I am absolutely TERRIBLE at sifting through the hundreds, sometimes even thousands of photos I take while on vacation. However, I still dream of having a gorgeous, well curated, gallery wall in my home of photos that feature a well-traveled life, taken by yours truly of course. I imagine fun, witty people coming over for an evening of good food, good drinks, and good conversation and being taken aback by the stunning black and white vistas. I would humbly respond that I took that photo while on an adventure in _< insert pretty much any foreign country here>_. In reality, I’ve been living in my apartment for several years and I have yet to hang any artwork, let alone edit the photos for the pile of blank frames I have. One day.
However, despite all of this, it still does not take away the fact that I have gone on some amazing adventures, one of which I would love to share here. Partially as a way to finally process some photos, but also to share a few travel tips and tricks.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been several weeks since I decided to run away to Italy for a 12-day, solo trip. It was my first trip to Italy, so I obviously focused on all the greats: Venice, Florence, and Rome. However, one thing I love to do when planning any sort of adventure, is to always include some little town that’s not on the typical “cruise itinerary” (i.e. everyone doesn’t automatically speak english. Shout out to the Google Translate app!). Hello Orvieto, Italy!
Orvieto is an adorable little hill town, perched upon tufo volcanic stone in Umbria, Italy. It’s easily accessible by train, situated between Florence and Rome. It’s the perfect example of a rustic, historical Italian town, featuring a “zebra” Duomo, Etruscan caves, winding paths, cute little shops, and delicious gelato, of course.
One of my favorite little shops that I was discovered was the Il Mago di Oz. It was a magical little emporium, tucked away down an off-beaten path, filled with funny little odds and ends. Every corner held a new treasure and every shelf a spectacular vintage find, including this vintage Italian Ladies magazine, featuring the popular fashion trends of April 1892. I can’t wait to frame this and add it to that glorious soon-to-be galley wall of mine.
Beyond the interesting town history and the amazing sites to see, I completely fell in love with the little villa that I stayed in. Technically in the next town over, Villa Circonia is fairly close to the train station and the funicular that takes you into historical Orvieto, via a hidden path and a 30 minute walk.
I had an adorable little room and the in-house restaurant was DELICIOUS. This was something that was particularly important to me. When I decided on traveling to Italy, one of my goals was to eat my weight in pasta. Most people mentioned “Eat, Pray, Love,” but I was thinking more like Aziz Ansari in Master of None. In other words, it was less a spiritual thing and rather like…
However, since I couldn’t just spend all day eating my way through Italy (not that I didn’t try), there were still all the sites and fashion to see. It goes without saying that Italy is a fashion-lover’s mecca. Italian women are impossibly chic, but largely dress without much fuss. As such, I tried to put together a wardrobe that was simple and easy that would fit in with the locals but still could be squeezed into a carry on.
Packing List for Italy in October
Short Sleeved Shirts – I love a good simple cotton t-shirt when I travel, especially for the rather temperate Italian weather in October. It’s easy to dress up with a statement necklace, layer under other pieces when the weather turn cold, and comfortable for the long hours of traveling. I went with neutral colors for that effortless, timeless look.
- Gray T-Shirt: Target
- Black T-Shirt: Target
- White T-Shirt: Target
- B&W Striped Shirt: Banana Republic, old. Similar here, here, here, here, and even here.
- Purple T-Shirt: Target
Long Sleeved Shirts – I always pack a few because you never know when the weather will change. Plus, 70 degrees can sometimes feel a little cold. Yes, I said it. Cold.
- Chambray: Old Navy, old. Similar here, here, and here
- Black Blouse: Old Navy, old. Similar here, here, and here
Dresses – Simple, easy dresses that are wrinkle-free are a no brainer. I like ones that can be dressed down with a pair of Chucks for the day or could be dressed up with some black flats for an evening out. Add tights and it works for those cooler days, when the sun decides to spend the day behind clouds.
- Black Cotton Dress: The Limited, old. Similar here, here, and here
- Blue Leopard Shirt Dress: Banana Republic, Old. Similar here
Sweaters – I’m not usually a cardigan fan, however I found that a simple black boyfriend cardigan goes with anything. It’s the perfect layering item to toss over a t-shirt or dress to drive off a chill, especially on cold airplanes.
- Black Merino Wool Boyfriend Cardigan: Banana Republic
Bottoms – You don’t need a pair for every day of your vacation. However, I do recommend taking pairs that have a bit of stretch in them so they’re comfortable on plane, trains, and long walks.
- Dark Demin: Gap, old. Similar here
- Black Denim: Gap, old. Similar here
- Black Pants: Banana Republic, old. Similar here and here
- Green Pants: Gap, old. Similar here
Jackets – There is nothing more chic than a simple black bomber jacket. It goes with everything and always looks impossibly cool.
Accessories – Scarves and and statement necklaces are the perfect way to dress up a simple outfit. Best part is that they usually don’t take up too much room in a small suitcase. I felt that every Italian woman (and even man) was sporting a well tied scarf. Other trick is to have a classic bag that is big enough to carry the daily essentials – DSLR camera, bottle of water, wallet, a snack, and any small tchotchkes you picked up along the way.
- Scarves: Steve Madden and Target, old. Similar here
- Statement Necklaces: Bauble Bar. I also took this one from Bauble bar as well.
- Bag: Fossil
Shoes – Italy is riddled with cobblestones. Now, I’m sure a better woman than I could strut her way down an uneven path without falling or hurting herself.
What are you favorite small towns to visit?