San Marino

Snapshots from San Marino (May 2018)

City of San Marino, the capital of tiny San Marino country; this is the view of the first tower and the city center from the second tower

San Marino proved to be a great destination for our first proper trip as a family. We arrived to San Marino on Friday evening and left on Monday morning which meant that we had two full days to explore the City of San Marino, the capital of the Republic of San Marino.

San Marino is a tiny independent country in northern Italy close to the Adriatic Sea. It’s the third smallest country in Europe (after Vatican and Monaco) and the oldest republic in the world. There are no borders between Italy and San Marino. The official language is Italian and the currency is euro.

San Marino town is perched atop Monte Titano which is the highest peak in the country at 739 m above sea level. There are several settlements in San Marino country called castelli (castles) and they are: City of San Marino, officially Città di San Marino, Acquaviva, Borgo  Maggiore, Domagnano, Faetano, Fiorentino, Montegiardino, Serravalle and Chiesanuova. Actually we drove through several of these on our way up to San Marino town and I’ve also visited Borgo Maggiore.

Enjoy the photos of beautiful San Marino town, the capital of Republic of San Marino.

secondtowersanmarino

viewofthirdtower

firsttowersamarino

Continue reading “Snapshots from San Marino (May 2018)”

Udine, Italy

Snapshots from Udine (April 2018)

Udine, Italy

Our first day trip abroad as a family with our baby boy V. was on a Sunday to Udine, Italy. Why did I choose Udine? A silly reason really. Some time ago I wrote a post where I mentioned a city I visited for each letter of the English alphabet. Of course, there were letters such as X, Y and Q for which I couldn’t add a city and it’s very unlikely that I’ll ever visit such faraway exotic places. But even though I haven’t visited a city whose name begins with letter U that at least could be easily rectified. You see, there’s a town called Umag in Croatia that I could visit but another thought came to my mind too: I could go to Udine, Italy. It’s not far away and it’s way more fun to visit Italy than to go to Umag which is actually a lovely seaside town famous as a venue for a major tennis tournament. Fast forward a year and I’m thinking about travelling with our baby when I remember my idea about Udine. Yes, that would be a perfect first day trip abroad with a baby since Udine is less than 2.5 hours away from us (one way). And I love Italy! So, that’s why we visited Udine.

As it turned out, Udine is a rather pretty Italian town with porticoes which I absolutely adore (I first saw them in Bologna). We spent our time in Udine walking around leisurely and taking in the sights. It was a sunny and warm day and our baby V. seemed to enjoy being out and about with us. He was a perfect little traveller 🙂 He clearly takes after his mum 😉 When I get the chance I’ll blog more about our visit so this post is just a teaser of what’s to come.

Enjoy the photos of Udine!

Udine

Udine, Italy

Continue reading “Snapshots from Udine (April 2018)”

Genoa, Italy

Postcard from Genoa, Italy

Bel paese (meaning beautiful country in Italian) is definitely a great term for Italy. While most of the people visit Venice or Florence or Rome, I doubt that many have ventured to historical port city of Genoa. Perhaps you went on a cruise along the Mediterranean and you embarked on your cruise ship in Genoa? But did you roam its gritty streets and have you seen its baroque palaces and lively squares? Did you know that Genoa is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus and that it once was a powerful merchant republic just like Venice? It even shares its flag with England ( St. George’s flag). A part of the old town of Genoa is inscribed on the World Heritage List (UNESCO) which is just another reason you should visit Genoa one day. And no, this isn’t a sponsored post 🙂 I dare you to give Genoa a chance.

the area around the Old Harbour

aquarium in Genoa
the biggest aquarium in Europe
Genoa, Italy
St.Lawrence’s cathedral
Genoa
the main square Piazza de Ferrari

Continue reading “Postcard from Genoa, Italy”

Sirmione (Italy): a photo-diary

Sirmione, Italy
the Scaliger Castle in Sirmione

Sirmione is a charming little Italian town on the Lake Garda. When it’s not overrun with day-trippers it offers tranquility and spa treatments at its many hotels. The symbol of Sirmione is the Scaliger castle (13th ct). You can climb its tower to get a nice view of the Lake Garda and the entire town. Once you cross the castle’s drawbridge you enter historical Sirmione. Another noteworthy attraction is the Grottoes of Catullus, the remains of a Roman private house, the largest such uncovered in the northern Italy. This villa is mentioned in the poems of the first famous resident of Sirmione who lived there in 1st century BC (the Roman poet  Gaius Valerius Catullus). There are several interesting small churches too. But the town’s claim to fame are its thermal springs. Many famous writers visited Sirmione such as Alfred Tennyson, Ezra Pound and James Joyce. I shouldn’t forget to mention the famous Italian writers Giosuè Carducci and Antonio Fogazzaro who wrote about Sirmione as well as the notorious Gabriele D’Annunzio who found the short-lived Italian Regency of Carnaro in Fiume (Rijeka, Croatia) with himself as the Fascist leader. English writer Naomi Jacob made Sirmione her home. One of the best opera singers of all times had a villa here too: Maria Callas.

Scaliger Castle, Sirmione
Scaliger Castle

Continue reading “Sirmione (Italy): a photo-diary”

Snapshots from London (May 2016)

Some things always bring a smile to my face: chocolate, cats and the sight of Big Ben, just to name a few. I love travelling and I’m sure that a lot of you fellow travellers have a favourite city, place, region or even a country but I also know that it might be difficult to explain to other people why you prefer one place over another when there are so many gorgeous places in this world.

London is loved by many but you might wonder what made someone from a small country by the sea (Croatia) fell in love so much with such a huge city. I’ve tried to explain it a bit before but I’ve come to realize that love cannot be explained. We are who we are and we love what we love even if it defies logic or reason. I’ve first visited London in 2006. Since then I’ve been coming back almost once a year, always finding new things to discover and always re-visiting my favourites. It was a coincidence that I booked my eleventh visit to London on 11 of May, 10 years after the first visit. I usually go to London with my best friend ( I also showed London to my husband when we visited Scotland) but this time I went alone.

I arrived to London on Wednesday evening and returned home on Sunday morning so I had 3 full days in London; 72 hours to wander, to admire, to take photos, to say goodbye.  I’ll write about my adventures but for now just a teaser of what’s to come. Enjoy 🙂

Paddington bear, London

Sky garden, London

St Paul's , London

Continue reading “Snapshots from London (May 2016)”