three hours in syracuse

On this trip to Sicily I really wanted to see Syracuse. I had only heard about this beautiful city from people that had visited but I never had the chance to see it. The only problem being a tourist in August is the heat. That’s why during the day people stay at the beach and in the evening they are all walking around the sights and of course it’s high season so there were a lot of people.

We arrived just in time for sunset but we really had little time before dark so we rented a bike tour guide that took us around the Ortigia Island which is the most beautiful and popular tourist part of Syracuse.  

I only wish we could have had more time. It felt like a ran through the city taking lots of pictures and hoping for the best. Next time I really want to spend at least a couple of days. After sunset we had a nice seafood dinner and then drove back to Marina di Ragusa.

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san lorenzo beach and marzamemi

During our vacation we decided to spend one day at the San Lorenzo beach close to the Riserva di Vendicari on the east cost of Sicily. It took us almost two hours to get there from Marina di Ragusa but it was worth it. The beach was amazing, and the water was all shades of blue. During high season it can get crowded but that goes for all popular locations all over Italy. On our way back we stopped by this very cute little fisherman’s town called Marzamemi for some great Sicilian granita.

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destination sicily

Here we are in beautiful Sicily. This year we decided to take a plane instead of driving somewhere so we could save time. Isabella was super exited. Destination: Marina di Ragusa.

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We rented an apartment with a beautiful view of the sea, situated not far from the beach but not walking distance. The positive side is that we have parking, a terrace so we can eat outside and an amazing swimming pool. Oh yes and the garden is beautiful too. The down side is that we have to drive to the beach but this way we can explore more.

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oregon and more

Last month I attended our annual Summit in Seattle for Microsoft. I decided to land in Portland the weekend before to spend some time with my brother. I arrived on Friday and we decided to go on a road trip around Oregon sightseeing and taking pictures. Oregon State is amazing: desert, ocean, rivers, canyons, forests you name it. Too bad we didn’t have more time. Here are some pictures of our favorite places we visited.

DAY 1

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Indian Reserve Warm Springs, Oregon

Indian Reserve Warm Springs, Oregon

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Lake Billy Chinook, Oregon

Lake Billy Chinook, Oregon

Lake Billy Chinook, Oregon

Lake Billy Chinook, Oregon

Lake Billy Chinook, Oregon

Lake Billy Chinook, Oregon

DAY 2

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See See Motor Coffee Co., Portland, Oregon

See See Motor Coffee Co., Portland, Oregon

See see Motor Company Co., Portland, Oregon

See see Motor Company Co., Portland, Oregon

St. Johns Bridge, Oregon

St. Johns Bridge, Oregon

Long Beach, Washington

Long Beach, Washington

Long Beach, Washington

Long Beach, Washington

Long Beach, Washington

Long Beach, Washington

Long Beach, Washington

Long Beach, Washington

Astoria. Oregon

Astoria. Oregon

Astoria, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon


eternal city

During my stay in Rome a few weeks back we spent one afternoon on a walking tour of the city.  We started from the Colosseum and ended in Piazza Navona. What a wonderful photo opportunity and a great way to spend the afternoon. We were also lucky with the weather. It ended up being the only sunny day of the week but super cold. During my stay we were guests of the La Borghesiana House which you can see in this post here.

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when in rome, do as the romans do

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.... I spent 4 days for work in this wonderful guest house, 30 minutes outside of Rome: La Borghesiana. Really different from a normal hotel concept.  I believe it’s for businesses and company events only but they really make you feel at home. The rooms are super comfortable and cozy. The food was amazing. They are managed by Châteauform. Here are some pictures of this wonderful venue.

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2019 on top of the world

Happy New Year! Our 2019 started with a trip on the Bernina Train from Tirano to St. Moritz. We wanted to take Isabella on a train ride since she loves trains so much and we wanted to see the snow and spend a day on top of the Alps and of course take pictures of this adventure.

We don't ski so we usually don't go to the mountains very often, but we spent New Year’s at our friends’ house in Teglio so we figured it was an easy trip. Unfortunately, we didn't consider that we stayed up late celebrating 2019 the night before and we had to wake up Isabella very early on the 1st of January. She was not very happy. The two and a half hours on the train both ways were not easy. She was tired all day and the trip was too long for her. She also didn't like the snow and kept asking to go to the sea. Maybe she will change her mind later in life. I personally prefer the sea as well but I have to admit the scenery from the train was pretty stunning.

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under water

Spending the day at the Genova Aquarium last Friday was the best idea, Alice and I could come up with! No crowds and our kids were highly entertained and super exited all day. We took the train from Milano to Genova and then two subway stops from there. This way we didn't have to deal with traffic and the kids got to see the trains as well. By the way it was Isabella's first time on the train, and she was the beyond thrilled.

It took about 3 hours to see all attractions in the aquarium, but it was worth it. The dolphins were a super hit for everyone. My favorite will always be the piranhas: deadly but beautiful (6th picture from the top)!

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here comes the sun

Last Sunday was the first real sunny day in weeks. It was a bit chili as well, but I still prefer sunny and cold over warm but cloudy.

We decided to spend Sunday morning at the "Biblioteca degli alberi" which is the new park in the Porta Nuova district of Milano, really close to the famous skyscrapers like “Bosco Verticale” and the Unicredit tower. The park is huge, more than 85000 square meters and it also has a playground with all kind of swings for kids. Overall super beautiful and relaxing place. Next to the park there are some nice stores and the Feltrinelli book store with a great coffee shop in the Piazza Gae Aulenti.

If you ever come visit Milan come check it out.

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summer vibes part 2 - the beach house

For our summer vacation we rented this beach house on the seaside near Pula. We figured that with three kids under 4 it would be easier and more flexible to be so close to the beach and enjoy our stay away without the stress of searching for a beach everyday and find parking especially during August which is the high season and beaches tend to be super crowded.

The house was super nice, fully equipped with umbrellas and beach toys and it allowed us to accommodate everybody’s needs and schedule. It had a private entrance to the beach so that it was safe for the kids and it was walking distance.

Things we loved the most about this location were: the outdoor shower with hot water, the huge garden so the kids could play and run outside, the BBQ. Things we didn’t like so much were the mosquitos and the wasps.

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pumpkins and chickens

Last weekend we went to visit grandma and granpa in Monferrato. Isabella is not a country girl and I’m not a country mom. As much as we love to get away from the city we are spoiled girls. Being so close to the chickens made Isabell a little uncomfortable. The countryside can be very romantic, but we are not very used to being around animals and too many insects. Or maybe she just prefers the goats and the cats.

We did enjoy the beautiful views though and can’t wait to be back to wine country for some wine tasting after the harvest of the grapes.

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