The opportunity to drive to Italy for a family vacation was truly a dream. Not only did we experience the grand mountains of the Alps, but also saw things we did not expect to see: countless castles, gravity-defying vineyard terraces and hillside towns, and sailboats dotting the azure Italian Riviera. It was surely a trip to remember for a lifetime.
Out of all the places to see in Italy, our boys were most excited about our first stop on our drive home to Prague from our beach villa in Maremma– Pisa. The Leaning Tower of Pisa!
View of the square in Pisa
A statue on the square in Pisa
the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa
Who knew that the mountains surrounded Pisa, as it sits also near the sea?
A view of the Italian Alps as they sweep into the Northwest coast of Italy by the Mediterranean Sea.
The view that took our breath away, driving on the Northwest coast, the Italian Riviera.
Looking out over olive groves, to the Sea dotted with sailboats beside Lavagna, and across to the snow-capped Alps beyond.
The amazing villages built onto the sides of mountains.
We turned north at Genova, Italy, and crossed into Switzerland near Lake Como. Below, the beautiful Lake Como.
In the lower part of Switzerland wedged beside Italy, castles appear on every mountain ledge.
The magnificent waterfalls and views while climbing through the Swiss highlands.
Before our trip, we had hardly heard of Liechtenstein … we ate dinner in Liechtenstein, a country of 62 square miles and 35,000 residents. Beautiful!
The royal family in Liechtenstein lives in a castle (not sure if it’s this one, though).
We love, love, loved Italy, and cannot wait to go back. There are so many regions to explore, so many new foods and wines to taste, and so many beautiful sites and works of art to experience. I have a feeling this trip is only the first in a long love affair with Italy, one of the most beautiful countries imaginable.
Back to the rolling hills and mysterious mists of the Czech Republic … the place we now all feel is home. A wonderful feeling for new expats, indeed!