Adventure: 2015. beautiful places Italy

Italy 1/3 : Around Town.

April 21, 2015
For those of you who may not know, my husband works in the music industry. (You can read more about that here, in Part 1 of A Love Story.) Aside from his production work, he previously toured with the band Night Ranger (song: Sister Christian) but also still occasionally plays with a band called Pride of Lions. POL was started by Jim Peterik (friend and famous singer/songwriter, you’re probably most familiar with his song: Eye of the Tiger) and while POL is not as well known in the US, they are HUGE in Europe. This year, Milan was hosting a music festival called Frontiers Rock Festival and POL would be headlining! So when Christian first told me he’d be going to Europe and that I’d be accompanying him (definite perks to being a bandwife), I seriously could not contain my excitement – it was just about all I thought about for months. The only other time I’d been to Europe was the time I went to Romania – a trip that had great impact on my life but was in no way a vacation – and I was excited to explore and get to know a new land and culture, this time with a drink in hand 😉


Unfortunately, our trip would start out a bit rocky, for me that is… our flight left out of Chicago at 10pm and I’d made the horrible decision to grab a quick bite to eat at O’Hare’s Frontera Grill – I ordered a salad. NOTE: Don’t EVER order a salad from the airport, especially at 10pm. Why? Because your chances of getting food poisoning increase like 80% or something. Ohhh yah. This gal was straight up DYING about 10 minutes before we boarded a NINE HOUR FLIGHT with full on food poisoning. I’ll spare you the details but just know- it was the longest, worst flight of my life. The good news was that it could only get better from there, right? And fortunately, it did.

(I think it goes without saying that this series is photo heavy… fyi)


By the time we got to Milan, I was still feeling pretty weak but much better. We all hopped on a private shuttle bus and road about 40 minutes to our hotel, The Devero Hotel, located in the beautiful little town of Cavenago di Brianza. It was about 8pm on Saturday in Italy by this time so we headed to the hotel’s restaurant for some serious Italian food and wine, which I did not have a lot of due to… well, you know, but I did have a wonderful breakfast the next morning, which included lots of Nutella so it all worked out 😉




Our friend, and bandmate, Klem. Also one of the funniest people I know.
The next morning at breakfast! Totally feeling the jetlag at this point.
It was one amazing breakfast spread!
Confession: I totally did not eat those vegetables. I ate all of the yogurt and nutella and then I just spread the veggies around on my plate so I didn’t look so American, you know, eating chocolate for breakfast and all. 


The hotel was very “European modern” with a beautiful pool and some pretty trippy features like blue lights in the bathroom and some pretty interesting artwork…



You may have seen my Instagram shot of the hotel’s glass floor. As long as you’re not afraid of heights and not wearing a skirt, it was okay to stand on… so I did.
After breakfast, Toby (friend and bandmate) and Christian had the genius idea to go upstairs and lay on the glass so that the rest of us could also act like a bunch of middle schoolers and take pictures.


Let’s get a closeup of that…


Naturally, right after this some POL fans came over asking for autographs and pictures with the guys…



We spent most of the afternoon on Sunday walking around the town of Cavenago di Brianza and this was definitely my favorite part of the Italy portion. It was exactly what I’d been waiting for, exploring this new place. The weather was absolutely perfect: clear, blue skies and about 76 degrees.

While there were plenty of beautiful flowers in the trees and flower boxes, the rest of the terrain in this area came as somewhat of a surprise to me. Yards were not mowed and weeds had replaced flowers, which made the flowers that were present definitely stick out.


Christian & Klem!


I’m totally asking for one of these for Christmas this year.


There was a definite color theme going on in this specific area, am I right?


Doesn’t this look like a movie set?!




So glad I didn’t wear my heels 😉




Here we all are! Christina (the other bandwife – I was so glad she was there!) and me, with the band minus Jim and Larry.






Since it was Sunday – as well as in the afternoon (when a lot of the Italian people leave shop for a long lunch), many of the shops were closed… which was a total bummer since we were all hoping for some Gelato! Fortunately, at the very end of our walk, we happened upon the one Gelato shop in the entire town that was still open.

I walked inside, as the guys ran back to the town’s ATM to grab some cash, and asked the owner if it might be okay for me to take pictures. (Just picture me speaking in broken Italian – aka: “Ciao” and “Grazi” are the only Italian words I know – and saying “Pictures?” while making the picture-taking-sign with my hands.) He smiled and nodded ‘yes’ and I got busy snapping away. The colors in this place were unbelievable… I wanted to just park it at one of the tables and catch up on my writing.


Right after I took the picture of the Gelato, I looked up to find the man holding out a spoonful of it just for me. I instantly snapped my camera – just once – and was so happy to have captured the moment! We may not have been able to talk to each other, but I think there was a mutual understanding that I was in a new place trying to soak it all in and he was only too happy to help me do so. This was my favorite moment of our time in Italy 🙂


Of course a spoonful wasn’t gonna cut it so I immediately ordered a cone as soon as Christian came back with some money 😉 I ended up getting Melon Sorbet and it was SO GOOD. What are the odds that the one and only shop that stayed open this particular afternoon was a Gelato shop, right? It was meant to be…



and it was the very best way to end our afternoon ‘around town.’ 😉 

Check back tomorrow for Italy 2/3.

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  • I love that they had little Nutella packets! That's awesome!

  • Ahhh loving all of the pictures! Sorry you had a rocky start!

  • Loving the pictures so so much! I love gelato but I cannot imagine having it in Italy!

  • Ooooh, I love all your photos! The streets are so beautiful with all that stone! Can't wait for Parts 2 & 3!

  • LOVE this!! OMG Gelato and Nutella, what more do you need in life, right??:D

  • Oh my gosh these pictures are incredible, sounds like you had a wonderful time!! I'm jealous!

  • Everything looks so beautiful there! That shot of him handing over the gelato is amazing!

  • I'm literally swooning over this! Oh Em, what an awesome experience. And it had only just begun!! I can't wait to see the rest 🙂

  • OMG such an amazing experience – the pictures are incredible!! Except for the one where they guys hair is textured, I don't know why but it made my skin crawl looking at it ahhaha

  • haha, totally!! Imagine how I felt, standing there looking at it after having been sick… I snapped the picture quickly (you know, #fortheblog) and went on my way. bleck!

  • There are so many pictures and so many things to say! 😉 I'm working hard over here to hopefully get tomorrow's post up! 🙂

  • It was my favorite part of the Italy portion, definitely! 🙂

  • It was such a great adventure!

  • haha!! Exactly!

  • I'm sure the locals thought I was crazy, taking so many pictures of the ground, but I couldn't help it! 😉

  • It was pretty amazing, Lora! I'm not sure if it really is different from ours over here but it felt like it, you know?

  • whew, me too girl. I suppose it was better to get sick at the beginning vs the middle though!

  • I totally wanted to put a bunch of them in my purse, not going to lie. (I refrained.)

  • love. so much. please make all europe posts 'photo heavy' {no such thing in my book} all so beautiful! loved reading about your time in italy and so glad your sickness didn't last. never ordering a salad at an airport! the flowers, nutella, hotel, gelato- takes me back and loved reading about it. looking forward to more!

  • Wendy Jerosky

    I so enjoyed your picture and story, we miss Christian very much at Compass!

  • Kayla Magness

    Oh my goodness! This makes me want to hop on a plane right now! I'm so sorry about your food poisoning! That sounds awful. That happened to me on te way home from Punta Cana last year. Ugh!

  • ps: forgot to mention my love for night ranger- love them and that song!!!

  • It looks like you had a ton of fun. Now I want gelato and to go to Italy. 🙂

  • I'm so sorry about the food poisoning! That's horrible! I was sick on a ten-hour flight once. It is the most miserable experience ever, so I totally commiserate.

    Italy looks so beautiful. I really want to go there. I've been to Paris and London, and really want to explore more of Europe.

  • I can't believe you started the trip off like that…I am so sorry! But wow…once you got there? Amazing photos!

  • Oh you poor thing!!! Glad you survived the journey over. It looks like the weather was amazing. And real Italian gelato! That will cure anything. ;o)


  • I'm so sorry you got sick–the worst! But these pictures are amazing!

  • chall1018

    Oh friend, I am so sorry you got food poisoning! Not fun at
    all. Especially on a flight. That breakfast spread looks amazing! I am not sure
    what it is about breakfast spreads, but I love them so! I did see your IG
    picture of the glass floor and it never even crossed my mind about people being
    in a dress or skirt! Wowsa! Love all of these pictures. Italy looks beautiful
    and so do you my friend.

  • Liz

    Dear goodness!!! Incredible!! I am so sorry about not feeling well! When I flew to Rome, the last hour was horrid…motion sickness finally caught up. So glad you felt better to enjoy. I am not sure you even needed to write words. Your photos are gorgeous!!! xoxoxo <3

  • Oh my goodness I am loving all the pictures, obviously. The gelato story is just too cool…I loved that pic when you posted it on IG, and the story behind it makes it even better. I'm so sorry to hear you got sick, that's just awful. I can't wait to read more of your trip….welcome home!

  • Delightful photos!! I have such a hankering for gelato now… I ate some each day I was in Italy. When in Rome, right?! Also, I have to confess, I took about 50 of those Nutella singlets from the breakfast tables on our honeymoon. LOL 😉 I'm loving the recap; soooo sorry you got food poisoning but at least it didn't hinder your sightseeing and hey, you'll always have the story!

  • Thank you for the lesson on food and airport times. I had never thought of that before (makes total sense) but yikes sad to hear you got sick! At least other than the horrible flight you felt better. It looks like you had some great memories! Your gelato story was wonderful. I love the human connection you find while traveling, even in those small moments.

  • Oh my goodness sweet girl…food poisoning and a 9 hour flight..yikes! So glad you recovered quickly. Love the photos

  • So rad to see your hubs signing autographs!! Love that! And…I totally get loving having another girl around. That rarely happens when I travel with Steve, so it's wonderful when it does!

  • haha! It's a good one!! 😉

  • Girl, I have SO many Paris photos, I'm still trying to go through them all ha! It's nice though because I feel like I'm back there as I flip through!

  • Aw! Thanks, Wendy!! Hope all is well! 🙂

  • Flight sickness is just the worst, especially on a long flight – whoa. YES! Let's hop on a plane and go!! I am already dying to go back! 😉

  • aw, Nina! I was thinking about you while I was there for sure!! Such a beautiful place; hope you get back there soon!

  • Right?! 😉 So much fun!

  • oh man… it's just the absolute worst!

    I would love to visit London as well – one of these days!! 🙂

  • Thanks, Anne! Unfortunately we had "bookends" in the sickness department… weird how travel can do that!

  • oh thanks, lady! This made me smile!! 🙂

  • The weather was PERFECT – both in Italy and Paris. Such perfect trips! (And yes… I'm pretty sure any Italian food will cure just about anything.. I wanted to eat everything!)

  • Thank you, Chelsea!! 🙂

  • SAME!!! I could eat breakfast all day long, I love brunch 😉

  • ugh!! I'd never been sick on a flight before… it's horrible- there is just no where to go! (And then the worrier that I am.. I was so afraid passengers were going to catch on and think I had some sort of disease.. so I was worrying about everyone else as I was sick – so typical and so obnoxious! haha!)

  • Thanks, Emelia! 🙂 It was for SURE my favorite Italy moment.. so, so special.

  • When in Rome, yes. hahah. And I totally wanted to take the Nutella!! I even thought to myself – okay… these are like the hotel shampoo and conditioner bottles, right? I can just take these? 😉

  • I rallied pretty well, which is shocking considering how sick I was. I was determined to still have a great time! The human connection is really special, especially while in another place 🙂 Thanks for reading, Kati!

  • So glad I did too!! I was so bummed to not have been able to eat that huge Italian meal when we first got there though… I just couldn't stomach all of that tomato sauce. Just gives me another excuse to go back though, right?! 😉

  • It's so fun to see that! We got that when he was in NR too – I actually have quite a few funny stories during that time – I should share those! And YES to having another girl around, especially when she's normal and cool! 😉

  • Haha, I love all the photos! But especially of breakfast and Christian and his friend lying on the floor, LOL. Oh my goodness, it looks like you had an AMAZING time. PS. Who eats veggies for breakfast? Nutella all day, everyday.

  • Oh my gosh, I cannot even imagine having food poisoning on a plane! That had to be the worst experience! I'm so sorry! And you know, I think it's very European to have chocolate for breakfast (very Dutch anyways!) so I'd say go for it! haha!

    PS gotta have that Ruffles shirt haha what the hell?

  • That looks so gorgeous!!

  • Jae

    Funny I would've gotten the exact hairstyle/cut as yours if I hadn't gone for a shorter one! Gorgeous.

  • haha!! I was trying to stay healthy but in the end, the chocolate won. (It always does.)

  • Don't you love that shirt?! ha! So random!!

  • I love the one you got, Jae!! It's perfect on you! 🙂

  • Jae

    Aw, thank you! I'm keeping my hair short for a while. 😉