If you know me, you would know that I love traveling as much as reading but it’s not always cheap so I’m thankful that I have books to fall back on because I always feel that I can travel to other places through that. It’s always a joy to read description of places in the books that eventhough some are fictional places, it still makes me feel that wanderlust feeling of wanting to explore new places and discover hidden gems.
For this edition, I will bring you to visit two places in Italy from two books by Abby Clements that I read this week. I’ve been wanting to read these since forever (ehem, excuse the exaggerations) and I was glad I picked it up this week because besides from making me constantly hungry with all the mentions of ice-creams (which is not good because it’s Ramadhan and I’m fasting!), it makes me feel very wanderlust-y and makes me wanna pack my bag and go to Italy. There’s also a mention about an ice-cream festival in Florence that is so so so tempting. Ugh!
Florence, Italy (Vivien’s Heavenly Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clements)
- Anna stepped out of Giovanna’s house and into the Santa Maria de Novella Piazza, bustling with crowds coming out of the Sunday service. She put on her sunglasses. The night’s sleep had left her refreshed and ready to start exploring the city, and with just one day left before the ice cream course started, she was looking forward to the most of it.
- She took another look at her guidebook and opted for the river, criss-crossed with historic bridges, that divided the city. Walking down the cobbled street, she could make out the glistening sunshine on water at the end of the path. She instinctively picked up her pace, walking until she saw the Ponte Vecchio appear in front of her: the distinctive landmark she’d seen so many times on postcards and in books, a bridge with little houses like children’s toys built onto it, overlooking the water. The backdrop that opened up behind it was lush Tuscan countryside peppered with tall cypress tree. She took a deep breath of fresh air; it even smelled different here – a trace of Italian coffee from a nearby restaurant, with the faint smell of a passing woman’s perfume.
Amalfi Coast, Italy (The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clements)
- Anna was starting to relax, looking out of the window and taking in the scenery. The Amalfi coast was every bit as spectacular as she’d hoped – villages and towns scattered over the hillsides, the houses stacked vertically in a way that made Anna feel dizzy. The sea was bright blue, glittering with the reflected sunlight. Vintage convertibles sped past them, and boats bobbed up and down on the water towards Capri. As much as Anna loved Britain’s south coast, and felt a certain loyalty towards it – be it Brighton’s characterful pebbles or the rugged cliffs and rock pools of Cornwall – this part of Italy was certainly more glamourous. The landscapes sent a tingle of excitement running over her skin.
- Capri was growing closer and closer as the boat travelled through the water, the hill rising out of the water, bright with bougainvillea. One of the most beautiful places on earth – everyone wanted to visit Capri. When the boat docked, she made her way to her hotel. A short walk away, up a winding road, was a little white house with flowers round the door – her room was simple but just right for a night of peace. As she stepped out onto the roof terrace, the place came alive – a stunning view out over the sea, and pot plants bright with pink blooms. Imogen sat for a moment, breathed the clean fresh air and felt grateful for the chance she had to see the beautiful place she was in now.
- Taking only her camera, she walked through the town, with its chic boutiques and upmarket restaurants, until she reached a quieter part of the island with small houses. She kept walking, snapping photos as she went of the vivid pink flowers and the birds that had come to rest on the rocks and cliffs.
Italy has never been in my bucketlist but reading about them and looking at some of the images, maybe one day I’ll experience it myself 😀