We just arrived home from an unforgettable trip in Italy. Some how we manage to finally take a vacation for the first time in ten years of missions that was just "us". And it was absolutely perfect. We went to Vittorio, Veneto and stayed in a chalet that belongs to a beautiful family. Veneto is about 1 hour north of Venice. The chalet sat up on the hills with the mountains behind us and the view of the city and sea line ahead. The fields around us were filled with vineyards and beautiful old farm houses. We could not have drawn up a better location for us to rest in this week.
Staying here was one of the most wonderful holiday experiences we've ever had. The chalet was a dream. The wooden cabin filled with a cozy fire place, kitchen, nice bed, and a view over the city that made us drool every morning as we sat out on our porch enjoying warm croissants and coffee. Getting time every morning to just sit and talk with this guy: priceless.
There was an endless supply of espresso and cooking supplies in order to make amazing Italian food in our own little kitchen. Which was a dream come true- to cook in Italy. The food was so cheap and fresh, we almost enjoyed cooking as much as we did eating out! But the food. Oh my goodness. Thankfully we lived on a hill top which required daily hikes or else we probably would have gained 10 pounds each in pasta. The food was everything and more we imagined. You just can't get food like that anywhere else in the world. Made with such intention and passion and history. Every restaurant invited us in like we were at a dinner party in someones home. Ever dish tasted uniquely different and made us (ok me-Liz) just about cry every time. It was PERFECTO!
We spend the afternoons hiking up the hills to historical chapels and caves. Taking it easy by playing, drinking coffee, barbecuing on the grill, and enjoying the garden. Down in the town we roamed around, jump from shop to shop, eating amazing food, stuffing our faces with gelato and of course seeing the breathtaking architecture or the old city- which used to be part of Venice. One night we were lucky enough to see one of the most spectacular fire work shows we've ever seen. The town had a celebration and we watched the show from our balcony- was spectacular!
We did take a day trip to Venice, which was about an hour away. However, this was probably one of the most disappointing days of the trip. Venice is of course beautiful, but please, never go in August. It's hot and it's incredibly overrun with tourist. I'm from Orlando and this was worse then Disneyland. You felt shuffled down the streets and could barely stop to enjoy (anything) before someone was breathing down your neck to move. We will go back there again, some day, to enjoy it more, but not in August. But like I said, it's still absolutely beautiful.
But we have to say, even though the home and town was amazing, the family was probably our favorite part. Our hosts welcomed us with hugs and wine from their vineyard and made us feel absolutely at home. If you wanted to spend time with them, they were available, and if you wanted to be alone it was like you were on your own private island. It was the perfect hospitality. If you ever go to Veneto, stay with them, we promise, you will not regret coming here- it's everything and more you could imagine for a lovely Italian holiday! They actually have their home up on airbnb
It was a lovely holiday and we were so blessed to ACTUALLY be able to do something like this. We travel so much for our work, and we NEVER take that for granted, however traveling for work is very, very different then for holiday. You rarely get to enjoy a place in this way unless you are actually there to "enjoy it". So to be able to go to a land without an agendawas really amazing for us and honestly one of the first times we've ever done that.
Perhaps life really is a bit easier with a little rest in between :)