My heart fills with amore whenever I think of Italy.

It’s bittersweet to think that we’ve already moving toward the end of our Italian adventure, well at least for this visit.

Firenze with its many charms continues to be full of surprises, especially when you cross the Arno River and head south into the neighbourhoods where the locals live.

Our destination was the Porta Romana.  This 13th century city gate with its huge wooden and iron gates truly is a throwback in time.

After taking a few snaps with my camera we stopped at the Bar d’Angolo for coffee.  What a fabulous people watching spot!

This microcosm of Italian life where the locals, all well known to the server behind the counter, grabbing their morning espresso on the way to work as laughter and banter filled the air.

It was a sweet find…

In the afternoon we were on a quest to find the bag that Judy had spotted the day before as we roamed the back streets of Florence.

Easier said than done, seemingly scouring our recollected memories of the street that she had seen it.  After a fruitless afternoon we agreed that it just wasn’t to be but had worked up a significant appetite with more than16,000 steps.

After a quick shower and freshen up we decided to visit the local Trattoria across the street from our hotel.

Another great find!

The Trattoria La Madia was established in 1956 and family run since then.  We shared a pasta and seafood with lobster which was delicious!

The food and cosy atmosphere were a perfect way to end our day.  If you go to Florence, we highly recommend a meal at this fabulous family run restaurant.

Our next destination was a bed and breakfast in the countryside outside Grosseto.

From Florence we drove west to Livorno before taking the coast road the three hours down to Grosseto and then onto Casale Sterpeti.

We went from the hustle and bustle of Florence and the swarms of tourists to an idyllic country setting in southern Tuscany.  The B&B was surrounded by rolling hills full of vineyards and olive groves and a lovely place to unwind.

Strangely travelling can be stressful and so it’s important to intersperse intensity with low key places to help break up a trip and to take it easy.

Spending two delightful days driving through the countryside and exploring hilltop towns was my idea of bliss.  One of the closest towns to our accommodations – Magliano in Toscana sits within the walls of a ancient castle, with its walls still intact.

Some incredible views of the surrounding village and countryside from the castle walls.  Of course, I was as happy as a clam with my camera snapping away.

In all, I took about 2500 photos on our trip…

Over two thousand on my DLSR and another 500 or so on my iPhone.  I’m yet to curate these, but when I do stay tuned to my various social media channels for some captivating shots.

During our stay we decided to have dinner in the village, and not surprisingly it has several highly rated restaurants.

We were pleasantly surprised with Osteria La Poventa Di Scarsellini Fedrico.  They had a great selection of local fare and delightful red wine on hand.

Ther perfect meal topped off with Tiramisu.

One of Italy’s favourite desserts, Tiramisu can be found in just about every restaurant in Italy.

Judy and I tried them at each of the restaurants we ate in during our visit…

So decadent!

Interestingly, there were some differences based on the region in terms of recipe, consistency and ingredients.

However, we both agreed that the best one was at the Grand Hotel Tritone, near Priano on the Amalfi Coast.

Our final leg of our Italian adventure brought us back close to Rome.  As you’ll remember, we missed out on seeing Rome because of the six-day delay in Dubai,

I had booked us into the QC Termeroma which is nestled between the airport and the coast just outside Rome.

The drive down from Casale Strepeti to our final destination was an easy one. We decided to drop the car off at the airport and Uber back to the spa.

We spend a lazy afternoon in our dressing gowns enjoying the sauna and afternoon drinks in the garden before we were inundated by a large storm.

Our flight wasn’t until the evening and so we had a day to spare…

Perfect for a day in Rome exploring some of the sites.

This was Judy’s first time in Rome, and although relatively rushed we did get to walk much of the city and see many of the sites including the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, Forum and Cirus Maximus.

Not bad given the amount of time we had to spend.

There is no question it had been an eventful trip for a host of reasons, but our time in Italy will be one we will fondly remember.

Strangely, after being back in Australia we both are a little homesick for Italy…

Interesting isn’t it to miss somewhere you’ve only visited briefly but have such a strong attachment to.

I guess we’ll have to start planning our next Italian adventure now!

Until next week