A few weeks ago, Cheryl and Luis got back from an unforgettable trip to Italy! Today on the blog, join them as they discuss their itinerary and recall their favorite parts!
During this 2 week-long trip, Cheryl and Luis visited Venice, Rome, and the quaint towns throughout the Umbrian countryside. Keep reading to hear about the beautiful art they saw, the delectable food they enjoyed, and their overall experience in the charming culture of Italy.
What distinguishes this trip from any other is the exceptional artisanship of Italy. From the architecture of handmade roads and buildings to the unparalleled tilework present in every space, Italy leaves an impression of a country versed in preserving their handsome history.
What originally brought Cheryl and Luis to Italy was La Biennale Di Venezia, a large-scale international art exhibit occurring every other year. Cheryl and Luis belong to a group within the Columbus Museum of Art called The Contemporaries. The individuals within this group share a common affection for global contemporary art, so traveling to Venice to admire international pieces was a no-brainer for this crew. Founded in 1895, this distinguished arts festival is known for featuring the works of the greatest contemporary artists around the world, making it a festival rich in art, history, and tradition.
Most of Cheryl and Luis’ time in Venice was spent appreciating the masterpieces dispersed throughout the city. Diverse collections of paintings, photos, videos, virtual realities, and more, makes it difficult for Cheryl and Luis to pick a favorite collection or exhibit. However, the International Pavilions held a special place in their hearts. In this exhibit, each pavilion represented the artwork of different countries. The Russian Pavilion especially stood out. In this exhibit, art admirers watched life-size cutouts of people dance on a detailed backdrop under ominous red lighting.
Another favorite was the Peggy Guggenheim museum, full of fun and impressionistic artwork.
Understandingly, the Biennale attracts a lot of people to Venice, making it difficult to avoid “tourist traps” and experience the original Venetian culture. Anyone who knows Cheryl and Luis know they appreciate the authenticity of cultures and what makes them unique. Because of this, they made it a priority to get away from the business of the festival and find hole-in-the-wall restaurants, markets, and niches that presented an authentic Venetian experience. After spending a few days in Venice, the Stauffers fully withdrew from the commotion of the city and traveled to the secluded Italian countryside.
Following Venice, Cheryl and Luis, along with their daughters Gabby and Mia, resorted to the peaceful landscape of Umbria. While here they swam, relaxed, and soaked in the countryside views from their mountaintop villa.
However, because of their love for other cultures, they couldn’t stay in the villa for the entirety of their visit to Umbria. Instead, they took day trips to small villages and towns throughout the countryside. Some of the towns they visited were Assisi, home of the Basilica of Saint Francis, Trevi, Montefalco, and Deruta.
With their background in farm-life, Cheryl and Luis had to travel to Montefalco to observe the life of Italian farmers. The farmer they visited provided brunch made only of things grown and raised on his farm. The brunch consisted of farm-fresh eggs, cheeses, cold cuts, yogurt and bread, all made on the farm. After brunch, they explored the farm and enjoyed the company of a host of animals; cows, chickens, rabbits, ducks, pigs, goats and more. Needless to say, this was one of Gabby and Mia’s favorite parts of the trip!
One of Cheryl’s favorite parts of Umbria is town of Deruta. Deruta is well known for its maiolica pottery, which is what attracted Luis and Cheryl there in the first place. Getting the opportunity to watch the creation process of the hand-formed and hand-painted ceramics was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that Cheryl will never forget.
A treasured moment shared by Cheryl and Luis was a traditional Umbrian meal shared with their family. Two chefs came to their villa and served them an exquisite Umbrian meal of fried zucchini flowers, pork chuck bacon with greens, risotto ball, black truffle pasta, Panzanella salad, and an amazing custard and sponge cake dessert. This evening spent on the patio of their villa overlooking the countryside of Umbria is cherished family memory they will never forget!
Did I mention the wine? From everyday drinking wines to fine wines, there was no shortage of vino for these connoisseurs! Everyone knows that a great wine adds something special to any vacation!
Finally, the Stauffers visited the infamous Rome. With so much to see and so little time, these last 2 days were some of the busiest during their trip. In Comune di Roma Capitale, there is no escaping the tourist traps. But who would want to when they are so beautiful? The Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, and the Vatican were just a few of the places on their list of must-sees.
Also making the list was St. Peter’s Basilica. Upon entering the Basilica, Cheryl and Luis were stopped in their tracks. Its sheer magnitude is enough to leave a lasting impression, but the incredible level of detail is what caught Cheryl and Luis’ attention.
After enjoying their last (of many) gelatos, the Stauffers said “addio” to Italy and returned home brimming with treasured memories and inspiration.