My Love Affair with Italy: A Photo Journal

So you’ve heard of a thing called Pinterest right? I’ve been on it for about six years now, and ever since I first started pinning, I noticed a trend. I was pinning all of these beautiful, historical places all over the world. And once upon a time, Pinterest also had a map feature where you could see the photos you’d saved exactly where they were on a map. Looking at that digital map of all these places I hadn’t been yet, there was a very high concentration on that little boot. All of these incredible little gems, pictured all over this shoe shaped country of Italy. I had to go!

Two summers in a row, I had saved up, asked if anyone wanted to join me, plotted all of my stops and then backed out at last minute. Time after time I passed up going to Italy, the place I had clearly wanted to go for years. I’m not sure as to why I chose not to go all those times, but finally this past summer, I went! Not only was I able to go, but I was able to take my mother, my best friend with me.


So for twelve days, we trotted around Italy, up before the sun (partly because of excitement, partly to dodge the other tourists and partly because it is far too hot in August for midday exploring). I ate pasta like I was Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love and dressed like I was Sophia Loren. I saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa and was somehow shocked that it really does lean. The best part, I ate gelato every day in front of the prettiest sites!

Finally on one of our last days in Italy, wandering around Venice we stumbled upon the best book store in the world. A place I had saved many photos of, with a staircase made of books and piles of new and old books in a gondola, and there it was! The cutest location for a book lover like myself, a place I thought would be impossible to find, and there it was. It’s an incredible feeling to see something you had saved for years with your own eyes, especially somewhere you weren’t expecting to find. That moment and that sight was the epitome of my desire to chase after Italy.  


So where is your Italy? What is your Italy? It took me years of dreaming via Pinterest and then years of saving and finally saying yes to make one of my dreams come true. At times it felt like I was never going to get there, like something else was more important than going. I don’t want to be one of those “one day” people, always saying “one day I’ll have this thing…”, “one day I’ll see the world…”, “one day I’ll be this kind of person…” and I don’t want you to be a “one day” person either. So find your Italy, prioritize it, work towards it and then share it with someone important to you. Once you’ve got your Italy, find the next

Text and photos by: Zandalee Cloete | @middayglow