Italy 2018

Stop two of my Eurotrip saw much nicer weather… or at least the forecast said so. In reality, it flipped on me so many times I didn’t know whether to pack shorts or a rain jacket, or both.

I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t travel Italy by the most independent means, I took the easy route and booked a Contiki (live your best life!) as I just didn’t have a clue what to prioritise or where to start. I chose the Little Italy trip, which took us all around Italia in 11 days.

We started of at the Vatican city in pouring rain. I wore shorts and a T-shirt this day. Just to let you know the kind of mental state I was in shooting these.

Next on the agenda was Sorrento, a beautiful seaside town just a boat ride away from Capri, a mountainside island with crystal blue waters, even on a rainy day. The heavens poured and our boat ride was so wet we all thought, screw it, and jumped into the ocean. The phrase “A fish can’t get wet” came to mind.

After drying off and getting my tourist-dork outfit on (#CapriSquad), I set off.

After a lovely Sorrento dinner and a little bit too much Limmoncillo was Pompei, the ancient Roman city frozen in time. Mount Mesuvias errupted in 79 AD which was the doing & undoing of this kingdom, it killed everything in it’s path, but preserved it for the world to see for centuries to come. The death toll (in the thousands) has for centuries remained unclear.

From the images above you may be thinking “wow Michael is really short”. But alas, that is just my 6 foot 8 room mate Guy, who upon meeting I had to physically point my head upwards to greet.

After a delicious pizza outside Pompeii, that I enjoyed a little bit too loudly, We moved on to Florence. We started with a walking tour & finished off at the Basilica of Santa Croce. Can confirm, it is a church. I moved on to explore a giant mansion and do some shopping through the Markets of Florence, only 4 days into my Italy trip and I already needed a new belt.

After sinking a few more limmoncello’s & giving Florence’s Karaoke scene a taste of my Music Theatre background, we ventured on an afternoon trip to my long lost love affairs house, La Casa Di Gulietta. A few people had mentioned I held some form of resemblance to a Young Leo (the debate between Nicholas Hoult and Young Leo as my celebrity dopple-ganger remains a hot topic of discussion).

I soon discovered that Italy has many superstitions which I ended up taking part of, the first, was the belief that ‘rubbing Juliet’s Breasts would bring you good luck’.

After Verona, Was Venice. Bucket list, check.

My favourite Photo from my whole trip, At the Rialto Bridge just after sunset.

Day two in Venice brought the rain, instead of going into see yet another Church (St Mark’s Basilica), I went to the Modern & Contemporary Art Museum and saw an awesome exhibit by Fiorucci the design label, showcasing the transformation of Italian fashion since 1914.

Taking a cheesy gondola through venice was how we signed this one off, it was pouring with rain when we’d booked our trip, which served as yet another reminder to avoid the tourist trap affairs. Never the less, nothing was going to stop me posing with a pink wall.

Moving on from the rainy days in Venice, we set our sites on the fashion capital of Italia, Milan. First, we stopped at Rocca Scaligera for brunch, then hopped on a boat through Lake Garda’s gorgeous waters.

And finally… Milan. I tore away from the group on this one, determined to hit as many culture spots as possible (while others opted to see Duomo Di Milano, you guessed it, another church). I stopped first at Campari House, which I stopped at for ‘one’ Campari and Soda, which quickly escalated to three and quite an intoxicated stumble across a shopping centre. Even after three (tripple shot?) Campari & Sodas, I found everything much to expensive. We’re talking 200 Euros for a black t-shirt, the staple of any photographers closet. See the shot reference below…

Powered with a little Italian confidence & creativity (synonym: Campari), I went into the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to find some style and satisfy some superstitions.

Apparently, it brings good luck to spin around on this bulls bangers and mash 3 times counter clockwise.

Poor Bloke.

This is a church.

And now… the moment we’ve all been waiting for, La Cinque Terre. After a boozy afternoon (please don’t notice any sort of trend here) in Milano, I was in a bit of a mood, much to Guy’s dismay as this was his golden insta opportunity. We followed his trip advisor spirit and had lunch over looking the whole damn thing, it was spectacular. Props to guy for making it happen. I was completely useless.

Resting up after a long day & lots of walking, tomorrow I visited Pisa. The last time I was here was when I was 6 and I was just as underwhelmed as I was then. Definitely something you can miss on your Euro-Extravaganza. All I wanted was to be back in beautiful Rome. We stopped at a winery in The Chianti Region on the way… Just because.

Back in Rome, I quickly realised I was on my last days in Italy. I spent it at the Colloseum, and finished things off with prosciutto in a park & a bottle of Rosé, benissimo.

That just about wraps it up! This guide was a little bit more of a picture diary (it all is really), as I hit so many spots with Contiki, I hope you enjoyed it!

Just to remind you - all of these images are available for print (except the photos of me, that’s weird, come on guys) & were shot on my Canon M50 with a converted and my 24-70 F2.8 II.

Next up on My Guide To The Galexy > Barcelona & Amsterdam, the end of my Euro-Trip!