A Taste of ItalyTuscany, Florence, Venice and Cinque Terre

Italy Wedding Photographer

In 2013, I had decided to visit Italy. Italy and Australia were the two countries at the top of my list for as long as I can remember. I waited to shoot a wedding in Tuscany for a couple of years before I gave up waiting and just went for a mini road trip.

I had planed on leaving a few days after my brother’s wedding, at the beginning of July… But my grandmother passed away in between the wedding and my departure. I’m lucky, I haven’t lost that many people yet but my grandmother’s passing was like an elephant sitting on my chest.

I don’t like being an adult. I don’t do well with responsibilities. One thing I never realized, though, was that my grand mother was the glue that held my family together. All the Christmases, the Summer holidays with my cousins… She made it all work.

My trip to Italy became a necessity: I had to be on my own for a while. I had to drive.

I went to each church I found – and let me tell you there are a lot of churches in Italy – to light up a candle for her. She was a strong believer and I thought that maybe she’d see the places I went, through the candles.

I cried in front of a toy store that had a game of Chinese Checkers. You see, I spent most of my Summers at my grandmother’s. I’d stay there with my cousins. We wouldn’t watch TV then, or have iphones to play with. It was all very… organic :)

So we played games. Mille bornes, Yahtzee, Little horses (LUDO?), the Categories Game, Solitaire, Croquet […] and Chinese Checkers. I love games, probably because of all the fun moments I had with them growing up. She didn’t like to lose and she loved winning! I don’t think I ever heard her laugh so much than when she was winning and rubbing it in the face of others! It was hilarious :D

So I cried, when I saw the game.

And I cried on the road.

And I cried in front sunsets and sun rays through clouds.

And I cried some more in each church.

She was the glue that held my family together.

Of course I didn’t know it then. I was sad at the time. I didn’t know yet the extent of the loss. How my cousin who was like a sister to me would stop talking to me. How we wouldn’t get together every time we could. How there wouldn’t be Christmases or Summer dinners all together anymore. I didn’t know how much I’d miss hulling green beans or watching her desperately trying to teach us how to cook a salmon pie. I didn’t know that this loss was the start of the domino effect that would break my family apart. I did know that some things would change… I just didn’t expect them to change as much. To suck as much.

But Italy helped me. The road and the golden fields, the stormy skies stroking the little villages perched on the top of the hills… The beauty soothed my heart. The character and history of the stones distracted me from the pain. I found a little bit of Heaven in Tuscany: a little farmhouse hidden within the fields that had a pool and a view of the surrounding hills.

I stayed there a few nights, bathing in the sun until it was setting and I was off to Volterra and San Gimignano (hello Twilight :).

I then visited Cinque terre and walked around the villages on the water. I loved the cliffs and the soundtrack of Holidays: squealing kids playing in the water, later holding an ice cream, a smile up to their ears.

I went to Venice. I only ate ice cream and pasta. It’s good I was only there for a short while! I walked for hours without a map at first, until I got lost so many times, I had to surrender. I walked for a few days, admiring the tiny pathways, the clothes hanging outside of the windows, the bridges and the couples everywhere. It felt so romantic and sweet.

And I traveled back to Firenze. I wanted to stay longer, but I also wanted to go home. I wanted to see my family… and I also wanted to keep moving. Pain can’t reach you as long as you move, you know?

It was three years ago. I learned to make my grandmother’s soup since (don’t laugh, I really suck at cooking. Making soup is a big deal :D … So now when I miss her, I just make soup and I think of Italy.

Italy Wedding Photographer

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Italy Wedding Photographer – Tuscany Wedding Photographer

  • I almost never comment on blogs but I just found your work and simply had to. I've been to all the places you posted here, but your work has such a rawness to them, such a non-touristy, non-traditional point of view that I almost didn't recognize them. Simply put, your work is stunning - the way you see light and colors is phenomenal!