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.

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107 thoughts

  1. dawn says…

    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.

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  2. Renza says…

    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!

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  3. Sally says…

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

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  4. Simona says…

    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!

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  5. k8 says…

    Let's go back.......okay?


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  6. Danielle says…

    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

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  7. Liz says…

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

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  8. Sue TR (Your Story 2011) says…

    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 ;)

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  9. Steph says…

    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!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Steph says…

      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 says…

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

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Lisa W. says…

    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!!!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Stefanie says…

    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?

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Suzette says…

    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.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Rebecca says…

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

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. alida says…

    Just so beautiful!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Paula G says…

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

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Amanda says…

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

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Robyn says…


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  19. Lora says…

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

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  20. April says…

    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,

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Wendy N says…

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

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. heidig says…

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

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Janette says…

    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!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Tina Stryde says…

    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!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Alice says…

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

    Reply 0 Replies

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