The month of August brought us to Italy for the very first time. Even though we first moved to Europe in 2008, our travel has been mostly restricted to Northern Ireland, Spain and Germany for work. Not that I'm complaining!
Ireland is a great jumping-off point from which to explore this part of the world. So when we heard that our organisation's conference would be held in Slovenia this year, we jumped at the chance to drop anchor in Italy - even if just for a couple of days.
While I try to decide on images that due justice to the glorious strangeness that is Venice, a two-hour detour in Trieste, Italy (just over the border from Slovenia) gives you a glimpse of the the goodness Northern Italy has to offer.
Full disclosure: the kids weren't along for this little excursion, and I'm not even a little sorry. :) It's amazing how quickly one can climb steps without mopping up one's melted children from the molten concrete.
Trieste's architecture reminded me so much of the Country Club Plaza district in Kansas City. It seemed to have a bit of Spanish flair, with wide open promenades, and boutiques and cafes around every corner. The heat kept us looking for shadows to keep cool in, but still we couldn't help but want to wander this coastal city on the Adriatic.
My friend Crystal brought a tiny map with her, so as we climbed and climbed and climbed, looking for a castle and cathedral, we discovered hidden neighbourhoods, colourful facades and ancient ruins.
How can you not love windows like this? Takes shabby chic to a whole new level!
I'm not ashamed to admit I was a super fan of the street signs with a clean, modern European type contrasting with the ruddy texture of the buildings.
Also a super fan of the gelato. If nothing else, Italy is always worth it for the gelato.