Sixteen Photos of Magical Italy!

After sixteen days of touring Italy, it took hours to choose sixteen photos to highlight this magical trip. From the ancient walled city of Siena, Pisa, and a night’s stay in an old castle in Parma to the romantic city of Verona, the magical island of Venice, and the superb art and architecture of Florence.

That’s me, hanging out in the garden of our Airbnb outside the walled city of Siena, Italy. Yes, I wore tennis shoes the entire trip.

We stopped in The Chigian Art Café and were blown away by the multimedia exhibit of moving photographs.

A view of the walled city of Siena.

After eating very well and walking eight to ten miles per day, my husband, Danny, and daughter, Courtney, headed west to Pisa for an obligatory photo.

My black tennis shoes helped me push that heavy monolith.

We stayed in an old castle in Parma and visited the Parma Cathedral. I studied some of the same frescos at the University of Wisconsin. They look like statues, don’t they?

We stopped for a drink, and the waiter greeted us with a tiered aperitivo. No extra charge. That’s how they chill out in Parma. Nice!

After exploring Parma, we drove north to Lake Garda and glimpsed a hint of the architecture found in Verona.

The setting of Verona in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette makes this thriving city a hotspot for weddings and honeymooners. This is the fictitious balcony built in 1935 as part of a movie set.

Shhh! Don’t spoil it for the tourists.

I didn’t take a picture of a couple in wedding attire—the bride fuming while hitching up her dress and storming ahead of an angry groom. Both of them dragged carry-on bags, which jumped across the cobblestones of the Piazza Della Erbe. Did he show up late? Forget to contract a limo? Was he caught with a bridesmaid? Here’s a photo of a piazza at night.

The Verona Arena is a Roman Amphitheatre used for concerts, operas, and other entertainment. Ancient but still rocking!

Danny, Courtney, and I took a bike tour of the city. The cool and rainy day didn’t stop us from enjoying the views on top of the Castel del Pietro.

After savoring fabulous pastries, pasta, and desserts, we drove to the magical island of Venice.

Click on the video below for an indescribable view of Venice. Our frescoed and terrazzo-tiled Airbnb could have been in a photo shoot.

Need I say more?

Courtney’s fiancé, Dan, our son, Kelly, and his fiancé, Leksy, joined us for the last week of our trip. There is nothing quite like a gondola ride. Want to know what it’s like? Click for the next best thing:

This picture was taken right after our gondola rides.

After a few days of shopping, eating and eating and eating, and touring the city, we drove to Florence, where we stayed in a 13th-century tower. Incredible!

Kelly took a cat nap while I snuck a picture. All three stories of this ancient building were incredible.

Here’s a video of our neighborhood goat. LOL!

Since our Airbnb was situated on the hill above Calenzano, thirty minutes from Florence, we took the train into town to explore. On the last day, I drove into the heart of the city for our cooking class. OMG. Not only did it rain, but the roads are so narrow in Italy every turn is a nail-biter. By the way, despite their reputation, I found Italian drivers to be very courteous. No lie!

The art was amazing everywhere in Italy, but we made sure to see Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery. It’s so hard to depict the magnitude of this seventeen-foot piece, which towered over my head, so I took a closeup. At one point, I lost everyone in the crowd and texted Courtney.

“I’m looking at David’s butt,” she said. Found her!

We walked the 463 stairs to the top of the Duomo, checked out the Gucci museum, and an incredible perfumery, Santa Maria Novella. Click for my Instagram video below.

There’s more to come, but Halloween is on its way. In the meantime, I’m dreaming of Italy. Flights are so cheap right now. Want to go?

What’s your dream vacation? Have you been to Italy? Are you a Shakespeare fan?

37 thoughts on “Sixteen Photos of Magical Italy!

Add yours

  1. Susie, spectacular photos and what a trip! My wife and I have been to various parts of Italy and next summer will be doing it again – what’s so cool about this country is that you can drive between places as you did, and the train from Rome to Florence is not only the best way to get between the two but a gorgeous journey as well!


    1. Thanks, John!
      Yes! I loved the drivability of northern Italy. Kelly and Leksy took the train to Rome and the Amalfi Coast. They had a blast! Next time, I visit Italy, I plan to puddle-jump to Greece. My bucket list is enormous!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh My Goodness – You and Your Family look like you had a BLAST!!! There is nothing better (at least for me) exploring a foreign city with family in tow – we did that in Ireland a few years back. Italy is on my bucket list along with Belgium, Germany, Iceland, Copenhagen, et. al. SO APPRECIATE you sharing your magnificent trip – love arm chair traveling when I am not traveling traveling. Along with the tennis shoes if I go need to pack the elastic pants too – ha! Plus all that walking helps wear off the good eats. Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂


    1. Hello Renee!
      Yes, I ate two dinners a day and lost a couple of pounds. LOL! You’re right about family. I’m counting my blessings. I’m so glad everyone could come.
      I’ve been to Belgium and Germany, but would love to go to iceland and Copenhagen I have a HUGE bucket list!


  3. Great shots. I’ve had the great fortune to have 4 trips to Italy., which included Florence, Siena, Venice and Verona, but not all on the same trip. You covered a lot of ground in that time!


      1. Thanks, and likewise! I actually got a notification for your reply this time. So, I guess they fixed whatever was wrong that last year, or two…lol


  4. Thanks for bringing the magnificence of Italy to my tablet through those photos and videos. Your family is so beautiful!

    PS: My dream destination is UK. I’ve never been to Italy. I’m a Shakespeare exhaust fan!


    1. Thank you so much. We are so lucky to be a able to travel together.

      GOOOOOO!! I would love to return to Italy or the UK. Traveling has become my favorite pastime.

      Good to see you, Uma!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: