Travel: France and Italy

Hi! I’m Michelle from Hit The Bricks where I write about food, fitness, adventure, and balance. I’m excited to bring you this post!

I’ve been thinking lately about traveling, and I’m itching to go on another trip. In 2009, I was very blessed to go on two European vacations. One was our honeymoon to Belgium and France. The other was to Italy, where we flew into Rome and then traveled out to the country to spend time with my husband’s family. From those trips I learned the value of time away from the more “touristy” areas, and I strongly suggest you go off the beaten path on your next trip (within reason and as long as you’re safe).

Don’t get me wrong, without the trips to the major cities I would have missed some amazing things.

The Louvre

The Louvre in Paris…

St. Peter's

St Peters Cathedral in Rome.

As memorable as those sights were, we have just as many great memories in the country. Before Paris we stayed in Champagne and Burgundy and spent a lot of time driving around, going to vineyards, and hunting for cheesemakers. It was during these drives that we saw some of the most interesting things

cows in France

Some friendly French cows (les cows) ;)

France

A Good Friday costume parade where children were yelling and hitting that man on the stick. And who says the French are rude?

And some beautiful countryside.

French countryside

French countryside

In Italy, we spent a lot of time with family, who live on a working farm in the country. As we were eating dinner outside one night, a shepherd walked by with a couple hundred sheep.

sheep herder in Italy

Definitely not something you see every day!

One day we spent the day on the farm helped make fresh tomato sauce

making tomato sauce in Italy

making tomato sauce in Italy

Which we then helped to bottle so Uncle Corrado could sell them at the open market (mercato).

market in Italy

market in Italy

market in Italy

market in Italy

And if that doesn’t sell you, take this into account: the farther away you are from tourist areas, the cheaper things are.

cappucino in Italy

2 cappuccinos and a chocolate croissant for 2 Euros. That’s under $3. For all of it. I can’t tell you how many bottles of good, local wine we bought for the equivalent of $5. Everything is so good over there that they practically give it away, if you know where to go ;)

I do love the hustle and bustle of a city and the history and architecture and museums that usually go with that. I love having a variety of food and everything within walking distance. I also love experiencing a foreign country a little like its inhabitants do and leaving those cities behind. I’ve had some of my most memorable times out in the country, and I bet you would too. Try it… you’ll like it :)

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Thank you, Michelle, for sharing this gorgeous journey with us! Going off the beaten path and away from touristy things is my favorite way of traveling, and I definitely recommend it for an unforgettable experience.

Do you have any travel tips or hints?

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Tags: champagne, farm vacations, France, Italy, Travel, vacation, wine regions

  1. Megan’s avatar

    Oh my gosh. I would have loved the opportunity to make fresh tomato sauce. And those cows are adorable! We’re planning to go to Italy for our honeymoon… it can’t get here soon enough!

    Reply

  2. Michelle’s avatar

    We are strongly considering Italy for our honeymoon (great minds think alike Megan!) and this only makes me want to go there now!

    Reply

  3. Alicia’s avatar

    When I went to Italy when I was younger, one of my travel companions said he always travels with peanut butter. In a pinch you can have a quick meal or snack anywhere in the world and spend very little money— you just need a piece of fruit or bread…..

    It’s pretty handy if you are traveling with a picky eater!

    Reply

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