Shitty Beds, Sexy Men, and Bastardized Balsamic {Italy, Part One}

Sunday & Monday August 28 & 29 // Venice, Italy

Sunday night we arrived in Venice late and immediately boarded a bus that would drop us at the water taxi. That ride was spectacular. It went down the grand canal and was right out of a movie. The scenery was stunning and it was amazing to see at night. It was like being in a dream. It didn't even look real and is unlike any other place in the world.

We got off in St. Mark's Square and walked around the corner into the idyllic, classic piazza. There was live music and it was very surreal. Our hotel was not far from the square and was your typical tiny, old Italian place, but it was private, clean and fine for one night. 

Monday morning we went to a great cafe right off of the Rialto Bridge and had super delicious lattes and croissants overlooking the grand canal. We went to the Rialto market afterwards and got fresh fruit that we ate while dangling our feet into the canal watching all of the boats go by. It was fucking magical. 

Soon after it started to get super hot and we started to lose our spunk. The streets were tiny and packed solid with other dumbass tourists. We walked around as best we could, but it was quickly becoming miserable. Thankfully though we stumbled down an alley into this incredible cafe that had individual pieces of bruschetta in a hundred different flavors. We each loaded up a plate with different amazing bites and had one of the best lunches of the trip. 

Our train still wasn't for several hours, but we went to the train station anyway because it was just too hot for walking and being out in it. Thankfully the station was beautiful and had a really nice shaded outdoor cafe that we could lounge in until it was time for our train to Modena. 

Monday, August 29-Thursday, September 1 // Modena, Italy

Our arrival in Modena was easy and our Airbnb apartment was beautiful and comfortable. We spent the next few days enjoying the wonderful town center. Kris hit the Ferrari museum....

Elizabeth and I found a beautiful man at the produce stand inside their daily farmer's market....

And we discovered an insane balsamic vinegar house. We'd read about it online and decided to just show up. It turned out to just be a giant house though, and we stood outside the gate nervous about intruding. I just lurched forward and hit the buzzer, and thank fuck for that. A cute old Italian man came out and got us and said something about the tour having just strarted. We didn't know about any tour and weren't there for that, but it just worked out so perfectly and we jumped in like we were there on purpose. 

The tour was eye opening and we learned so much about proper balsamic vinegar. It made me sad how much we have bastardized it and gotten so far away from this beautifully crafted product. Literally my eyes filled with tears when I tasted my first sample. It was one of those moments I'll always remember. And of course we bought a bottle. It was the best fifty bucks we've ever spent. 

Thursday, September 1st // Perugia

After a few days in Modena, we made a quick stop in Perugia - a tiny hill town in Tuscany where we spent an emotional roller coaster of a month two years ago. It was really nice to go back there and visit some of our favorite spots. Our friend, Alessio, put us up in one of his family's apartments and it was beautiful - like the penthouse of the building and totally decked out. 

The very next morning we had a magical coffee experience at our favorite spot...

......before hopping on a train for Rome, another train to Naples, and then a ferry to Sorrento.

Friday, September 2nd-Tuesday, September 6th // Sorrento, Italy

Our Airbnb host picked us up at the ferry and drove us around the town center for a little tour before heading up the hill to his villa where we were staying in a guest house. 

The view from our patio was breathtaking and *almost* made up for the ninety five year old mattresses that we had to sleep on for four nights. It was nice being up in the hills though and we took the time to do tons of writing, cook at home, and basically do nothing for the weekend.