Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

October 19, 2011

Italy In Photos


Beauty. History. Wine. Laughter. More laughter. Pasta. Old friends. New friends. Sunsets. Olives. Breezes. More wine. More laughter. And lots and lots of walking.


Where to even begin?

So many good memories made over the last two weeks.

Here’s some of my favorites:


Riding bikes on top of the wall around the city of Lucca.


Visiting the Leaning Tower in Pisa.


I want to remember the people. A seriously wonderful group of people – about 40 total (including three husbands + Jim and Paolo). Some I traveled with to Greece last year and others who are new friends that now have a very special place in my heart. And of course it’s always awesome to spend time with Paolo. We’ve been friends since high school (going on 22 years now) and he is a really great travel companion.


Walking through the narrow streets of San Gimignano.


Lots of looking up.


And lots of looking out.


And seeing things through doorways and arches.


We visited two different wineries. Both were excellent in terms of food and wine and hospitality.



I want to remember the laughter. There was so much laughing on this trip. I don’t think there was a single bus ride without a bunch of people laughing at various times. It was a combination of Jim’s entertaining skills and the silliness that ensued within the group as the trip progressed.


Riding up the hill to Montecatini Alto on a funicular.


Always lots of talk about taking photos and lots of photo-taking action.


Just awesome.


We spent one day in Sienna.



I could eat pizza everyday – I think I just about did. I’m also a really big caprese salad fan.


It was less crowded than the last time I was there. That piazza is amazing anytime.


We spent a lot of time on the bus. Good times. A majority of the laughter seemed to occur on this bus. I love these people.


Riding the funicular with the Stahl sisters.


At the second winery we had a cooking demonstration and got to learn how to make pasta.



I want to remember the simplicity of making handmade pasta. We learned such a simple process using flour and an egg. I’m excited to try it out at home.


One day was spent at one of my favorite places the Cinque Terre. We visited Manarola, Vernazza, and Monterosso.


This was one of my most favorite spots when we visited as a family last summer. It came at the end of our trip and it was so awesome to arrive there and just hang out on the beach.


This time I loved that I was able to see two other towns. Each one is so unique.


Our last day in Tuscany was spent in Florence.



I loved the contrast between the two churches above – the ornate and the simple.

Florence Instax

I took about 90 Instax shots on this trip. Love them. Super fun to have others on the trip bring theirs along too. Lots of chatting about this fun image maker.


And then we headed off to Rome.


The Colosseum and part of the Forum in the background.


St. Paul’s Outside The Walls – one of my favorite churches.


The weather was just right the whole time we were there. Very mild. Loved seeing evidence of fall.


St. Peter's

St. Peter’s.

St. Paul "outside the walls" in Rome

St. Paul’s.


More Instax play.


And then there was the cappuccino. Yum. To be honest I never really knew that I liked it.


I definitely know now!

Saw this advertisement in the airport in Rome and loved the design.


All in all a really fantastic trip with wonderful people who I miss after spending two weeks together. Big thanks to Jim West for being himself and for inviting me to come along.

Looking for an international adventure with other people who love memory keeping? Next fall (late September) I’ll be traveling with Scrapmap and Karen Russell to Ireland for a photo and scrapbooking tour. More details to come soon.


  • 1.
    dawn said…

    Gorgeous pictures Ali, so many happy things. I’m glad it went well for you and there was laughter and friends both old and new. Sometimes that what our heart and souls need. Thanks for sharing all these amazing photos with us.

  • 2.
    Renza said…

    Ali… what emotion seeing these photos!
    Past summer I was in Chiavari during the month of August and I spent a day around the Cinque Terre by scooter! It was a beautiful day with my husband, these photos remember me that day!

    PS: I made a scrapbook on the road mini album about my august vacation!

  • 3.
    Sally said…

    Wow, Ali… Thanks for sharing the photos. Looks like an awesome trip! ~Sally

  • 4.
    Simona said…

    It’s really beautiful to know that you love my Italy… Roma, Siena, Pisa, Firenze and much others towns. You have been lucky to do this big trip.. I love cappuccino, too!

  • 5.
    k8 said…

    Let’s go back…….okay?


  • 6.
    Danielle said…

    Hi Ali,

    Thanks for sharing those great pics, love Italy and it’s atmosphere and food! Great idea those trips. Please keep me posted, cause I’m definitely interested!!

    Love Danielle

  • 7.
    Liz said…

    wow that is just amazing and all of those pictures tell quite a story…gorgeous

  • 8.

    Hi Ali
    Wonderful photos! OMG the food! and the architecture! Looks like you had an amazing trip. Marybeth (I think her name is marybeth) was on the trip with you, she’s a friend of a good friend of mine, can’t wait to hear how she liked it! I told hubby we’re going to Florence for our 20th anniv in 3 years…Thanks for sharing, am thinking about Ireland next year ;)

  • 9.
    Steph said…

    Hi Ali,

    So glad to hear that your trip was beyond amazing. Truly beautiful photos. Married to an Italian…our family get togethers look much like the table of food in one of the photos…the antipasto…mmm! And once you’ve had a true Espresso or Cappuccino made with love as it is in Italy, it changes you…(sorry Starbucks!). Food is such an amazing thing…they really have a different way about it, don’t they? Such an emphasis is placed on just slowing down, savouring a delicious meal made with the simplest of ingredients (often grown in their back yards) and enjoying good friends and family…nothing better! We all could take some lessons from them – just slow down and enjoy the moment…once you’ve been to Italy it is a phrase that goes so beyond the cliche scrapbooky-type sayings, “enjoy the moment” because in Italy, you really DO!

    Anyhow, so glad it was a great trip and I’m looking forward to hearing of the rest of your journey…

    As the Italian side of my family would say…ciao!

    • ….
      Steph said…

      Oh yeah, and a friend is getting married in Tuscany next Spring…I’ve told her to check out your blog to see your beautiful photos!

  • 10.
    ari said…

    What a wonderful trip to my beautiful country :D
    Your photos, both instax and “standard” are great!!

  • 11.
    Lisa W. said…

    Oh my./..this is absolutely breathtaking. I have been very excited to see these pics. AND I am sure still does not touch the surface of how beautiful it really was. THANKS so much for sharing. My dream is to go on that trip someday, AND to meet you would make my day…month…year…lifetime:) So glad your back safe and can’t wait to see what you do with some of these pics!!!!!

  • 12.
    Stefanie said…

    I am so sad that I missed it, hubby actually said I could go and then I realized that my oldest was writing his school leaving exams. Devastated, but I thought I’d spent 18 years getting him to this point and I couldn’t take off now. Next year maybe?

  • 13.
    Suzette said…

    I went to Italy this summer and I want to move there!!! We attended mass at St. Paul Outside the Walls and I LOVED it. Love your photos.

  • 14.
    Rebecca said…

    Ali, photos…beautiful! There’s nothing more to say….

  • 15.
    alida said…

    Just so beautiful!

  • 16.
    Paula G said…

    I really enjoyed your photos and journaling…it is my dream to be able to take a trip like this some day.

  • 17.
    Amanda said…

    … i feel as if i have been to italy … thank you for the gift <3

  • 18.
    Robyn said…


  • 19.
    Lora said…

    Wow, love the pictures! so beautiful! I want to go visit too :)

  • 20.
    April said…

    Ali, your photos are breathtaking. Italy has a special place in my heart even though I’ve yet to visit. My husband lived in Italy for two years and has shared so much of his experience with me that I feel I’ve been there. I know, hearing about it is just not the same as experiencing it. We look forward to a family trip as a family in the near future. It’s a trip I dream about all the time. Thanks for sharing this journey. I’m happy to hear you had such an incredible trip!
    Best Wishes,

  • 21.
    Wendy N said…

    Wow, I felt like I was right there with y’all!! Thanks for sharing your wonderful-awesome trip with us, loved the photos!!

  • 22.
    heidig said…

    Lovely pictures Ali. Just makes me want to go to Italy even more!

  • 23.
    Janette said…

    Italy is a place that I would LOVE to visit! Kinda feel that I’ve been there now! Awesome photos Ali. Thanks for sharing them with us!

  • 24.
    Tina Stryde said…

    Oh how I wish I had gone on this trip! You’re photos make me want to go back to Tuscany and take photos all over again. Glad you had a good time!

  • 25.
    Alice said…

    Looks like it was an amazing trip. The photos are beautiful.

  • 26.
    Amy said…

    Sigh. I *heart* Italy, especially Florence! :-)

  • 27.
    Allison M. said…

    Swoon – gorgeous photos Ali. I so want to go to Italy some day. The photos are beautiful and they remind me of time I spent in Aix-en-Provence, France during my university days.

  • 28.
    Alexandra said…

    spectacular!! so happy that you had a fabulous trip.

    would love to know which lenses you used if you get a minute.

  • 29.
    Pam Abbott said…

    Thanks for sharing Ali! The photos are amazing! You did such a great job capturing your trip. Thanks for sharing! Pam

  • 30.
    Beatriz Peñas said…

    Beautiful Italy, thanks for sharing your photos.


  • 31.
    Debbi G. said…

    Love your photos, Ali! Looks like an awesome trip. We are tossing the idea around about a family trip…have to decided if I can handle the $$..haha

    Please enlighten us on your Instax skills! Of the 90, how many are keepers? I have such a hard time with mine & yours look great!

    Thanks :)

    • ….
      Stephanie said…

      I agree Debbie! I would love if you could share some of your experience taking instax pictures. I love my instax but your pictures always look so amazing!

      And on another note Ali….are you doing One Little Word for 2012? My husband and I are planning on doing it together and I’m hoping you will offer it again! Will you post a new registration through the BPC website?

    • .
      Ali said…

      Yes – I’ll definitely be doing it again. More details coming soon.

  • 32.
    Eileen said…

    The photos are wonderful. I enjoyed reliving our travels and getting a peek at what you saw in Rome.

  • 33.

    jennifer olson

    are you going to put the rome pictures in your project life and how many did you take

  • 34.
    Deb J said…

    What a wonderful trip. I’m so glad you got to go and do this. Great pictures.

  • 35.
    Felicia Young said…

    Wow! Thanks for sharing the pictures! I only wish to I could go on a trip like that, you are very blessed Ali to be able to go and to hang out with such nice people.

  • 36.
    Nicky H said…

    Wow. Just wow.

  • 37.
    Jill said…

    Great to see these :) I have yet to upload my shots, but I’m super excited to see them on the big screen. Miss you all – it was a great trip. So happy I was able to go! xoxo, J

    • ….
      Andrea A said…

      hoping to upload mine this weekend. I love seeing everyone’s. I so enjoyed that trip- this week has been go-go-go in the sense of afterschool activities, work, etc., and I just really want a nice long dinner, maybe even with a glass of wine.

  • 38.
    Jennifer Levin said…

    Ali, your photos are stunning!! Thanks for sharing them. I’m so glad you had so much fun! I hope you’re feeling good as you settle back into life at home. Jet lag can be a real bummer sometimes!


  • 39.
    Carrie said…

    Absolutely stunning! So glad you had an amazing time.

  • 40.
    slmnontec said…

    Reminiscing about our trip to Italy. Venice was the best eveer!

  • 41.

    swoon…. thanks as always for sharing Ali :o )

  • 42.
    sansku said…

    I love Italy too. Lately I’ve been practising my Italian again. Maybe there’s a trip to Italy coming for me also. :)

  • 43.
    Jenni Hufford said…

    beautiful photos ali! looks like a wonderful trip with wonderful people!!! ireland is REALLY tempting me……. :)

  • 44.
    Brene said…

    Thank you for taking me on this adventure this morning. I needed a little Eat, Love, Pray!

    If you like BBC mysteries. Download the three episodes of Zen. You’ll love it. Set in Rome!

  • 45.

    Wow, what AWESOME photos! I’m so in LOVE with Italy and SO excited to go next September with our Scrapbook Retreat and the wonderful teachers! Thanks for sharing these photos and reminding me of why I wanted to do a retreat in Italy!!!! Sounds like you had an AMAZING time!

  • 46.
    Lisa said…

    Hi Ali –
    Your trip looks wonderful. I’m thinking about taking a similar one soon to celebrate my 40th, but I’m worried how hard it will be to travel & leave my 2 kids (7 & 9) behind for 2 weeks. How was it for you? I think the most I’ve been away from them since they’ve been born is 3 nights, and that was with my husband & we were still in the same time zone. So a 2 week international trip is a whole different ball game. I don’t want to miss this opportunity, but I’d love to hear from another mom how it feels — the good & the difficult. TIA for any advice & insights!
    - Lisa

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Lisa – for me it was really just fine, but I’ve traveled quite a bit away from home so it’s not really all that out of the regular routine around here. I’ve always said that I’m usually really ready to leave on the trip and then really ready to head home at the end. In my humble opinion I think travel is such a good way to remember who you are outside your family, your current roles, etc. Of course I miss my family while I’m away but I’m also doing something that is enriching and inspirational for me in my own personal life – there’s a whole lot of good in that ;) . There might be others who will chime in here who travel less that can address how it felt for them to be away from their kids for a couple weeks.

    • ….
      Lisa said…

      Ali – Thanks so much for your helpful response! :-)

  • 47.
    Emma Tandy said…

    What wonderful photo’s thanks for sharing, and I’m sure your love Ireland next year, my families from Ireland, the country and people are fantastic along with the Guinness xxx

  • 48.
    Tona said…

    It looks like you had a wonderful adventure.

  • 49.
    Jamie Stahl said…

    Way to go team. I haven’t even begun to sort through the massive amounts of photos…soon though, very soon. We’ve got some of Jim that are “golden”.

    • ….
      Jamie Payne said…

      I haven’t had a chance to take a look at my photos either. I’m hoping things slow down a bit next week so I can find some time. Hope your show goes well!

    • ….
      Mary Beth said…

      First I have to find the cable to get the pictures off the camera and onto the computer….so much fun looking at these photos, so many great memories. I miss you all – wonder if the Canadian ladies made it back from Venice and Rome…..? xo, mary beth

  • 50.
    Barb in AK said…

    Thanks for posting the photos, Ali. They brought back such wonderful memories of my two trips to Europe. I always loved Italy the most :-) Oh, how I’d love to go to Ireland, but big trips next year are out of the question for 2012.

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