I’ve been thinking about souvenirs and how to stop bringing so many back from trips. I have decided that the following are even better than souvenirs because they don’t last (at least for me) and therefore won’t require packing!
For me the fun of travel begins with research and the library is a great place to find travel books as well as history books about cities and countries. I also like using apps to listen and practice words and phrases in the language I’m learning. I know I’ve made progress when I can read signs and billboards while on my travels. But then I’ll hear children speaking to their parents and realize that they already know more words than I ever will in their language.
I also like to leave extra room in my suitcase for the souvenirs I want to bring home, although I’m trying to limit my souvenir buying. This is especially true since I have brought back some purchases that I haven’t used and have no place to keep them.
Luckily there are things you can’t take with you (like gelato), so you have to eat them right away!
So now I have more than one drawer stuffed with travel souvenirs like key chains, postcards, ticket stubs and refrigerator magnets. Are they valuable memories or just clutter? I did find a use for some of my key chains by displaying them on an earring holder:
Sometime soon I will look at these souvenirs and decide whether or not to keep them. At least in the future I can focus on enjoying the experience of travel through photos and memories and let them replace the clutter. I will really try to do this!
When I was in Genoa I walked in an area with lots of fruit and vegetable shops. It was just about time for lunch and I thought it might be fun to buy an orange or some strawberries that I saw displayed to have as a snack. There were also places where you could walk in and buy something more substantial that could be warmed up. Since I didn’t see anywhere to sit I also considered other options such as buying a gelato and continuing to walk. After a while I realized I wasn’t even hungry so I decided to wait and simply enjoy the day!
During my visit to Italy last May I took an afternoon walk one day in Baveno along Lake Maggiore. When I look at these pictures now I can see that it wasn’t a sunny day, but I didn’t notice it at the time. This is probably because the views of the lake and mountains were so compelling the cloudy skies didn’t matter. There weren’t too many people around that day so I could focus on the scenery. I also remember seeing the flowers beginning to bloom on the hydrangeas. Just as I thought it would be nice to have a treat I found a gelato shop. This was an important part of the walk too.
Part of the fun of travel is bringing back souvenirs that have memories of where and when they were purchased. I have lots of postcards and refrigerator magnets but some of my favorite souvenirs are things I can look at such as art prints and calendars. I also like things I can wear like scarves and bracelets. When I was in Italy I wanted to find some unique souvenirs, but where should I start? Wherever I went there were so many choices it was difficult to decide. As I looked around I saw possibilities like these:
Souvenirs and flowers
These won’t last long…
It’s a good idea to stop for some refreshments along the way.
But instead of fruit I decided to stop for a gelato and this photograph is a great souvenir!
Over the past three years I’ve written so much about gelato that I had to check my previous posts to make sure I was using an original title! Gelato is a treat I look forward to when I go to Italy and I found a new flavor in Parma called Parmigianino that was light and fluffy. When I get gelato I usually choose two flavors so I can sample something different as well as picking one of my favorites. It is fun to walk and enjoy the scenery with a refreshing gelato. I’m not the only one who does that either – I saw lots of people walking with their gelato cones and cups!
I decided to continue with this theme so here are some of the signs I saw as well as actual gelato. These pictures make me want to go back to Italy as soon as possible.
Since it is the middle of winter I think that now is a good time to look forward to future travel adventures to help get through the cold, snowy days of February. Even in Virginia there is snow and ice and I can’t wait until it’s spring and time for a visit to Italy in May. This time I’ll be in northern Italy and going to Lake Como, Milan, and the Cinque Terre, among other places. Traveling to Italy is something I enjoy so much and the time spent planning is really fun. I’m going to get travel books and guides from the library and check for information at the local bookstores too. I also like to read travel blogs that have stories and pictures from Italy. I’m always interested in learning more since my mother’s family is from Italy and somehow it seems very familiar to me. I’m also looking forward to discovering new places to find my favorite treat, gelato. That is something that never disappoints! It will be wonderful to add to my knowledge of Italy as well as interesting travel experiences and my collection of pictures. Here are some places in northern Italy that I’ve been and hope to see again.
I am always looking for interesting doors when I travel. For this theme I’m focusing on some of the doors that I admired in Orvieto, Italy. There were so many different types of doors that I decided to take these pictures so I wouldn’t forget them. Sometimes doors seem to tell a story and with a little imagination that story can become quite dramatic. As you can see some are simple, some are decorative and I’ve included one that was important to me because it was the door to a gelato shop which is a favorite destination of mine while I’m in Italy!
An imposing door
Time for a gelato!
A curved top
I also noticed this while I was walking in Orvieto.
One of my favorite things about traveling is looking for signs while I’m walking. When they are directional signs they can be very useful because as a visitor I’ve noticed that it isn’t always clear how to get to a place. I also appreciate signs for food and treats, especially gelato. When I was in Madrid I thought that the ceramic tile street signs were very decorative. Later I saw replicas of these signs for sale as souvenirs at gift shops. There were a variety of signs that I remember from Madrid and here are some of them.
When I think of a perfect meeting place in the summer, it would have to be somewhere that serves gelato. This means it should be in Italy. Here are some places I’d want to meet and get a refreshing gelato too. See you there!