Friday, June 22, 2012

Retro Vacation Photos {Florence and Venice Italy}

The thing about traveling with a large group when you are 20-years-old, is that you get to experience a lot of things that you wouldn't get to experience if you had not signed up to travel with a large group. The group tours, the special tour bus rest stop-shopping traps, the long bus rides between destinations. Don't get me wrong, I think EF Tours does an incredible job hustling tons of people around historic stuff, but I wouldn't say that I got the most authentic experience possible. But I didn't know that because I was 20. And I had never been anywhere. I had never experience any culture outside the midwest.

 However, when our tour bus opened its squeaky door on the hilltop park overlooking the beautiful city of Florence and we stepped off the bus into the sunshine with a panoramic view overlooking the famous Duomo, there was a beautiful wedding being photographed below....I think I fell in love with Italy more than I ever realized you could fall in love with a place. The photos do not convey the pure sense of romance and breathtaking power of the historic city. It was an incredible view and after that moment, I knew I wanted to have a destination wedding. It didn't have to be to Italy, but it had to be somewhere that wasn't Missouri.

As I mentioned previously, the story of my Italian adventure started with a bit of comedy and ended with a tragedy. A few weeks before the trip, I had photographed my father's wedding. It was a very small ceremony at a local wedding chapel.

While I was in Florence, (having just witnessed the wedding above), I got a long-distance phone call from my dad at the hotel. His new wife's mother had just been killed in a car accident. His voice was filled with grief, and I was thousands of miles away, there was nothing I could do except express my condolences. When I returned to the states, my entire family was in a state of mourning and the funeral was just devastating. It was a very difficult time. Quietly, I developed my photos a few weeks later and tucked them into albums.....but no one really wanted to hear the stories or see the photos from the trip.

Its been 9 years since this trip. I've looked at the photos a few times, but I'm excited to share them here, now. 

Perhaps we were all a little boy crazy, or maybe it was the attention that we got from the Italian men, but I think most of the ladies on the tour all fell in love with our tour guide, our gondola operator and even an Italian waiter or two. The men in Rome were especially friendly, whistling and singing and saying things in Italian whenever we walked by.

Venice was one of the most incredible cities I have ever been to. It is a photographer's dream. With all of the incredible architecture and the picturesque passageways and waterways. Even a line full of laundry is a beautiful scene.

Its not a real vacation until you feed something cute out of the palm of your hand.

To see where the retro series started, click here here and Italy part 1 is here.


Hotel venice airport said...

Breathtaking and mesmerizing destination! Congratulations! Such colorful photos.

Bong Ortiz said...

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