Family Portrait Month – September 2014
August 13th, 2014

Family Portrait Month 2014

We just love this time of year!  The heat of the summer is nearing an end, school is starting back, and schedules are getting back to “normal”.  This fall is going to be different though.  During the month of September, we will participate with an elite group of photographers around the country in a very special family portrait promotion. Throughout the month we will celebrate “Family Portrait Month,” a wonderful opportunity for you to update your family portrait (or portraits of your children) and help to support Dando Amor, a non-profit charity, founded by photographers and dedicated to improving the lives of orphans living in deplorable conditions in the developing world.

During September, we will donate your $190 session fee to Dando Amor, which makes regular service trips to orphanages in Ecuador, Burkina Faso-Africa and Haiti. In 2013 Dando Amor opened its own orphanage in Quito, Ecuador. The charity also provides volunteers who raise funds for it to experience “a different kind of vacation,” so they can be personally involved in helping orphans live better and fuller lives. Volunteers have taken part in hands-on activities ranging from repairing facilities, building classrooms, and replacing sewer systems, to purchasing vital furnishings and fixtures such as cribs, beds, mattresses, as well as everyday necessities that American children take for granted.

We hope you will join with us in helping to make this vital work possible. Don’t forget that the holiday season is right around the corner, so there’s no better time for a family portrait, which always is appreciated as gifts for family and friends and as holiday greeting cards.

To learn more about the charity log on to www.dandoamor.org

To reserve your session or to learn more about Family Portrait Month, contact us at 352.562.3066 or email photo@footstone.com

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Connie and Jason’s Central Florida Wedding
August 27th, 2014

If you were keeping up with Footstone throughout the spring, you probably heard that we had 13 weddings in 11 weeks!  It was amazing!  Connie and Jason’s Altamonte Springs wedding kicked everything off in March.  If you have never been to Cranes Roost Park, you should definitely make plans to visit.  This area is full of shops, restaurants and beautiful walkways and benches along the water.  It is a great place for your family or a special date night. Connie’s parents live just a few minutes away from the Park and they walk the loop together almost every night.

Connie and Jason could not have asked for a more beautiful day, especially when considering how unpredictable it can be this time of year in Florida.  This sunny afternoon provided for some spectacular images as we spent time walking around with the happy couple and their bridal party in this lovely area.  Connie wanted their wedding to be simple and fun. Their close friends and family gathered under the grande arch and perfectly blue sky for the ceremony.  Then Connie changed into a second gown and they enjoyed a delicious meal at Seasons 52 Restaurant.

Connie shared with us that there was nothing at all she would change about her wedding!  The advice she has for future brides is to take it one small step at a time through the planning process, and on the day of the wedding, don’t worry about the little details!

Tiffany and Jimmy Choo Wedding Details Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com Jo Malone and Gold Earrings Wedding Details Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com Groom Getting Ready Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com Bride Getting Ready Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com Bride by Ivy Covered Wall Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com Pink Bouquet Flower Arrangement Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com Outdoor First Look Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com

Connie mentioned to us that one special time of the day was during their first look as “it was really the only time we got to spend alone, just the two of us. It was nice to just be with him and not be dealing with all the wedding day details.”  We are so glad when our couples have these few quiet moments to themselves!

Outdoor Fountain Altamonte Springs Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com Bride and Groom Outdoor Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com Bride and Groom Outdoor Altamonte Springs Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.comBride and Groom Outdoor Altamonte Springs Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com Brides and Bridesmaids  Outdoor Altamonte Springs Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com Brides and Bridesmaids  Outdoor Altamonte Springs Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com Groom and Groomsmen  Outdoor Altamonte Springs Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com Outdoor Altamonte Springs Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com Bride and Groom  Outdoor Altamonte Springs Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com

The reception was one of Connie’s favorite parts of the day.  In her words, one of the most memorable moments were “The toasts! After the wedding was over (whew!) it just felt really relieving to just be with our family and friends. It was really sweet and sentimental to hear everyone’s speeches.”  She also loved their wedding cake.  The special Gator cake topper was a special reminder of their time in college at the University of Florida.

Gator Topper Cake Details Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com Champagne Reception Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com Gator Cake Toppers Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com Champagne Reception Cheers Wedding Footstone Photography www.FootstonePhotography.com

Venue: Cranes Roost Park • Reception: Seasons 52 • Hair & Makeup: Kristy Alonzo • Rentals: A Chair Affair • Florals: Enchanted Flowers • Cake: Publix

 

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Kaley & Cameron’s Southern Engagement Session
August 21st, 2014

Kaley and Cameron told us that Texas is their favorite place to be. While weren’t able to travel to Texas with them for their engagement session, it is definitely not lacking on classic country details!  We were once again amazed by the beautiful piece of family property that they chose for their session.  For the wedding, Kaley and Cameron have planned a romantic country ceremony with a fun Texas bar-like reception at Shiloh Farms in Tallahassee, Florida. We can’t wait to see how they will incorporate their engagement sessions images into the decor!

We have to share how Cameron proposed to Kaley. He recruited Kaley’s mom, who loves photography and takes a lot of beautiful pictures whenever she can, to convince Kaley to take pictures with Cameron on family property that they were about to sale. Since the property wouldn’t belong to them much longer, they needed to go ahead and take the pictures soon. So Amy, Kaley’s mom, drove her out to the spot where she was to meet Cameron. He just happened to be standing there with their horses and dogs and as Kaley got closer, she saw the horses had signs asking “will you marry”, then the dogs had signs with arrows pointing to Cameron. When Kaley walked up he got down on one knee and proposed. Kaley laughs, “I said ‘Duh.. oh, I mean yes!’” So hair and make up was done and Kaley and Cameron have great images of the proposal. Genius idea!

There are just a few more months until their big day and we can hardly wait.  Throughout the planning process we have really gotten to know their family and are so excited to celebrate with them.  Cold or hot, rain or shine, it is always a beautiful day when you are marrying your best friend!

Outdoor Florida Engagement Session with Rustic, Country, Cowboy Theme  www.footstonephotography.com Outdoor Florida Engagement Session with Rustic, Country, Cowboy Theme  www.footstonephotography.com Outdoor Florida Engagement Session with Rustic, Country, Cowboy Theme  www.footstonephotography.com Outdoor Florida Engagement Session with Rustic, Country, Cowboy Theme  www.footstonephotography.com Outdoor Florida Engagement Session with Rustic, Country, Cowboy Theme  www.footstonephotography.com Outdoor Florida Engagement Session with Rustic, Country, Cowboy Theme  www.footstonephotography.com Outdoor Florida Engagement Session with Rustic, Country, Cowboy Theme  www.footstonephotography.com Outdoor Florida Engagement Session with Rustic, Country, Cowboy Theme  www.footstonephotography.com Outdoor Florida Engagement Session with Rustic, Country, Cowboy Theme  www.footstonephotography.com Outdoor Florida Engagement Session with Rustic, Country, Cowboy Theme  www.footstonephotography.com Outdoor Florida Engagement Session with Rustic, Country, Cowboy Theme  www.footstonephotography.com Outdoor Florida Engagement Session with Rustic, Country, Cowboy Theme  www.footstonephotography.com Outdoor Florida Engagement Session with Rustic, Country, Cowboy Theme  www.footstonephotography.com Outdoor Florida Engagement Session with Rustic, Country, Cowboy Theme  www.footstonephotography.com Outdoor Florida Engagement Session with Rustic, Country, Cowboy Theme  www.footstonephotography.com Outdoor Florida Engagement Session with Rustic, Country, Cowboy Theme  www.footstonephotography.com

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Footstone in Italy Final Post – Venice!
August 7th, 2014

Follow us at #FootstoneInItaly on Instagram (@footstonephotography) and Twitter (@footstonephoto @kristinprivette)

Well, I say final post… we will have ONE more post where we share the images and details of our incredible GraphiStudio Plant Tour in Arba, Italy. This is the last post of our adventures and pictures with the family! Many of you know, but we made it home safely a few days ago. The boys are finally sleeping past 4:30am and we’re hopeful that life is now returning to “normal”. We’ll share with you our last stop before returning from our four week journey.

Words cannot express the beauty of the elegant medieval city of Venice. Walking through the car-free streets, hearing boats glide by, and looking around at the palaces seemed like an absolute fantasy. But then my little ones start screaming each other and I quickly check back in to reality! After driving almost four hours from Tuscany, we figured out how to park across the canal. As you know, no cars at all drive into the city. Every 7 minutes a ferry pulls up to the dock and carries tourists and passengers onto the island. I laughed at the sign painted on the wall at the parking garage saying, “not liable for anything in your car or your car itself”… or something similar.

Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitalyThe hotel we stayed at was absolutely perfect. Ca’Gottadi, pictured above, is a bed and breakfast that sits right on the water, slightly away from the large crowds, but still in the center of the city. They served cappuccino and “biscuits” all day long. They had an amazing spread for breakfast including nutella and fresh croissants (which I’ve eaten my weight in, btw) that we enjoyed while overlooking the water. Paul and I were thrilled when we sat on the bed and actually felt a slight give! (I didn’t want to complain, but the beds at our house in Tuscany were like a baby mattress.) The boys loved the fact that they each got their own beds. Plus they each got a new pair of red bath slippers which they thought was the coolest thing ever. Win had to plan out how he’d wake up… “I’ll wake up, Mom. Then sit up in my own bed. Then put my slippers. Then walk over to your bed. How does that sound, Mom?” This is funnier when you know his serious little personality.

Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitalyFootstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitalyFootstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitalyNo one is allowed to take pictures in any of the churches, but when we walked inside Santa Maria del Rosario, Win went all the way up to the altar and said a prayer. So sweet.

Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitalyWe made it to St. Mark’s Basilica and were so excited to see it again, but then were so sad to find it under construction! The square was still incredibly lovely and the boys loved chasing after the pigeons. Not sure how much the pigeons enjoyed it.

Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitalyGetting bitten is always a risk! And pigeon poop on your shoes is too!

Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitalyYep… totally he stepped on that one above! After we played for a good hour or more on the square, we headed away from the crowds and found this lovely little restaurant called a Le Colonete with seating out front that ran along a narrow alley. I don’t think we’ve eaten inside many restaurants at all, actually. Even when we were at the villa we ate on the porch. Can’t do much of that in the summers in Florida!

A quick stories about the image below, we had lots of cappuccino while we were there and the boys found the foamed milk quite interesting. So every time we ordered one, they both wanted to stir in our sugar! So this time, both boys crawled up on Paul’s lap to “help” daddy with his coffee. Paul’s worrying they’ll spill one drop of his divine beverage!

Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitalyFootstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitalyMany of you know Brasher’s favorite little kitty “Hinley”. Aunt Sally gave that to him and so he named it after her cat Hinley. He carries it everywhere and it’s definitely become his security blanket. We managed not to lose her the entire trip (which isn’t easy!) until our final packing while heading to the airport. Thanks to Amazon Prime, Hinley is back home and safe! She even looks brighter and smells much better!

Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitalyFootstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitalyThe two cars you see in their hands became a seriously BIG deal. Shops and kiosks line every street and for a kid, not to stop at every single one to look at the toys is a tragic thing! So we explained “window shopping” to Win and therefore he had a mission. All day he’d stop at each window that had toys, check the price and the selection, then move on to the next store to see what they had. So by late afternoon, he knew, without a doubt, that THESE cars were the best deal. They didn’t let them go the entire rest of the day. But quickly the cars became dragons flying through the streets… oh how we love How to Train Your Dragon!

Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitalyWe got the biggest kick out of the “garage” doors!

Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitalyThat evening, Paul tucked us in bed and then snuck back out to wander through the much quieter streets of Venice at night. We read that there can be as many as 150,000 tourists a day and only 58,000 people actually live in Venice. But at night, most stay in cheaper hotels on the mainland and many return to their cruise ships and beach resorts. Venice streets are considered very safe at night so Paul just wandered and got to watch more locals enjoying their gorgeous moonlit city.

Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Venice Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 06 #footstoneinitalyA few of these will definitely get printed and be hung on our walls soon! Thank you for following our family as we made this incredible trip. We’re looking forward to next July when we can take some of you back with us! If you’re interested, we do have some basic information ready to share of what the trip will look like and what beautiful options you’re going to have. Call the studio soon because you definitely want a year to plan! July 2015 will be here before you know it!  (352) 562-3066

Follow us at #FootstoneInItaly on Instagram (@footstonephotography) and Twitter (@footstonephoto @kristinprivette)

 

Don’t forget… in July of 2015, Paul & Kristin are inviting FOUR couples or families to join them for an Italian Portrait Experience!  You will walk through the vineyards and countryside and tour the streets of Florence. After you’ve seen the gorgeous city, enjoyed a glass of wine and an incredible meal, you’ll head to the hills of Tuscany and they’ll photograph your family under the setting sun. You will have the experience of a lifetime sharing these moments with your family. The best part is, you’ll have the memories captured as art and printed to last a lifetime.  If you’re already sold on joining them in Italy next year, email or call the studio and we’ll arrange a time for you to meet with Kristin and Paul and start dreaming and planning for your ultimate Italian Portrait Experience!  We will also put you in touch with our travel agent to start planning right away.  

Our first summer in Italy was an amazing experience!  Find out more about the trip on these blog posts (linked below).  Contact us to start making your plans for the summer of 2015!!

Italy Blog Post 1: Arriving  -  Italy Blog Post 2: Camaiore

Italy Blog Post 3: Florence  -  Italy Blog Post 4: Siena

Italy Blog Post 5: Cinque Terre  –  Italy Bolog Post 6: Venice

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Footstone in Italy Post 5 – Cinque Terre!
July 30th, 2014

Follow us at #FootstoneInItaly on Instagram (@footstonephotography) and Twitter (@footstonephoto @kristinprivette)

For every blog post, I think I basically start with “this place was our favorite”… but I really do believe this next area was! Cinque Terre is one of the most spectacular and iconic towns in the Italian Riviera. The brightly colored houses sitting atop cliffs along the waters edge are literally mind blowing. It was only about a 45 minute drive from our house and once we started up the mountain, the views were absolute paradise. No cars are allowed to drive through or park in the city so we parked a steep 10 minute hike up the mountain. No museums, enormous cathedrals or large piazzas (squares)… it was just water, sun and stunning views.

Footstone Photography in Cinque Terre Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 05 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Cinque Terre Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 05 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Cinque Terre Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 05 #footstoneinitalyWe visited Cinque Terre three times actually.  That’s why I sincerely believe this was our favorite spot! The first time we went with Sally and Patrick and started in Riomaggiore, the first of the “five” (cinque) villages. We had an amazing lunch at a perfectly local little spot at the top of town. Then we headed further down to explore. There’s a boat that takes passengers to and from the five towns and that’s where we knew we’d get the most amazing views. So we took the ferry from Riomaggoire to Vernazza, the most famous of the five towns and the one seen in the most pictures. There were families and children playing at the beach at the tip of village and lazy and happy tourists just sitting and staring at the surroundings. We enjoyed what I believe was the best gelato we’ve had in Italy and continued to walk wishing we’d worn our bathing suits under our clothes! Before we left, we saw a group of Italian teenagers jumping off one of the cliffs stretching out into the water. Paul and Patrick pondered for a quick minute, but thankfully decided to just watch.

Footstone Photography in Cinque Terre Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 05 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Cinque Terre Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 05 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Cinque Terre Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 05 #footstoneinitalyOn our second trip back, we took Jen and Jake with us (remember their engagement session and wedding from a few years ago?!) and Paul mentioned the kids jumping off the cliffs. Both Jen and Jake were intrigued by this and neither hesitated before saying, “let’s do it”! (insert me sighing) Of course the water wasn’t calm this time and the waves were crashing into the rocks below and the wind was blowing. But there was absolutely no way I would talk Paul out of it, so I didn’t even try. He and Jake swam out and dove down to see how deep the water was first. Paul said the water was smashing them into the rocks and that they were so slippery he could barely grab on to get out… yet they still decided to do it (all while Win was watching and I’m picturing the day he will do the same thing and I won’t be able to get upset about it!).

Footstone Photography in Cinque Terre Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 05 #footstoneinitalyAs Win was watching the craziness, he said he wouldn’t jump until he was “grown up”. I know mine and Paul’s parents are reading this finding it humorous that we’re considered the grown ups!

Footstone Photography in Cinque Terre Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 05 #footstoneinitaly  Cliff JumpingJake is above on the left and Paul is on the right!  Dear Lord! Then Jen totally went for it too! I, however, being afraid of heights AND water, didn’t give it a second thought. Jen, you totally rock brave girl! I love her expression once she hit the water. So glad to be alive and uninjured!

Footstone Photography in Cinque Terre Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 05 #footstoneinitaly  Cliff JumpingA disclaimer for our families coming with us next year… we will absolutely be glad to take you down to Cinque Terre and I’m sure Paul will be glad to risk his life again and jump with you. I’ll take pictures while I stand safely off to the side and you’ll make an amazing memory and awesome bragging rights. However, in no way is this expected and feel free to pass on the cliff jumping portion of your excursion!

Follow us at #FootstoneInItaly on Instagram (@footstonephotography) and Twitter (@footstonephoto @kristinprivette)

 

Don’t forget… in July of 2015, Paul & Kristin are inviting FOUR couples or families to join them for an Italian Portrait Experience!  You will walk through the vineyards and countryside and tour the streets of Florence. After you’ve seen the gorgeous city, enjoyed a glass of wine and an incredible meal, you’ll head to the hills of Tuscany and they’ll photograph your family under the setting sun. You will have the experience of a lifetime sharing these moments with your family. The best part is, you’ll have the memories captured as art and printed to last a lifetime.  If you’re already sold on joining them in Italy next year, email or call the studio and we’ll arrange a time for you to meet with Kristin and Paul and start dreaming and planning for your ultimate Italian Portrait Experience!  We will also put you in touch with our travel agent to start planning right away.  

Our first summer in Italy was an amazing experience!  Find out more about the trip on these blog posts (linked below).  Contact us to start making your plans for the summer of 2015!!

Italy Blog Post 1: Arriving  -  Italy Blog Post 2: Camaiore

Italy Blog Post 3: Florence  -  Italy Blog Post 4: Siena

Italy Blog Post 5: Cinque Terre  -  Italy Bolog Post 6: Venice

 

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Footstone in Italy Post 4 – Siena!
July 24th, 2014

Follow us at #FootstoneInItaly on Instagram (@footstonephotography) and Twitter (@footstonephoto @kristinprivette)

Upon entering our third week in Tuscany, I’m grateful to feel a little more settled and equipped to wander and explore with ease. However, we’re admittedly starting to miss our comfy beds and big showers. (Bathrooms are very different here!)

Our excursion to Siena may remain as a favorite to all of us. The atmosphere is so very different here than the other cities we’ve visited. The streets are very quiet and quite narrow with a perfectly romantic charm that makes you feel as if you’re walking through a painting. This medieval city is built atop three hills and considered Italy’s ultimate “hill town”. We parked below the city and took an escalator up, up and up into town. Only residents and cabbies can drive into the main part of the city which makes it a wonderful walking experience.

There are two main sights in Siena, the Duomo and Il Campo, or the Main Square. When we came upon the baptistery on the back side of the Duomo, we were in awe and assumed the Duomo is what we were looking at. Then quickly realized this was just a small part of the magic we’d see by walking to the front side of the building! What made this experience even more powerful is we turned the corner and just a handful of people were sitting on the steps and a few onlookers lining the streets. But access was easy and the area was calm. It felt like we had a learned a special secret and were expected to keep it to ourselves.Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitalyThe image above left was the baptistery that we saw first. Though incredibly beautiful, you can see why we were in such awe as we rounded the corner and saw the front of the Duomo. This cathedral sits atop Siena’s highest point so that it is visible from miles around. The current structure dates back to 1215.

Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitalyThe image on the left shows an unfinished church that had been started in the early 1300′s. Florence was a big rival of Siena and after they finished building their grand cathedral, Siena started to do the same. In Rick Steves’ book, he shares that construction got complicated because there was no ground left in Siena so they just started building on top of other buildings. But then the Black Plague struck Italy and killed almost a 3rd of the country’s population. The church was never finished.

Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitalyThe streets were so steep in parts of Siena that we had to carefully slow ourselves when walking down and felt like we were mountain climbing when headed up. Brasher decided to go for it and ran (or flew) down this particular street. Again, one of the lovely things about this city is how little traffic there is. Rick Steves jokingly calls is “fiat free”.

Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitalyOn our excursions, we gave the boys an iPad to watch a movie on the way. (Don’t judge!) The favorite movie for this trip has been “How to Train Your Dragon”. I seriously think they can both recite most scenes by heart. Sally got a video of them performing a couple scenes that we’ll have to share later. Here is Brasher being a dragon chasing Win up the steep streets. Win was pretending the umbrella was his shield.

Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitalyThis is the main square in Siena called Il Campo. Originally this area was a field outside the former city walls. Now it is the heart of Siena where people gather to play soccer, eat dinner and just relax. The main building is City Hall and City Tower. There was actually a wedding happening and I think right after we took this picture, the bride and groom came out the far doors on the right. Of course we watched the photographer for quite awhile!

Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitalyOf course we’ve experienced awkward moments when we didn’t feel quite comfortable in certain restaurants or areas, but 95% of the time we’ve felt wonderfully accepted and genuinely welcome. The boys joined a soccer game with this dear family and made friends with other children in the square. Paul and I love that they’ve been given the experiences of being a minority and have had to communicate in another language. Win thinks it’s “cool” to try to speak to people in Italian.

Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitalyA bride of ours, Taylor, told us we must try carbonara while we were in Italy. We have yet to find it as a pasta dish, but we found a carbonara pizza! And even better, we found it while Sally and Patrick, who have become great friends with Taylor and her husband Tyler, were with us. Win loved it… obviously!

Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitalyI read that every year, Siena has a world famous, neighborhood horse race where 10 of the 17 neighborhoods compete by betting on a jockey and horse to win the medieval Palio di Siena. The square is roped off and becomes a track. Each neighborhood adorns colors and memorabilia significant to their area. They wave flags and spend days focused on the race. When the winner crosses the line, the winning neighborhood goes crazy and enjoys being the winner until next year’s race. While we were having dinner in the square, this parade of drums and flags comes around the corner. We learned this was a group representing one of the 17 neighborhoods, or contradas, and were having fun showing pride and marching in merriment. This was so exciting to see!

Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Siena Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 04 #footstoneinitalyAs I’m sure you can see from this long post, we loved Siena! Paul returned a few days later with just Sally and Patrick for a special Siena Tuscany Portrait Session… we’re so excited to share those images with you soon. We hoped you enjoyed this post!

Follow us at #FootstoneInItaly on Instagram (@footstonephotography) and Twitter (@footstonephoto @kristinprivette)

 

Update :  

Don’t forget… in July of 2015, Paul & Kristin are inviting FOUR couples or families to join them for an Italian Portrait Experience!  You will walk through the vineyards and countryside and tour the streets of Florence. After you’ve seen the gorgeous city, enjoyed a glass of wine and an incredible meal, you’ll head to the hills of Tuscany and they’ll photograph your family under the setting sun. You will have the experience of a lifetime sharing these moments with your family. The best part is, you’ll have the memories captured as art and printed to last a lifetime.  If you’re already sold on joining them in Italy next year, email or call the studio and we’ll arrange a time for you to meet with Kristin and Paul and start dreaming and planning for your ultimate Italian Portrait Experience!  We will also put you in touch with our travel agent to start planning right away.  

Our first summer in Italy was an amazing experience!  Find out more about the trip on these blog posts (linked below).  Contact us to start making your plans for the summer of 2015!!

Italy Blog Post 1: Arriving  -  Italy Blog Post 2: Camaiore

Italy Blog Post 3: Florence  -  Italy Blog Post 4: Siena

Italy Blog Post 5: Cinque Terre  -  Italy Bolog Post 6: Venice

 

 

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Footstone in Italy Post 3 – Florence!
July 22nd, 2014

Follow us at #FootstoneInItaly on Instagram (@footstonephotography) and Twitter (@footstonephoto @kristinprivette)

To even begin to describe the beauty of this country is quite futile. Walking through streets that were built before the medieval ages and seeing the great art that you’ve heard and read about since you were young, is just magical. We were so grateful to have Sally and Patrick, Paul’s sister and brother-in-law, join us recently.  As silly as it sounds, to see a familiar face and hear a familiar voice almost brought tears to my eyes!  It’s been so special to share part of this incredible experience with them.  (You might recognize Sally & Patrick from their engagement session or wedding!!)

Our first venture out was to Florence, just about an hour’s drive from our little villa.  Again with the help of Rick Steves’, we found parking and the bus that we rode into the city. This spectacular place is home to the most famous Duomo, Michelangelo’s David, and of course, many other treasured pieces of artwork and history.

You are always just a few steps away from an amazing restaurant in any Italian city. While walking along the Arno River by the famous bridge, Ponte Vecchio, we stopped for lunch at the most charming little spot called the Rivalta Cafe. With a gorgeous fresco on the ceiling, an enormous chandelier and the perfect old world atmosphere, we all enjoyed one of our best meals so far. I had a pesto gnocchi that was to die for!  But Paul, Sally and Patrick all ordered lime chicken and mashed potatoes and Win had a burger… missing home maybe?

Footstone Photography in Florence Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 03 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Florence Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 03 #footstoneinitalyMeaning “old bridge”, Ponte Vecchio is Florence’s most famous bridge. Originally these shops were all butcher shops because it was simple to throw the left over carcuses into the river. Now they are lovely little silver and gold shops with musicians playing and couples snuggling while enjoying the incredible view.

Footstone Photography in Florence Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 03 #footstoneinitalyFootstone Photography in Florence Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 03 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Florence Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 03 #footstoneinitaly

Brasher found this little shark toy, now named “Sharky” at a market in Camaiore. Sharky has been on every adventure with us so far!

Footstone Photography in Florence Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 03 #footstoneinitaly

Sally and I wanted to do just a little bit of shopping… our sweet boys waited so patiently!

Footstone Photography in Florence Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 03 #footstoneinitaly

This beautiful carousel was in the middle of the Piazza della Repubblica near the Duomo. The boys have sincerely enjoyed these rides along with the regular gelato breaks!

Footstone Photography in Florence Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 03 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Florence Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 03 #footstoneinitaly

Some interesting history that I read was that when the Duomo was built, the technology to complete a dome had not yet been created. The builders were confident someone would eventually figure it out and left the hole open where the dome would go. It took 14 years for architect Filippo Brunelleschi to build the structure and finish the first Renaissance dome that would be copied by many cathedrals throughout history.

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These magnificent bronze doors are located on the Baptistery that faces the Duomo. These happen to be a copy of the original doors created by artist Lorenzo Ghiberti. Michelangelo claimed these doors were fit to be the gates of paradise.

Footstone Photography in Florence Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 03 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Florence Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 03 #footstoneinitalyBrasher and Patrick, along with every person who walks by are amazed at this incredible building!

Our next excursion was to Sienna, which has actually been one of my favorite cities so far. While Florence was grand and even mind-blowing, Sienna is small, intimate and quite charming. We’ll share those images very soon!

Follow us at #FootstoneInItaly on Instagram (@footstonephotography) and Twitter (@footstonephoto @kristinprivette)

Update :  

Don’t forget… in July of 2015, Paul & Kristin are inviting FOUR couples or families to join them for an Italian Portrait Experience!  You will walk through the vineyards and countryside and tour the streets of Florence. After you’ve seen the gorgeous city, enjoyed a glass of wine and an incredible meal, you’ll head to the hills of Tuscany and they’ll photograph your family under the setting sun. You will have the experience of a lifetime sharing these moments with your family. The best part is, you’ll have the memories captured as art and printed to last a lifetime.  If you’re already sold on joining them in Italy next year, email or call the studio and we’ll arrange a time for you to meet with Kristin and Paul and start dreaming and planning for your ultimate Italian Portrait Experience!  We will also put you in touch with our travel agent to start planning right away.  

Our first summer in Italy was an amazing experience!  Find out more about the trip on these blog posts (linked below).  Contact us to start making your plans for the summer of 2015!!

Italy Blog Post 1: Arriving  -  Italy Blog Post 2: Camaiore

Italy Blog Post 3: Florence  -  Italy Blog Post 4: Siena

Italy Blog Post 5: Cinque Terre  -  Italy Bolog Post 6: Venice

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Footstone in Italy Part 2 – Camaiore!
July 18th, 2014

Follow us at #FootstoneInItaly on Instagram (@footstonephotography) and Twitter (@footstonephoto @kristinprivette)

Our home base while we stay in Italy has been in Camaiore, Tuscany; a lovely small town that sits on the west coast about an hour’s drive of Florence. The little 2 story villa sits on top of a mountain that’s part of the Italian Alps.  There are 4 homes on this property and the main house was once owned by the Prince of Spain.  (We’re hoping to tour the home before we leave!) The other three smaller homes were restored recently and date back to the 15 century.

Paul has been quite impressive navigating the area and driving just as fast and haphazardly as the locals.  I must admit I’m slightly worried about him sitting behind the wheel again in the States after being allowed to drive like this… But he’s found us the perfect little market to buy groceries.  He knows exactly how to get on and off the “autostrada” as we venture out of Camaiore.  And he’s only ended up heading into oncoming traffic once!  The drive up the mountain to the house, however, is a ridiculously frightening experience. It takes us a good 5 minutes or so just to make our way up the gravel road and around the super sharp turns, with absolutely no shoulders, that slope down to sudden death… As the boys shrill with joy and ask for daddy to go faster, I’m curled up in the fetal position with my eyes closed.

After our super yummy dinner at Ristorante da Oscar in Milan, I attempted to make a similar dish in our tiny little Italian kitchen.  Of course, it wasn’t just as perfect, but it was a delicious meal made even better while sitting on the front terrace overlooking the mountains and the sea.  A little ways North from the villa, you can see the cliffs and beaches of Cinque Terra.  This is a quite famous area with the colorful homes jetting out of the side of the mountains. We plan to drive there in just a few days for another excursion.

A couple nights ago, I asked Paul, “well, what are we going to do tomorrow?”  He responded… “Why don’t we go to Florence?”  The simple fact that those words could come of his mouth made us both chuckle.

Footstone Photography in Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 02 #footstoneinitalyFootstone Photography in Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 02 #footstoneinitaly
Paul and I spent a lot of time researching where we wanted “home base” to be. Camaiore has proven to be a great choice because it’s not a high tourist area so we definitely get a more local experience.  The property that the house sits on is actually an olive grove.  The first time we walked down to the pool, we assumed what we saw all over the deck under the trees were acorns.  Nope… olives.  It was the first time I ever had to say, “Brasher, don’t throw olives in the pool please!”

The gentlemen who maintains the grove and also the rental properties doesn’t speak any English at all.  It’s been quite fun trying to communicate with him because we both just keep repeating ourselves in our spoken language and eventually one of us recognizes a word and the message becomes clear.  Getting our linens washed took us about ten quite laughable minutes to work out!

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Another great thing about this area is that we get to enjoy both the mountains and the sea.  Just a few kilometers away is the Ligurian Sea. It’s an interesting area with miles of private beaches where you reserve a cabana and have access to bathrooms, pools and restaurants right off the beach.  Lido de Camaiore was compared by a local to our  ”Hamptons”. Can you see the rainbow in the image below?!

Footstone Photography in Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 02 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 02 #footstoneinitaly

Our view at sunset each night is magical.  The cliffs you see in the distance in the image below are the south side of Cinque Terre.  On clear nights you can see a light house on the farthest island and ships passing.

Footstone Photography in Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 02 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 02 #footstoneinitaly

Follow us at #FootstoneInItaly on Instagram (@footstonephotography) and Twitter (@footstonephoto @kristinprivette)

Update :  

Don’t forget… in July of 2015, Paul & Kristin are inviting FOUR couples or families to join them for an Italian Portrait Experience!  You will walk through the vineyards and countryside and tour the streets of Florence. After you’ve seen the gorgeous city, enjoyed a glass of wine and an incredible meal, you’ll head to the hills of Tuscany and they’ll photograph your family under the setting sun. You will have the experience of a lifetime sharing these moments with your family. The best part is, you’ll have the memories captured as art and printed to last a lifetime.  If you’re already sold on joining them in Italy next year, email or call the studio and we’ll arrange a time for you to meet with Kristin and Paul and start dreaming and planning for your ultimate Italian Portrait Experience!  We will also put you in touch with our travel agent to start planning right away.  

Our first summer in Italy was an amazing experience!  Find out more about the trip on these blog posts (linked below).  Contact us to start making your plans for the summer of 2015!!

Italy Blog Post 1: Arriving  -  Italy Blog Post 2: Camaiore

Italy Blog Post 3: Florence  -  Italy Blog Post 4: Siena

Italy Blog Post 5: Cinque Terre  -  Italy Bolog Post 6: Venice

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Footstone in Italy Post 1 – Arriving!
July 10th, 2014

Follow us at #FootstoneInItaly on Instagram (@footstonephotography) and Twitter (@footstonephoto @kristinprivette)

Footstone Photography in Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 01 #footstoneinitaly

We finally have internet!  What an incredible few days we’ve had!

Our month-long journey began with a night of little to no sleep as we fearfully packed what we guessed we may need for our family of four on our Italian Adventure. With a moderate amount of research and some absolute divine intervention, friends, family and Rick Steves gave advice on how to pack light with but with most necessary items. Paul created a remote system to house most of our boys favorite movies on two devices so that both could be entertained as we made our almost 17 hour trip across the ocean.

Thank you to Sally for dropping us off at the airport so we didn’t have to pay an exorbitant amount for parking!

We almost missed our last connection because we were standing in the wrong line to make it through customs. When Paul saw the line for “brief connections” we raced with a stroller and a six year old (and still too many bags) to a gentlemen who thankfully helped us move quickly and asked others to let us go ahead.  The terminal door had already been closed but the incredibly gracious attendant smiled as if she knew who we were (she probably did and now KLM is my favorite airline) and ushered us in the tunnel.  I’m carrying Brasher on my hip, a backpack on my back and a satchel hanging at my waist.  (Keep in mind this poor 3 year old hasn’t slept all night either)  I guarantee I hit every single passenger as I bumped my way to the very back of the plane. Remember we were the only passengers who hadn’t been seated and I suspected they had waiting here for a few minutes because the flight was supposed to take off in just 5 minutes. I looked into some of their eyes hoping for an understanding or empathetic smile… didn’t happen. It’s ok. I think all these passengers had missed a nights sleep as well.

Below, you can see our view flying over the Swiss Alps.  After seeing this, we may be changing our plans for the last 3 days of our trip!

Footstone Photography in Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 01 #footstoneinitalyAfter just an hour and twenty minute flight from Amsterdam to Milan, we exited the airplane with ease, made it to baggage claim and literally just plopped down on a bench and did nothing. With our eyes glazed over, I think Paul and I may have looked towards our bags as they passed by, but luckily Win knew what we should be doing and yelled. Triumph #1: we made it to Milan with both our boys and all of our bags!

Leaving the airport, we found a wonderfully kind driver named Christian. As we drove to our hotel anticipating just a few hours nap (which they say not to do when trying to adjust for the time change), he shared with us the “must see” spots in Milan and even circled the locations on a map for us.  I think Paul was just watching the ridiculously crazy cars on the road with no apparent lanes or speed limits to worry about, knowing he’d been driving alongside them soon.

After a short nap, we headed out on foot to walk through this spectacular city. We found a perfect little park called Giardini Pubblici Indo Montanelli.  The boys played alongside adorable little Italian children.  Brasher just stared confusingly at them and Win desperately tried to communicate.  It was a moment I think we’ll all remember forever.

Footstone Photography in Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 01 #footstoneinitaly

We had dinner at a perfectly lovely little spot we actually found on Yelp.  Yes, Yelp is in Italy!  It was called Ristorante da Oscar. We definitely scored big with our first dinner!  The waitress spoke English well enough so that we felt comfortable, but challenged us a bit to order in Italian. The meal was incredible and oddly enough, Win had is first Coke!

Footstone Photography in Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 01 #footstoneinitaly

On our second day in Milan, we made our way back to the airport to rent our car. Paul was part excited, part petrified to drive!  ”Io guida! Io guida!” I kept shouting as he shrieked just a few times maneuvering through speedy and narrow Italian city streets with no road signs in English!  Paul advised that as soon as we got internet, we needed to search “Italian street signs” asap.

Footstone Photography in Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 01 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 01 #footstoneinitaly

The next morning we visited the Piazza del Duomo. This is the fourth largest cathedral in Europe and definitely the main attraction in Milan.  The square was just magical with people from all of the world walking, talking, playing and running from pigeons. While Paul and I were in awe of the grand church, the boys screamed, “crane”!  A construction crane was in the distance and was apparently as exciting as this enormous medieval cathedral!

Footstone Photography in Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 01 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 01 #footstoneinitaly Footstone Photography in Italy - Italian Vacation Travel Journal 01 #footstoneinitaly
In the next post we’ll share pictures and details of the amazing little villa we’ll be based at for most of our trip.  Located in Camaiore, Tuscany, we have a view of the sea to the west and the Italian Alps to our North.

More soon!  Follow us at #FootstoneInItaly on Instagram (@footstonephotography) and Twitter (@footstonephoto @kristinprivette).  

Update :  

Don’t forget… in July of 2015, Paul & Kristin are inviting FOUR couples or families to join them for an Italian Portrait Experience!  You will walk through the vineyards and countryside and tour the streets of Florence. After you’ve seen the gorgeous city, enjoyed a glass of wine and an incredible meal, you’ll head to the hills of Tuscany and they’ll photograph your family under the setting sun. You will have the experience of a lifetime sharing these moments with your family. The best part is, you’ll have the memories captured as art and printed to last a lifetime.  If you’re already sold on joining them in Italy next year, email or call the studio and we’ll arrange a time for you to meet with Kristin and Paul and start dreaming and planning for your ultimate Italian Portrait Experience!  We will also put you in touch with our travel agent to start planning right away.  

Our first summer in Italy was an amazing experience!  Find out more about the trip on these blog posts (linked below).  Contact us to start making your plans for the summer of 2015!!

Italy Blog Post 1: Arriving  -  Italy Blog Post 2: Camaiore

Italy Blog Post 3: Florence  -  Italy Blog Post 4: Siena

Italy Blog Post 5: Cinque Terre  -  Italy Bolog Post 6: Venice

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Departing Tomorrow to Italy!
July 1st, 2014

So today may go down in history as one of our busiest and laughably hectic days!  (Stephanie keeps shaking her head with amusement as she’s one too have been packed and ready for any trip several days out).

Italian Portrait Sessions

At 11am tomorrow morning we embark on our journey.  Our trip starts in Jacksonville where Sally (Privette) has graciously offered to drop us off at the airport.  Then we go to New York, then Amsterdam (the looooooooonnnnggg flight) then to Milan.  So 17 hours later we’ll be in Italy!  We’ll stay in Milan for a couple days and tour this spectacular city.  On the 5th, we head to our little 2 bedroom house in Camaiore, Tuscany. From here, we’ll do excursions to Florence, Siena, Cinque Terra, Lucca, etc.… the end our trip with a few days in Venice.  Of course, we’ll be passing along many of our images so please check in each week for updates!

The goal is to find several perfectly beautiful locations to bring our clients back to next year.  Plus to start making a list of fun suggestions of things to do while you visit.  We hope that you’ll send us a note if you’re interested in joining us in 2015!  We have two spots left for next year!

 

Update :  

Don’t forget… in July of 2015, Paul & Kristin are inviting FOUR couples or families to join them for an Italian Portrait Experience!  You will walk through the vineyards and countryside and tour the streets of Florence. After you’ve seen the gorgeous city, enjoyed a glass of wine and an incredible meal, you’ll head to the hills of Tuscany and they’ll photograph your family under the setting sun. You will have the experience of a lifetime sharing these moments with your family. The best part is, you’ll have the memories captured as art and printed to last a lifetime.  If you’re already sold on joining them in Italy next year, email or call the studio and we’ll arrange a time for you to meet with Kristin and Paul and start dreaming and planning for your ultimate Italian Portrait Experience!  We will also put you in touch with our travel agent to start planning right away.  

Our first summer in Italy was an amazing experience!  Find out more about the trip on these blog posts (linked below).  Contact us to start making your plans for the summer of 2015!!

Italy Blog Post 1: Arriving  -  Italy Blog Post 2: Camaiore

Italy Blog Post 3: Florence  -  Italy Blog Post 4: Siena

Italy Blog Post 5: Cinque Terre  -  Italy Bolog Post 6: Venice

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