Benvenuti in Italia!

A few weeks ago, Cheryl and Luis got back from an unforgettable trip to Italy! Today on the blog, join them as they discuss their itinerary and recall their favorite parts!

IMG_5692.jpeg
IMG_5696.jpeg
IMG_5812.jpeg
IMG_5743.jpeg
IMG_5787.jpeg
IMG_5946.jpeg
IMG_6025.jpeg
IMG_6019.jpeg
IMG_6104.jpeg

During this 2 week-long trip, Cheryl and Luis visited Venice, Rome, and the quaint towns throughout the Umbrian countryside. Keep reading to hear about the beautiful art they saw, the delectable food they enjoyed, and their overall experience in the charming culture of Italy.

IMG_5709.jpeg

What distinguishes this trip from any other is the exceptional artisanship of Italy. From the architecture of handmade roads and buildings to the unparalleled tilework present in every space, Italy leaves an impression of a country versed in preserving their handsome history. 

IMG_6193.jpeg
IMG_6194.jpeg
IMG_6307.jpeg
IMG_6261.jpeg
IMG_6267.jpeg
IMG_6301.jpeg

Venice

What originally brought Cheryl and Luis to Italy was La Biennale Di Venezia, a large-scale international art exhibit occurring every other year. Cheryl and Luis belong to a group within the Columbus Museum of Art called The Contemporaries. The individuals within this group share a common affection for global contemporary art, so traveling to Venice to admire international pieces was a no-brainer for this crew. Founded in 1895, this distinguished arts festival is known for featuring the works of the greatest contemporary artists around the world, making it a festival rich in art, history, and tradition.

IMG_5724.jpeg
IMG_5732.jpeg
IMG_5731.jpeg
IMG_5730.jpeg
IMG_5764.jpeg
IMG_5735.jpeg
IMG_5758.jpeg
IMG_5739.jpeg
IMG_5777.jpeg
IMG_5786.jpeg
IMG_5792.jpeg
IMG_5807.jpeg

Most of Cheryl and Luis’ time in Venice was spent appreciating the masterpieces dispersed throughout the city. Diverse collections of paintings, photos, videos, virtual realities, and more, makes it difficult for Cheryl and Luis to pick a favorite collection or exhibit. However, the International Pavilions held a special place in their hearts. In this exhibit, each pavilion represented the artwork of different countries. The Russian Pavilion especially stood out. In this exhibit, art admirers watched life-size cutouts of people dance on a detailed backdrop under ominous red lighting. 

Another favorite was the Peggy Guggenheim museum, full of fun and impressionistic artwork.

Understandingly, the Biennale attracts a lot of people to Venice, making it difficult to avoid “tourist traps” and experience the original Venetian culture. Anyone who knows Cheryl and Luis know they appreciate the authenticity of cultures and what makes them unique. Because of this, they made it a priority to get away from the business of the festival and find hole-in-the-wall restaurants, markets, and niches that presented an authentic Venetian experience. After spending a few days in Venice, the Stauffers fully withdrew from the commotion of the city and traveled to the secluded Italian countryside.

IMG_5840.jpeg
IMG_5749.jpeg
IMG_5736.jpeg
IMG_5859.jpeg

Umbria

IMG_5987.jpeg
IMG_5989.jpeg

Following Venice, Cheryl and Luis, along with their daughters Gabby and Mia, resorted to the peaceful landscape of Umbria. While here they swam, relaxed, and soaked in the countryside views from their mountaintop villa.

IMG_5977.jpeg
IMG_5986.jpeg

However, because of their love for other cultures, they couldn’t stay in the villa for the entirety of their visit to Umbria. Instead, they took day trips to small villages and towns throughout the countryside. Some of the towns they visited were Assisi, home of the Basilica of Saint Francis, Trevi, Montefalco, and Deruta. 

IMG_5957.jpeg
IMG_5954.jpeg
IMG_5959.jpeg

With their background in farm-life, Cheryl and Luis had to travel to Montefalco to observe the life of Italian farmers. The farmer they visited provided brunch made only of things grown and raised on his farm. The brunch consisted of farm-fresh eggs, cheeses, cold cuts, yogurt and bread, all made on the farm. After brunch, they explored the farm and enjoyed the company of a host of animals; cows, chickens, rabbits, ducks, pigs, goats and more. Needless to say, this was one of Gabby and Mia’s favorite parts of the trip!

IMG_6067.jpeg
IMG_6069.jpeg
IMG_6075.jpeg

One of Cheryl’s favorite parts of Umbria is town of Deruta. Deruta is well known for its maiolica pottery, which is what attracted Luis and Cheryl there in the first place. Getting the opportunity to watch the creation process of the hand-formed and hand-painted ceramics was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that Cheryl will never forget. 

IMG_6137.jpeg
IMG_6129.jpeg
IMG_6130.jpeg
IMG_6142.jpeg
IMG_6145.jpeg
IMG_6149.jpeg

A treasured moment shared by Cheryl and Luis was a traditional Umbrian meal shared with their family. Two chefs came to their villa and served them an exquisite Umbrian meal of fried zucchini flowers, pork chuck bacon with greens, risotto ball, black truffle pasta, Panzanella salad, and an amazing custard and sponge cake dessert. This evening spent on the patio of their villa overlooking the countryside of Umbria is cherished family memory they will never forget!

IMG_6100.jpeg
IMG_6123.jpeg
IMG_6120.jpeg
IMG_6122.jpeg
IMG_6118.jpeg
IMG_5931.jpeg

Did I mention the wine? From everyday drinking wines to fine wines, there was no shortage of vino for these connoisseurs! Everyone knows that a great wine adds something special to any vacation!

IMG_5712.jpeg
IMG_5992.jpeg
IMG_6183.jpeg

Rome

IMG_6221.jpeg

Finally, the Stauffers visited the infamous Rome. With so much to see and so little time, these last 2 days were some of the busiest during their trip. In Comune di Roma Capitale, there is no escaping the tourist traps. But who would want to when they are so beautiful? The Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, and the Vatican were just a few of the places on their list of must-sees. 

IMG_6217.jpeg
IMG_6219.jpeg
IMG_6300.jpeg

Also making the list was St. Peter’s Basilica. Upon entering the Basilica, Cheryl and Luis were stopped in their tracks. Its sheer magnitude is enough to leave a lasting impression, but the incredible level of detail is what caught Cheryl and Luis’ attention. 

IMG_6328.jpeg
IMG_6305.jpeg
IMG_6313.jpeg
IMG_6315.jpeg

After enjoying their last (of many) gelatos, the Stauffers said “addio” to Italy and returned home brimming with treasured memories and inspiration.

IMG_6047.jpeg
IMG_6319.jpeg
IMG_6323.jpeg

To see more photos from their trip, follow us on Instagram! Be sure to check the blog next week too, where Cheryl and Luis will be describing the beautiful textiles they saw during their exclusive tour of Rubelli.