24 Hours in Venice During “Carnevale”

24 Hours in Venice During “Carnevale”

Visiting Venice, Italy During the Carnival

We were delighted to learn our trip to Italy coincided with Carnevale di Venezia. In addition to romantic gondolas navigating waterways of the Grand Canal and Italian baroque architecture, we were truly enchanted by costumed Carnevale guests. The weather at this time of year was cool and damp, but it was a small price to pay for the opportunity to experience the surreal world of Carnevale.

Gondolas, Gondolas, Everywhere

Beautiful Venice, Italy. Even an overcast day is picturesque.
The simple curves of the gondola are reminiscent of the waves themselves.
Along the piers, a row of gondolas await.
This gold and red gondola seems suitable for royalty. Now that’s traveling in style!
A dapper gondolier ushers one of many flat-bottomed boats through the Canal Grande with ease.
Seriously, what’s more romantic than a gondola ride through Venice, Italy?

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Baroque Architecture

There is no shortage of architectural beauty along the Grand Canal or throughout Venice.
Behold, the beautiful baroque exterior of Santa Maria della Salute (Our Lady of Health) as seen from the waterways the Grand Canal. Salute!
Layers of paint and resurfaced walls erode to reveal beautiful textures from years gone by. If only walls could talk…

Saint Mark’s Square

Saint Mark’s Cathedral is as ornate as cake frosting…amazing craftsmanship!
The Lion of Saint Mark overlooks the Piazza San Marco from high upon the clock tower, a renaissance artifact filled with meaningful symbols.
Friendly pigeons surprise a visitor to St. Mark’s Square!

Delicious Things to Taste

This is the best kind of window-shopping as far as I’m concerned…decisions, decisions. I’ll take one of each, please!
Al fresco dining is a welcome option after a touring the area by foot.
Delicious sandwich combinations on fresh-made ciabatta make a satisfying lunch. This on is pancetta, pickles, and provolone. Yum!

Wonderful Costumes

Colorful masks are everywhere in Venice. This one’s a bit sinister! Ready for Carnevale? It’s a great souvenir, too.
This mysterious woman wears an ornate mask and jewels that compliment her beauty.
An interesting character at Carnevale di Venezia is guarding…his heart?
Completely hidden beneath gold and white, this masquerader remains an elegant mystery!
These two colorful Carnevale enthusiasts remind me of Mad Hatters! Wonderful costumes!
Butterflies in whimsical motion adorn this colorful costume. Fun!
Finally, the woman in blue. She’s just stunning! Carnevale in Venice Italy…it’s surreal.

Which is Your Favorite?

We’d love to know which costume is your favorite. Let us know in the comments, below.

If you enjoyed this photo gallery of Venice, Italy, we invite you to follow Enjoy Travel Life on Instagram to see more photos from around the world.

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Photo Gallery: Positano Italy

Photo Gallery: Positano Italy

48 Hours in Positano Italy

I’d scheduled only one night in Positano before I’d leave the Amalfi Coast for my family’s inland hometown of Ariano Irpino. That changed as soon as I arrived.

Positano begged me to stay.

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The private balcony on the third floor with sweeping views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, colorful homes chiseled into the mountainside architecturally reminiscent of Greek influence, and small shops with handmade linen dresses.

How could I possibly say no?

I immediately requested a second night at the Hotel Villa Gabrisa. Because it was the off-season, they were able to accommodate. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been so lucky.

Going Solo

For 48 hours, I explored solo what’s traditionally known as a couples’ destination, savoring picturesque moments to myself without regret.

I only wish I had more time to capture beautiful Positano on camera. Perhaps next time, because I know I’ll be going back.

Enjoy the photo gallery, and click to enlarge.

All photographs were taken by Jackie Gately with a Canon EOS Rebel or iPhone 7 Plus camera for exclusive use by Enjoy Travel Life (c) 2017.

Under the Tuscan Sun

Under the Tuscan Sun

A Italian Memoire by Frances Mayes

If you’ve seen the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, you’ll know that recently divorced, middle-aged Frances Mayes meets Marcello, a handsome Italian who takes her to Positano, Italy. They eat with his family on the beach, drink homemade limoncello, and have a short-lived love affair.

Under the Tuscan SunHaving seen the movie many times–it’s one of my favorites–of course I had to make a pilgrimage to Positano while visiting Italy. (I also made the trip to Cortona, where Frances bought a villa; more on that later.) As I walked the beach and listened to the Tyrrhenian Sea roar, I imagined the scene where Frances and Marcello walked along together, flirting with the future. Later, navigating the winding streets of Positano, each with stunning views of mountains and sea, I kept an eye on the balconies above for a handsome Italian man to call down to me… No such luck, but I remained enchanted.

Avid literary fan that I am, I decided to read the book that inspired the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun by (the real) Frances Mayes. I was surprised to find it was very different from the movie I so loved! Once I got past that little disappointment, I enjoyed romantic descriptions of the Tuscan countryside and the true life story of Frances Mayes’ journey. I understood how descriptions of Tuscany and some quirky characters could inspire the movie. But, it is truly a horse of different color. Nonetheless, I found the setting, culture, and characters delightful. Mayes’ is a master at articulating the richness of the Italian countryside; No doubt, you will feel as though you are in Italy while reading.


5 Must-Haves for Fashionable Florence, Italy

5 Must-Haves for Fashionable Florence, Italy

Travel Essentials

I did a little shopping before going to fashionable Florence Italy to update my look – just a few things I thought would travel well: some trendy jeans, clean walking shoes, some tailored cotton shirts, a light weight Michael Kors jacket that squished down into a carrying bag should the weather turn, which came in soooo handy! After all, I couldn’t go to the “Cradle of the Renaissance” looking disheveled. I targeted “neat” because on most occasions, I’m more of a functional, practically-dressed girl. Fashion was really never my thing.
MIchael Kors Navy Chevron Quilted Packable

Tommy Hilfiger Women's Floreda Sneaker

Beautiful Italian Women

When I got to Florence, there was something about the Italian women that truly inspired me. Many of them were so beautiful! I watched in awe as they passed me by, sunglasses glinting in the sun, tossing their shiny dark hair, smelling good, with big leather bags slung over their shoulders, and leather boots clacking on the city’s ancient cobblestone. What was it about them?

After a while, I noticed it wasn’t that the women’s physical characteristics were so striking (although I did envy their high cheekbones, big dark eyes, and olive skin); It was that they held themselves with such an air of confidence. What is it they say? “Confidence is the sexiest attribute a woman can have.” I saw it for myself in Florence. It’s 100% true.

5 Quintessential Fashion Accessories Inspired by Fashionable Florence, Italy

Now, you can’t buy confidence. But I suppose it didn’t hurt that they were sporting beautiful pashmina scarves and jewelry from the shoppes at Ponte Vecchio. Shopping in Florence was so tempting even I could not help but pick up a few must-haves as gifts from fashionable Florence. I narrowed it down to five quintessential fashion accessories one must bring (or take home) from Florence. I was ready for the transformation.

1.    Pashmina Scarf

You can find gorgeous pashmina scarves inexpensively at street vendors in and around the Piazza de Santa Croce, a famous and bussling square in Florence. Soft and colorful with intricately woven patterns, they can be worn looped around your neck or gracefully draped over your shoulders like a shawl. Everyone wears scarves, even the guys wrap them smartly around their necks.

Nine Seven Genuine Leather Women's Pointed Toe Chunky Heel Side Zip Handmade Trendy Designed Ankle Boots

2.    Leather Boots

You’ll find stylish, soft leather ankle boots in many of the store windows. You will be even more surprised at their affordability. A comfortable low heel makes a great finish to jeans while still looking classy — and you can’t beat the Italian leather. Regrettably, I didn’t splurge on the leather boots while in Florence. (What was I thinking?!)  Knock-off boots were the first thing I bought when I returned home.

Steve Madden Women's Twill and Plaid Reversible Ruana3.    A Stylish Wrap

There is something so artistic about wrapping yourself in a fine poncho wrap and tossing one side assymetrically over your shoulder. There were many beautiful, woven styles in natural fibers, it was hard to choose which to take home. Again, the prices were so affordable! I settled on a black plaid that makes a tasteful statement at work or play to complete an outfit or serve at outerwear. I get compliments whenever I wear it, and It’s one of my prized possessions from Florence.

4.   A Leather Purse

The rich smell of leather will likely draw you into more than one leather shop in Florence. Fine stitching, classic styling, and super soft leather makes it hard to leave the shops without taking a genuine leather purse with you. I expected to pay a lot more for the quality of the bag I bought on

Michelangelo Assisi - Woman Shoulder Bag Azalea

Via dell’Oriuolo. It’s big enough and so well-made that I even use it to carry my laptop and paper notebooks on short trips. No regrets.



5.  Sunglasses

What woman’s mystique isn’t improved by a pair of great sunglasses! Whether you chose something Sophia Lauren might wear, or some cool Gucci aviators, no look is complete without them. I negotiated a Newbee Fashion-"Berrysweet" - Oversized High Fashion Sunglasses for Women with Rhinestones Blingbling UV Protectiongood price on some cheap sunglasses (10 Euro!) with a little bling on each side and wear them year round. Even when it’s not sunny, they are still my go to hair accessory.

To feel truly transformed by fashionable Florence, I discovered you must embrace fashion. As I pull my wrap asymmetrically around me, zip up my boots, toss my big bag over my shoulder and throw on my dark sunglasses for mystique…There I am, finally: Perfectly confident and ready to take on the world.

Breakfast in Positano, Italy

Breakfast in Positano, Italy

An Assortment of Goodness

Delicious Breakfast Choices

As I fill my dish with an assortment of delectables from the complimentary breakfast spread at Hotel Villa Gabrisa in Positano, Italy, it’s hard to choose what to take and what to leave behind. It all looks so good!
Cut fruit, fresh mozzarella balls, slivers of ricotta pie, prosciutto, and bright clementines picked fresh from the trees outside. Even the glossy prunes, which I don’t normally eat, are delicious here. They are fresh, tender, mild, and sweet, with no weird “what is that?” preservative flavor. Not a hint of rubbery.

If only it were fig season, but no such luck in this off-season of February. Those odd-looking fig trees are everywhere; also olive, lemon, orange, all in living color and contrast to our aging grocery store produce in the states. 
Breakfast would be incomplete without a slow frothy cappuccino — or two — served in bright hand-painted cups.

'Breakfast would be incomplete without a slow frothy cappuccino -- or two...' #Positano #Italia #Cappuccino Click To Tweet

Anticipating the Day Ahead

Today I bring my breakfast back to my room on the third floor, comfortably overlooking the Amalfi Coast from my balcony. Diffused light fills the air, as does the sound of aqua waves lapping the beach below, poised along the Gulf of Salerno and filled by the warm Tyrrhenian Sea.

I’m told the sand is black and sugar fine but have yet to bare my feet in it. The sun tries to burn through a morning fog, warm and moist, surrounding the steep cove. I am hopeful she will succeed, if only per una momento.


Exploring Positano

Housekeeping clamors in the room next door, reminding me I’ve lingered too long at my keyboard this morning.

With camera-in-hand, I will climb up and down what’s sure to be a thousand steps of Positano for the amazing scenes of the Amalfi Coast.

You can walk back and forth on the road for miles as it slowly winds up the cliffs of Positano, or find la scala (stairs) which cut through the mountainous tiers at a dizzying incline to reach the cliff top residences and shops quickly. Going down to the beach is waaaay easier.

Ultimately, as I sling my trusty camera across my neck like a purse, I know the best images will be those forever impressed upon my memories.

All photographs were taken by Jackie Gately with a Canon EOS Rebel or iPhone 7 Plus camera for exclusive use by Enjoy Travel Life (c) 2018.