This year, we celebrated five years of marriage by heading back to the place our story began. We first met in a photography class in Florence, Italy. It was (and is) the only photography class that either of us have ever taken. It is amazing (and a bit terrifying) to look back at the decision to study abroad in Italy, knowing how immeasurably different each of our lives would be. I certainly wouldn't live in St. Louis, I likely wouldn't be a photographer, and I never would have met my wife. All of that to say, Italy is an important place for us, and it was phenomenal to travel back. We started out our trip in Lake Como, where we stayed in a stunning bed and breakfast high up on the mountainside. We paid for the panoramic views with an exhausting climb, but it was worth it! We loved the narrow winding paths and tranquil harbors of the small Lake Como towns. We walked the canal ways of Venice, where we snacked on cicchetti while sipping Veneto wine. To escape the throngs of tourists, we fought against our yawns to explore an empty Piazza San Marco in the early morning light. Next, we headed south to Orvieto, an Umbrian town set atop a volcanic bluff. We loved Orvieto - we met some delightful people (including Federico the shoemaker pictured below, who married a girl from Ohio!), ate amazing food (fresh truffles!), and enjoyed every inch of the small city. It didn't hurt that our B&B required a short walk through an olive grove. From there, we ventured to Florence, our former home. We walked the same stunning streets and saw a few familiar faces. We at the best pizza in the world (Gusta Pizza in Santo Spirito - get the one with Calabrese salami!). We also saw a "Carretto da Lavoro" which is a Sicilian work cart and it's where my last name comes from. At the tail end of our trip, we headed to Genova. I can't tell you how many Italians looked at us questioningly when we said we were going to Genova - "No, no," they would say, "Genova is a working city! I have a wonderful idea for you instead - go to Cinque Terre." Cinque Terre is beautiful, absolutely, but we had an amazing time in Genova. We spent some time on the water, sailing up to Portofino and Santa Margherita. Here are some of our favorite photos from this fantastic trip.

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