time in Italy and across parts of Eastern Europe I was living on bread and ketchup as my budget bottomed out and I was left pondering what to do next. Well, slightly freaking out. And then, the next thing I knew I was on a blog tour around parts of Italy with a group of bloggers, dining on some of the best culinary traditions of Italian… Read More

Eating Italy: A tantalizing food tour in Trastevere.

Someone once said, “The best way to experience a culture is to taste it“. As it turns out, searching all over the interwebs for this tastebud philosopher who said this turned up no results. So, I am claiming this quote, since it is truly the way to experience Italian culture. And my backpacker belly definitely says I indulged… Across the Tiber on the western bank of the river sits Trastevere, a neighborhood of winding corridors and a labyrinth of tight cobble-stone lined streets with deep-rooted history to Rome. Though the people… Read More

Of Blood and Sand: Wandering the Roman Colosseum and Hypogeum

The Roman Colo-freaking-sseum. It was finally about to happen. I had waited almost 18-years of my life after the fateful day when I picked up one of those ginormous glossy “History of Ancient Rome” books bigger than my torso that, in all honesty at age 8, was fascinating only because of the nifty section chock full of weaponry. My eyes were dazzled by the scenes of brutal arena combat, the fascinating architecture, the kick-ass photos of armor and weapons, and the perfectly executed warfare of the Romans. Oh, and of… Read More

A Walk Through the Fascinating Roman Forum

It had only been a couple of days since I had arrived in Rome and fulfilled a childhood dream, and even though I had been in the city for a relatively short period of time, I had already managed to get hopelessly lost in the Eternal City. After taking it easy that night, and doing some light exploring the next day, I figured it was time to get to know the history and the city a bit better. I very rarely take tours in cities.  Wandering a city with no predetermined… Read More

Fail Tale: Lost in Rome on Arrival

There I was, frumped down on a gum-covered curb, arched backward by the gravitational pull of my now encumbering backpack, with my tech bag (which weighs a hefty amount on its own) sagging down my chest and in between my spread out legs — not much unlike a fat and floppy baby. A bead of sweat crept slowly from beneath my fedora, one which I had purchased in Thailand as my shining new adventure hat, now bent and beaten and grimy. That bead of sweat made its way across the squished… Read More

Weekly Travel Photo: Meeting an Octopus in Italy

On a recent blogger tour around Italy, we visited the island of Ponza, about two hours south of Rome and a three-hour ferry ride. While there, I had the chance to go scuba diving for the very first time and took along my GoPro to capture the moment. And one such moment was with this little octopus that we found under a rock at the sea-bed. Now, personally I’ve never met an octopus, but it seemed much obliged to meet me. Given the uber cuteness and subtle hilarity of this photo,… Read More

The most beautiful landscapes from around the world

This week’s #Frifotos theme on Twitter is the subject of landscapes. And even though I’ve just began traveling, I’ve had the opportunity to gaze upon some absolutely jaw dropping scenery from North America to Canada, Haiti to Thailand, and Cambodia. And now, as I begin traveling through Europe, I have finally been able to take in some landscapes in Italy as well. Here are my picks, in no certain order, from my own photos of the most beautiful landscapes from around the world that I have visited. CAMBODIA  Angkor Wat… Read More

Arriving in Rome: Was my childhood dream fulfilled?

And so the lost boy arrived in the Eternal City. But I hadn’t actually arrived yet. Having an aisle seat made me envious of the red-shirted woman with the views out the window. But the worst part of that envy wasn’t because her face was smushed against the window and she was wide-eyed at the Italian landscape below — it was because that woman was dead asleep as we began our descent. Oh how I was tempted to just lean right over her to peer out the window. But I suspected… Read More

Weekly Travel Photo: Immersive panoramic bubble of the Pantheon in Rome.

  Here is an immersive photo bubble of the Pantheon in Rome — one of the most important and best preserved structures from the ancient empire dating its construction back to between 118 AD to 125 AD. This temple was dedicated to the pagan gods of Rome and is one of the best examples of Roman engineering and architecture with the massive and detailed dome and oculus at the top. *Ignore the partially dismembered people, creating a bubble in this busy of an attraction was a tad difficult!* Since the… Read More

Weekly Photo: Into the Roman Colosseum’s Hypogeum Where the Gladiators Awaited Death.

  Imagine yourself as a gladiator of Rome, a slave warrior, deep under the enormous Flavian Amphitheater awaiting battle. The thunderous noise of 50,000 rabid Romans rumbles the roof above, but you cannot see a thing. Their stomping and shouting sounds the exact same as a foreboding storm rolling toward you. It is pitch black, besides the brief and fleeting light of a dim torch that occasionally flickers on the uneven stone walls, casting long and ghastly shadows which crawl over the ceiling. Somewhere in that darkness the feral roars… Read More