Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ireland & Italy: The Hotels

Over the course of our 14 day, 13 night trip to Europe last summer, we stayed in six different hotels and one villa. That's a lot of hotels!

I spent a lot of time on TripAdvisor prior to booking to research where we would stay as much as possible, and 6/7 of the places we stayed were great.

Since we were trying to keep to a pretty low budget, and our flights went about $500 over what we were expecting, we decided that we wanted to keep our total hotel budget under $1,000 per person, or around $150/room/night. With the exchange rate, this meant compromising on location or amenities in a few places.

Here's a run down of our hotels.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Florence, Italy

As I've mentioned before, Florence holds a special place in my heart. So you can imagine that I was a little bit disappointed that our time there didn't quite go as planned.

Our first challenge: We were exhausted. We had been rush rush rushing for 10 days by the time we got to Florence, and we just hit the wall when we got there.

Our second challenge: The weather was still ridiculously hot and humid!

We still managed to see what we wanted to in Florence, and I wouldn't have skipped it for the world. But I didn't get to show off the city in the way I had wanted to.

Florence's Duomo - the photos never really do it justice!

Monday, November 14, 2011

San Gimignano, Pisa & Cinque Terre, Italy

After the stunning Tuscan wedding, there were only a few short days left of our trip, but boy were we determined to make the best of them!

The first stop was San Gimignano, which I was SO excited to share with SAY, M and Shorty. See, I'd been talking about this town since I'd first been in 2003 (on the trip where I met BF), and we were all really looking forward to it, and to having a night in a small little town where SAY and Dr G could decompress after the craziness that is planning and executing a destination wedding in Italy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Big Fat Tuscan Wedding

I've been to quite a few weddings in the last few years. And while all of them had special, beautiful, memorable moments, none were quite as magical as SAY & Dr G's wedding at Tenuta di Corsano in Tuscany.

It could have been the build up: a stunning evening of delicious food in Siena, fireworks and fireflies...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Siena & Corsano, Italy

After a hot and crowded Rome, the breezy Tuscan countryside was just perfect. The weather was still HOT but there was much less humidity, making it a pleasant change!

We arrived in Siena in the early evening, and took a cab from the train station to our hotel. The train station in Siena is at the bottom of the hill the city is situated on, so cabs are a good way to get to the main areas.