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Ciao (hi)……just back from a 3 week Italian adventure with a friend celebrating her 50th birthday. And yes it stole my heart….had an amazing time!

I have had so many phone calls, emails and people asking me how my trip was and where I went. So, I thought I would share it all in an email.

Having both been to Italy before close to 17 years ago we chose not to revisit the main cities of Rome, Venice, Florence and so on since we had done it all before. Instead we chose to explore other famous and not so famous areas of Italy to absorb the culture, sights and hospitality.

These included Milan, La Spezia, Cinque Terra, Sicily (Syracuse, Catania, Taormina), Padova, Verona.

Cinque Terra was my favourite. I loved the outdoor adventure and camaraderie of the other international walkers, gorgeous scenery and being engulfed in small, friendly communities.

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It made me laugh when met up with other fellow Australians from Langwarrin and Mt Eliza on our travels. The world truly is a small place these days.

Another highlight was our day yacht trip from La Spezia – magical! We were set to see the Cinque Terra by sea that day but the swell was huge so instead chose to enjoy the large harbour of La Spezia instead of battling sea sickness. It was still unforgettable. Swimming in the Mediterranean waters off the shores of Portovenere……bellissimo!

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On our trip we chose to use Airbnb booking a few days ahead as we went to allow for flexibility if we found a wonderful spot off the beaten track. I would highly recommend it. Easy to use, has translation button and is in Australia dollars.

Milan, our first stop was full of life and we stayed in the old city area in an Airbnb private room and our host cooked and arranged a dinner party with friends and neighbours…..true Italian hospitality. Wonderful experience!

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The experience has yet again made me realise what a young country Australia is. We are not shrouded in thousands of years worth of history but we do have the most amazing landscape, open spaces – endless beaches with sand that goes on forever. Hard to find in Europe.
To my delight in Italy as Australians we were greeted with surprise, a smile and laughter…..saying we were a long way from home. I would agree with that after a 24 hour plane flight.

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In hindsight I would have learnt more Italian, since English was not widely spoken.

I am sure the magic of Italy will call me back to it’s shores in years to come.