Today, Dylan and I like to do a storytime...that's a little bit more personal: we'd like to share these great vintage Travel books, specifically about Italy. Italy holds a VERY dear place in both of our hearts....Yesterday was our 5th year annivasary and Rome was where we did a study abroad program together a year after we got together! We lived in a cute 300sqft apartment in the the Trestevere neighborhood and then traveled, explored, and ate our way around Italy, walked through numerous Roman ruins, got inspired by the glamorous Design shows in Milan, and witnessed a great historical event at the Vatican. Ahh...those were the days. These travel books reminds us of all the great things about the country and the culture.
Italy was where we found our common love for all things old & rustic. The dynamic of old & new was simply amazing...thousand year old buildings with spray painted tags, tiny Smart cars driving through narrow allies on cobble-stoned road, adorable old Italian couples and hip trendy young 20 year-olds all hanging out in a piazza after midnight.
In fact, we both took this silly Facebook "Where should you live?" quiz, and we BOTH got ITALY!! I took it first and asked Dylan to take it afterward. I was little concerned as he was taking the quiz, because if Dylan had gotten a different location, that would mean that our relationship was never going to work and we'd have to break up right away. Luckily, that's not going to happen. :D
Hanging out in the middle of a piazza is always fun. This is where people congregate no matter what time of the day it is. Our school studio was right in Campo Di Fiori. It's a food market during day, and a place to party at night. Old Italian men would sip their espresso and eat a cornettos (pastry) and just hang out. It was a perfect place to people watching.
I love the illustration from the travel book and the image of someone drying pasta. This is where we learn to appreciate all things handmade. We were amazed by the culture of handmade artisans across all spectrum. There were specialized shops for just pasta, cheese, bread, meat and even Tiramisu! But as designers, it was a total eye-opener to see other artisan shops for upholstery, welding, leather goods, instruments, clothes, shoes, and anything you can think of. You can go into any shop and see all the great old tools displayed and the actual artist making them with their own hands.
We also love coastal towns like these where houses and buildings are integrated right into the landscape. This was taken off the cost of Amalfi. It was like a playground for us as we went between buildings running on century old steps and cobble stoned roads, snapping photos non-stop, up, down, and all-around.
But the most amazing event was the on the day Dylan and I celebrated our first year anniversary in Rome...That was the day when Pope John Paul II died. All this happened only 3 days after we arrived in Rome. Trust me, this is not some sick joke. We ate at a horrible tourist trap restaurant that night, and when we left the restaurant, there were crowds of people mourning at all the churches around. We stopped and went in to see what was going on and heard some other English speaking person saying that they couldn't believe the Pope died! With the Vatican only 10 minutes away from our apartment, we walked there and experienced the historical event of a lifetime. Despite the fact that we were outsiders with little connection to the Pope and the religion, we were still overwhelmed with emotion being in the mist of it all. It was as if almost everyone in Rome and even Italy gathered at St. Peters holding a candle vigil and singing for the death of the Pope. It was beyond anything we'd imagine to expereince or see.Here are some photos from our trip. You can see more, here.
1. Shadow of clothes drying outside our apartment. 2. Ornate mosaic floor. 3. Rustic white buildings in Matera. 4. Colosseum at night. 5. Ornate iron window. 6. Eerie abandoned town of Nocera, Umbria. 7. Trestevere neighborhood (where we lived in Rome). 8. Ceiling of Capitoline Museum. 9. Natural hot spring at Saturnia, Tuscany 10. Giant broken statue at the Capitoline Museum. 11. A colorful old Fiat 500 and a Vespa. 12. Flea market in Rome.