My train hurtled through a valley resting between stunning mountains. The air felt fresher already and I could see the snow-capped mountains of Austria in the distance.
The view from Barbara’s backyard
I was visiting an Italian friend that I’d met while doing my scuba diving course on the Great Barrier Reef a year ago. Barbara had just arrived home only a week ago after finishing a year of travelling Australia. Great timing!
She lives in a really interesting part of Italy in the most northern part called South Tyrol. What makes it different to the rest of Italy is that Tyrol used to be under the rule of Austria until only about one hundred years ago, before Italy took control. It still retains much of its German ancestry and ways. German is the native spoken language here with Italian second. It even has its’ own version of Oktoberfest which is so cool! I only just missed out on the festival by one day which was a bummer though. The food is a mixture combining the best of each culture. The majority of signs and street names are in both German and Italian.
Best of all, it’s just naturally beautiful with being surrounded by tall green mountains covered in vineyards. I was even lucky enough to have perfect weather with blue sunny skies for my stay.
I got to sleep all alone in a spare bedroom at Barbara’s family home. It was such a treat! The next day we drove up into the mountains and did a short hike to a lovely cabin restaurant. We ate too much superb German/Italian food (hint: real Italian bacon is amazing), and then relaxed on lounger chairs with blankets admiring the view.
A lake at the bottom. And Barbara’s favourite place to swim in summer
Love the blankets! And the view
Cute llamas at the restaurant
And a bunny!
We wandered back down after a surprising amount of hours passed and back to Barbara’s house. For dinner that night, I learned how to make a really easy and delicious Italian pizza. The crispy mozzarella cheese on top was to die for.
I was sad to leave the next morning. Barbara’s family had been so generous in hosting me. I really loved learning about Italian stuff and home life from a native, and being shown what to eat and drink. It was surprising to find out that there is more to Italian food than just pizza and pasta. It was quite an eye-opener.
It was time to head south though. After running out of time in Spain, I was trying to be a lot more time-conscious this time to maximise my time in Italy which meant planning more than a day in advance (ick!) and some long travel distances (ick again!). I had a long day of travelling ahead of me as I was heading all the way down to Florence. I was using Blablacar (like ride share) again as it was so economical price-wise compared to the trains.
I gave Barbara a hug and three cheek kisses as is the Italian custom, and hopped into my Blablacar.
View from the cabin restaurant. Can’t get it out of my mind. Was so stunning and vividly green. Photos don’t do it justice