In May I visited the fewest amount of countries that I have so far this trip. I enjoyed sitting still in Italy for the majority of the month.
But even though I spent the majority of the month in just one country, I finally was able to explore Italy. My weekends spent in Venice , the Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast just further entrenched by absolute love for Italy.
At the very end of the month I said goodbye to my base in Florence and headed to Slovenia. I was excited but also anxious to be back on the road again. But Slovenia was the perfect place to restart my backpacking adventures. I can’t wait to share all my Slovenian adventures with you all!
1 May- Poggibonsi, Italy
2 May- San Gimignano, Italy
3 May-6 May- Florence, Italy
6 May-8 May- Venice, Italy
9 May- Verona, Italy
10 May-12 May- Florence, Italy
13 May- Lucca, Italy
14 May-16 May- Cinque Terre, Italy
17 May-19 May- Florence, Italy
20 May- Nocera Inferiore and Pompeii, Italy
21 May-23 May- Amalfi Coast, Italy
24 May-28 May- Florence Italy
29 May-31 May- Bled, Slovenia
Some Interesting Statistics
Countries Visited- 2
Trains- 40 (including all of the trains to Prato from Florence and back almost everyday)
Things Lost- 1 (I left my travel clothes line behind in Florence)
My Very Own Apartment- 1
Words of my assignment I need to write while travelling- 9000
- Visiting Venice- I actually didn’t expect to like Venice at all. I thought it was going to be super touristy and super terrible. But I was surprised at how much I loved it. Yes there are a lot of tourists but there were quiet alleyways and corners we found. From the small local bar we drank Aperol Spritz at, to the little restaurant tucked down an alleyway, I loved all of the hidden corners of Venice. And the canals and buildings are just simply stunning!
- The Cinque Terre- the Cinque Terre is definitely my favourite place in all of Italy. A few people had mentioned to me that they thought it was overrated but I have to completely disagree. The towns were ridiculously beautiful and the whole atmosphere of the towns was so cute and quaint. We stayed in Riomaggiore and had the best view of the coloured terraced houses and the water from our hotel window. But the highlight was the hike we did between Volastra to Cornigilia and then to Vernaza; the scenery was incredible.
- Having fun with Pasq’s relatives. My mum and her boyfriend, Pasq visited this month and as he is Italian we got to catch up with some of his relatives. They were all so welcoming and even though the language barrier was very intense (they hardly spoke any English), it was such a great experience getting to know them all.
- This was the first country I visited after heading back out on the road and I’m absolutely in love with it. I spent the last three days of May exploring some spectacular parts of this forgotten destination. I had the best fun ever white water rafting on the Soca river, I was awestruck by how huge and epic the Skocjan caves are, and I walked 3 hours in the pouring rain to explore the stunning Vintgar Gorge. Slovenia reminded me of all the reasons why travelling makes me the happiest person in the world!
Favourite Food Moments
- A seafood feast in Poggibonsi. When staying with some of Pasq’s relatives in the tiny Tuscan village of Staggia Senese, we headed to nearby Poggibonsi for lunch. As we gorged on mountains of seafood including mussels, prawns, crab, fish and sardines, and drank bottomless bottles of wine, I felt a bit anxious at what the bill was going to come to. But it turned out that this insane feast including all of the wine we drank and dessert came to only €30. It just demonstrates the value that can be found in tiny towns off the beaten tourist trail.
- Seafood Spaghetti in Riomaggiore. This is hands down the best dish I ate the whole time I was in Italy. The seafood was fresh and the star of the dish. Like all good Italian dishes, the dish relies on the simplicity of delicious ingredients without all of the fanfare we sometimes need to put into our dishes. Instead of smothering that beautifully cooked seafood in sauce, the spaghetti had clearly been cooked in fish stock and tossed with a little bit of garlic, salt and butter. It was incredible and I think I’ll be dreaming about it for a while.
- Pizza in Nocera Inferiore. Before heading to the Amalfi Coast we stopped off for a night with Pasq’s relatives in Nocera, just thirty minutes away from Naples. Given Naples is the birthplace of Pizza, we were able to get some awesome and authentic pizza while in Nocera. It was hands down the best pizza I’ve ever had, but the highlight for me was the deep fried pizza dough balls smothered in tomato pasta sauce and mozzarella!
- Saying goodbye to my Mum. After spending a great month exploring Italy, I finally was faced with saying goodbye to my Mum once more. I thought I had myself all under control. Our whole last day together I didn’t have any feeling of dread. But when it came to the actual saying goodbye part I was an absolute mess. I managed to hold it together enough to get on the train before having a little bit of a cry. But it hasn’t taken me too long to get used to not having her around again. So hopefully the next time I’ll cry will be when I’m saying hello again at the airport in Melbourne.
- Leaving Florence. I basically moped around the apartment for my whole last week in Florence. I’d fallen in love with the idea of having a base, I’d gotten comfortable with not having to pack my bag every couple of days, or move around, and my bed in Florence was seriously the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. Leaving all that behind was a little hard. Luckily Slovenia has been so fantastic that I haven’t been missing Florence at all!
Money Spent- $3990
So I just managed to scrap under the $4000 mark for this month. I severely underestimated how expensive Italy was going to be, especially when you are doing weekend trips and have to pay for transport to and from places every weekend. Whilst I never spent very much during the week, my weeks just kept chipping away at my budget.
This month while on the road I’ll be looking for ways to make up this huge dent in the budget. I’ve already started to get in the frugal mindset by cooking most of my meals while in Slovenia, or eating cheap ones such as the awesome kebabs they have here for only €3.5. Luckily I’m headed to cheaper pastures for June!
Of course, you can see all my expenses in itemised form at this link.
The complete opposite of writers block is the best way to describe my publishing schedule this month. After writing an epic 18 posts this month, I’m finally starting to feel like I’m catching up. Of course I’m still trailing two months behind but you can get more instant updates on snapchat (brittytt) or instagram.
Instagram Top Five
For once I have to agree with the people of Instagram! 3 of my top 5 instagram posts this month were from Cinque Terre. I wasn’t lying when I said it was beautiful! And my photo of the Soca River in Triglav National Park in Slovenia was also up there.
A photo posted by Britt Jeffs (@adventureliesinfront) on
A photo posted by Britt Jeffs (@adventureliesinfront) on
I’m so excited for the next month of travel as I’ll be heading to some countries that have been on the top of my bucket list for a very long time. Expect updates from Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece. I’ll also be reunited with my grandmother this month in Greece, as well as my godparents!