Torino… All About the Porticos

Turin is a beautiful city. Its space goes beyond anything that has ever been imagined before.

Mark Twain

We arrived in Torino late on a Friday night and we were there until Monday night. We stayed at the Flaneur Bed and Breakfast and the owner was so friendly and knowledgeable about the city. He took the time to highlight, on a map, all the places we needed to go and also gave us some café recommendations in the area. One thing you will notice as you walk around the city is an abundance of porticos. It was King Victor Emmanuel I who wanted to build up Torino and wanted to have a way to walk from building to building without having to bring an umbrella with him. Now all the locals can have shade in the summer from the heat, protection in the winter from the snow, and cover on those rainy days. It was Mark Twain that said, “Turin is a beautiful city. Its space goes beyond anything that has ever been imagined before.” This area was created for a reason and it is beautifully laid out.  

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Berlin: A Unique City

The most dangerous worldviews are the worldviews of those who have never viewed the world.

Alexander von Humboldt

Berlin does not have the happiest past, but it does have a bright future and you can see that when you visit the city. It was Alexander Von Humboldt that said, “The most dangerous worldviews are the worldviews of those who have never viewed the world.” This is what we plan on doing! We plan on exploring all of what a city has to offer: past, present, and future. We were so excited to be able to explore this city with our two friends that traveled with us (check out our other travels to Amalfi Coast/Path of the Gods and Munich/Oktoberfest).

While we were in Berlin we stayed at Motel One Berlin-Alexanderplatz. This hotel was very new, accommodating, and centrally located in what was once known as the East side of Berlin. Fun fact: the crosswalk lights are different on the East side versus the West part of Berlin and what we are used to in the States. Instead of an orange hand or white walking signs, East Berlin uses a little guy with a hat called the Ampelmannchen, or “little traffic light man.” 

If you have time, we recommend that you follow along with Rick Steves’ free walking tour app of Berlin. He does a great job and really has you walking around the whole city. We learned a lot listening to him, but an interesting fact we didn’t realize is that Berlin is actually built on top of low-lying, marshy land. As a result, during WWII there were a lot of bombs that didn’t explode and are still in the water to this day. There are still signs that you can see today that say, “don’t drop anchor.” 

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Prost to Munich and Oktoberfest

The best beers are the ones we drink with friends.


We were so excited to travel to Munich, Germany with our friends! We were only there for about two days, but we loved exploring this city.

Our top priority was Oktoberfest so we got a hotel in the town of Planegg, which was about an hour train ride away from Hauptbahnhof, the central Munich train station and a 40-minute train ride to the Oktoberfest fairgrounds. This little town was quiet and quaint and we really enjoyed it.

We arrived at the the Munich airport on Wednesday and headed to the Hauptbahnhof station to drop off our bags at the storage lockers because we didn’t want to lug them around all day. The lockers were about 5 euros for the whole day. Make sure you don’t lose the key!

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Path of the Gods: Amalfi Coast

If bliss could be a colour, today would be Amalfi Blue.

Lisa Fantino (author)

Visiting the Amalfi Coast always seems like a dream with how beautiful it is. We got the opportunity to check off hiking the Path of the Gods (bucket list item of things to do while we are living here), explore more Amalfi towns, and try more delectable restaurants with two of our amazing friends that were visiting us! It was Lisa Fantino that said, “If bliss could be a colour, today would be Amalfi Blue.” The water was so electric and endearing. We had a great time enjoying the views as we took a private car ride through the Amalfi Coast cliffs to our weekend hotel in Amalfi town at the end of September. 

Here are more things to do, towns to see, and restaurants to try in Amalfi Coast! Missed our first blog on Amalfi? Read it here.

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Stockholm: Endless Islands, One Unforgettable City

Mamma mia, here I go again. My, my, how can I resist you?


ABBA said it best, “Mamma mia, here I go again. My, my, how can I resist you?” This is how we felt from going on another trip in August! August was a busy travel month for us, but we loved every minute of it. This was the first time we visited Sweden and really “how can (we) resist you?!” It was such a cool country with so much history and things to see. We didn’t get to see it all, but what we did see we fell in love with. When we go back, we will have to prioritize seeing the Drottningholm Palace and Skyview high. We spent Friday to Monday there and the August weather was so nice. We ended up staying at the Sheraton Stockholm Hotel and it was a great option because it was so centralized. It was right across the street from the Gamla Stan.

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