We are thrilled that our new series, La Dolce Vita is now available to view and purchase- it was the trip of a lifetime bringing this new series together! xx
La Dolce Vita
Documenting many of Italy’s most famous beaches on a 2000 mile road trip, this series was inspired by the glamorous Italian Riviera lifestyle that mesmerized the world during the 1950s and 60’s. Focusing on the retro-vintage beach umbrellas that seem to have stood still in time, this series is meant to evoke nostalgia for the opulence of what the Italian Riviera once represented.
Today we woke up and packed our bags to head north to the famous 5 towns of Cinque Terra. Very famous amongst Americans, each of the 5 towns are nestled along a fertile northern coast on the Mediterranean Sea.
Upon arriving into Monterosso, one of the five towns where we are staying, something crazy happened.
We drove down as far the road would let us, and parked inside a little area by the town. I ran into the grocery store to buy a bottle of water, while Natalia hung out in the car. When I got back, realizing we couldn’t go any further, we reversed and headed back out the way we came. Well, low and behold a chain had been put up and we were trapped! People in the town waking by were calling us silly tourists and telling us we were going to be stuck for hours. Apparently they only put the chain down every 3 hours when the bus comes!
After a little bit of investigation, we got the number of the security man and he said he would send someone soon (which in Italian time means never), but it was going to cost us 190 euros- a ticket we would have to pay. We agreed and began to start laughing at this insane situation. Here we were like mouse in a trap.. pulled into a town with no signs and drove past a chain which was down without realizing and then got stuck inside the town where all the townies could gawk at us!
Fortunately, a woman had the key and let us out after not too much longer, but she said there was a camera that had recorded our license and we would still have to pay. We said sure, whatever, please let us out- and we got on our way. Boy that was an expensive bottle of water…
We drove up and around to the other side of the town and checked into our hotel. The narrow beach of Monterosso is the beach that inspired my entire trip, so it was incredibly special seeing it in person. We spent a few hours walking all over the town and up and down the cliffs, looking for the best vantage point. It’s such a beautiful place- it looks great from all directions
After a few exhausting treks, we retired to the beach and took in the moment before getting ready for dinner at a restaurant the hotel recommended. Sure enough, it happened to be right on the square where the car incident had occurred earlier in the day- luckily no one recognized us in our fresh garb
We had another day packed full of transit! We left Rimini and drove 3 hours across the country, by way of Florence. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to stop in Florence, but we did get to stop in the small town of Pisa! Seeing the leaning tower is sort of like seeing the Mona Lisa in person- it just cannot be real. Natalia and I each grabbed a gelato before going to observe this hysterical failure of a building that has brought it such fame. Of course, I couldn’t help but seize the moment for a fun pic.
After Pisa we headed to Viareggio and checked in at the hotel. Viareggio is the most southern town on a very long beach with hundreds of fabulous beach clubs. It’s very different from Rimini, as it’s on the Mediterranean but has a similar look with so many varied beach umbrellas and chairs.
After checking in, we headed down to the beach to check out the scene. It was pretty late in the day, but we still managed to find some interesting spots to shoot before coming back and heading to dinner. Oddly enough, one of the spots we took pictures of was having a free performance from a live ‘Italian Idol’ singer so we decided to go there for drinks after dinner and see her perform. We had a lot of fun (her name was Gretel, and she’s fierce) and even danced a bit with the locals.
We awoke early to explore the packed 16km coast line that’s divided into three desperate beaches: Viareggio, Lido di Camaiore & Forte dei Marmi.
As you can imagine, 16km is a LOT of beach to cover, so we did our best walking for a few hours through the various beach clubs, many of which also had swimming pools. This area is very chic- especially Forte dei Marmi. A friend of ours knows the owner of one of the top beach clubs in FDM named Bagno Annette, and we were lucky enough to get to stop for a late afternoon margarita pizza and some wine while we were shooting along the beach. The owner, Anna, told us about the history of the beach club and helped give us a better understanding of the area. It was a real treat getting to see and hear about these generational clubs, and how they are still being upheld today during the poor economic times in Italy. Apparently, the Russians have taken a liking to the country and are a large help in keeping the vacation towns of Italy afloat.
After a long day of shooting we retired to the hotel and found the number one recommended restaurant in the area on Trip Advisor, but when we got there they were full! So we meandered down some side streets and randomly found this charming and delicious restaurant, Buonamico. It was a lovely end to our stay in Viareggio, and tomorrow we head to the very special town of Montorossa in Cinque Terra.
PS check out the blog for a special swim giveaway!