Life in the Ferrari Fast Lane

ferrari_museum
I climb into the cherry road cockpit of the Ferrari, nervous.

“I haven’t been behind the wheel of a car in months,” I explain to my instructor, clad in a jumpsuit the same bright red color as the car, the Ferrari emblem on his chest.

He smiles and then leans over the car, showing me the various gadgets in front of me. I’d tell you what they were, but it’s car talk, and I don’t speak car talk. The only thing I remember is the switch to hit when I want to go fast (I don’t) and to kick it into manual (which I have never driven before).

“OK,” he says after his how-to-drive-a-Ferrari tutorial. “Ready?”

I cringe, smile, and then I’m off.

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Photos of Venice, Italy

photos of Venice

Venice, Italy is quite a photographers dream.

With the sparkling lagoons, tiny car-free lanes, buildings in a state of beautiful erosion, colors, lights, the historic landmarks and buildings … it is hard not to simply see Venice through the lens of a camera versus simply experiencing the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Of course, during my visit to the city, when I wasn’t trying to dodge the tourists, I was snapping photos and making sure I didn’t trip and fall head first into one of the canals. ‘Cause I totally could have.

With hundreds of photos of Venice to choose from, it was difficult to narrow it down. The city is that photogenic.

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Things to do in Venice: Alone in St. Marks Basilica Tour

Alone in St Marks
The thick doors of St. Mark’s Basilica close behind us, shutting us off to the whir and clamor of the throngs of people in Venice and we step into the entryway of the historical and iconic St. Mark’s. Located in Piazzo San Marco and connected to the Doge’s Palace, in the most recognizable city in the world (according to moi), tonight our visit to Venice’s St. Mark’s is blessedly quiet. Being one of the most popular things to do in Venice, the tourists which flock to this well-known attraction by the thousands during the day, are not standing here with us tonight. In fact, it is only a handful of us in this building, which dates back to the 800s. I’m really not one for visiting churches, but this opportunity is different; this is a Walks of Italy guided tour with an art historian through this massive, guide-book-recommended must in Venice … at night.

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Falling in love with Ljubljana: Part Two

Falling in love with Ljubljana 2
Ljubljana, nestled in Slovenia, is the capital of the small Central European country. Combining Mediterranean beauty with art nouveau and baroque styles, the city is a potpourri of worlds, all meshing together to create a picturesque and gorgeous place. With thousands of cultural events in town, plus no shortage of attractions, along with having the perfect location for day trips to the coastal cities like Piran, the Karst region and the Alps, Ljubljana is the perfect landing for those craving some nature, people and fabulous gastronomy.

Just in case the first edition about all the reasons why you should fall in love with Ljubljana and go! now!, here are more reasons you should plan to visit Ljubljana.

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Falling in love with Ljubljana: Part One

Falling in love with Ljubljana
There are few cities which render me gob-smacked quickly. In fact, there are only a few I can count which had me fall hopelessly in love at first glimpse: Madrid, Berlin and Split. And, now Ljubljana is also on the I’m-crazy-about-you list. This gorgeous, whimsical capital surrounded by the Alps to one side and the Karst region to the other, is only one of the many gems tucked into the tiny country of Slovenia.

Promise.

For starters, being in Ljubljana makes me feel like I could believe in fairy tales again, complete with the gorgeous and clear river running through the town to the castle topping the hill in the city center. I can just close my eyes and imagine snow flakes fluttering to the ground, donning an Elsa-inspired shimmery dress.

It’s that magical of a city.

Normally, I would just write about the reasons you should fall in love with Ljubljana. Today, I’m going to show you (and tell you!).

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The Medieval Škofja Loka

The medieval Skoja Loka in Slovenia
It’s hitting that magnificent Golden Hour when we arrive to Škofja Loka (Slovene for Bishop’s Meadow), a medieval city only 25 km from Ljubljana.

The day has been a long one, starting with exploring Bled Castle, then on to Vintgar Gorge, exploring Lake Bohinj and Lake Bled to soak up the storybook landscape it offers.

I barely can muster the energy to unbuckle my seatbelt, but when I see the tiny town and its castle a top the highest point, I channel what’s left of my energy to get out and look at the quaint surroundings.

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Slovenia Tourism: Discover Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj

Discover Lakes Bled and Bohinj in Slovenia
The aquamarine, clear water sparkles in the morning sun, setting off tiny glints of gold in the ripples of Lake Bled’s water against the looming Julian Alps and Karavanke ranges. From where I stand, high above the lake itself, it is truly one of the most beautiful, most spectacular places I have ever had the fortune to visit. This is Slovenia tourism at its best.

I stand above Lake Bled, a dream realized.

I’ve wanted to visit Lake Bled for years — since I was in Bosnia and heard of this gorgeous slice of nature deep in Slovenia. The talk I heard is what those enchanting fairy tales spun in our youth are made of. In the summer, Bled glistens and comes alive with cheer and color with a castle and a whimsical island, and in the cooler months, the fog and gray dip down from the Alps, cloaking the area in mystery and wonder.

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