Touring Lisbon…

I had the fantastic opportunity to visit Portugal recently. After spending a few days with an old friend who was from the Sintra region, I headed into Lisbon to spend a few days with HouseTrip and a few other travel bloggers. There is not a doubt in my mind that HouseTrip went out of their way when they researched the fantastic tours they book us on and to mention our perfectly sized 7 bedroom apartment in a quieter part of downtown.

Lisbon

To start the fun, we had the opportunity to ride around town in a bit of style. The unusual site of motorcycles with side cars got more stares and cheers and smiles then I have seen in a long time! It was a great and fin way to tour the city without exhausting our feet. We set off while the sun was up, had the great opportunity to watch the sun set with an amazing view of the city and eat gelato by the river.

Lisbon

Lisbon

On our only full day as a group, we had what was suppose to be a 3-4 hour walking tour. Well, lets put it this way, you put a group of travel bloggers together, expect to go at their pace, not the tour guides! Our tour lasted 7 hours and ended with our tour guide dropping us off at one of the most popular chicken restaurants in the city. I give the most respect to our tour guide Paulo and would recommend him to anyone looking for an enjoyable wander around Lisbon. The evening ended with an enjoyable and delicious dinner and a famous Fado restaurant. The music was very moving and a great experience to have had.

Sintra

Our final day took us on a bus tour. This tour didn’t stop anywhere for long, but drove us past all the major sites that one wouldn’t want to miss with limited time to see everything. We journeyed from Lisbon to Sintra, End of the World, Cascia and back to Lisbon while eating and drinking local flavors along the way.

End of the world

What a fantastic way to spend a few days busing around a new city. Thanks HouseTrip for the invitation and all the planning put in. Along with the fantastic apartment that managed to hold us all very comfortably, thanks Sidecar Touring for such a fun way to see the city, thanks Intrepid Tours & Paulo for a great day out, and thanks We Hate Tourism Tours for a great past paced way to see a lot in a small time.

Trolley in Lisbon

Interesting Links

HouseTrip

Sidecar Touring

Lisbon Urban Adventure Tour with Intrepid Tours

We Hate Tourism Tours

Although I was a guest of HouseTrip all of the thoughts and opinions are my own.

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The colors of a Roman Market

Markets and Photography seem to go hand in hand. At least inside my head! I love the colors and the smells and atmosphere of fresh food markets. I was recently in Rome and thanks to House Trip for hosting me in Rome, and Context Travel for arranging our market tour followed by our cooking lesson with Eleonora. I had an amazing tour of a locals market in Rome. Our wonderful guide, Eleonora Baldwin took us on a tour through the Mercato Trionfale, the market where Roman’s do their shopping! Afterwards we had a cooking lesson and enjoyed a big group lunch, to read more about that read my Living & Eating Like a Local…in Rome blog!

Fruit’s & Veggie’s

Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture

Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture

Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture

Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture

Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture

Cheese

Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture, Cheese

Meat

Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture

Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture

Fish

Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture

Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture

Prepared Food

Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture

Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture

Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture

Packaged Food (and don’t forget the wine!)

Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture

Mercato Trionfale, Market, Rome, Italy, Food Picture

All opinions in this post are my own.

Interesting Links:

House Trip, Apartments in Rome and worldwide

Context Travel, Tours in Rome and worldwide

Eleonora Baldwin, Italian Culinary Adventures

Mercato Trionfale, Roman Market Place

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Living & Eating Like a Local in Rome!

Rome like a local. It’s so refreshing to return to a city i have been to, but be able to absorb a new side of it. Having been to Rome many times before i was looking forward to “living Rome like a local” with House Trip. I was really excited to see Rome from a different angle and it was well worth it!

Woman in Rain, Rome, Italy

To start with, my fantastic host Ryan Levitt with House Trip made me feel right at home as soon as I arrived at my apartment. House Trip currently have 848 properties in Rome to choose from with prices starting from £23/night. They also offer over 92K rentals worldwide. I am totally converted and might never stay in a hotel again! Our group in Rome were spread among three separate apartments in three distinct areas on the city. A very large apartment, with an amazing view of the Colosseum, a simple one bedroom apartment with a bit of class located in the Trastevere neighborhood, and the final apartment near Campi di Firoe with low ceilings with wooden beans. All three were well maintained and very comfy. I stayed in an apartment in Trastevere, the area is full of life. There are several universities in the area and the streets are lined with cafe’s and restaurants and full of locals. Upon arrival and after settling in Kirsten Alana, my roommate for the duration of my time in Rome, and I took to wandering the area, eating gelato and enjoying the crowds of locals in the neighborhood.

Gelato in Rome, Italy

Apartments in Rome:

The beautifully and spaciousness apartment with an amazing view of the Colosseum. (From £297 GBP / USD $454 / €358 per night)

Trastevere apartment, a true living like a local feeling, away from the crowded tourist attractions! (From £117 GBP / USD $186 / €141 per night)

Beautiful low beamed ceiling apartment near Campo di Fiori with a traditional rustic feel. (From £185 GBP / USD $295 / €223 per night)

Kirsten Alana & Angie Orth, Colosseum, Rome, Italy
Kirsten Alana & Angie Orth sitting in the Colosseum Apartment window!

Food, Food, and more Food!

Starting off at a coffee shop with an espresso and pastry early in the morning, we grouped for our market tour. I am a huge market fan, I love the colors, the smells, watching people go about their normal daily shopping routines. Our guide Eleonora walked us though the market sharing all types of details with us while we picked up items that were needed for our lunch that afternoon. The smells and the tastes were heavenly. It is so easily to get lost in a place like this! We eventually made our way back to the apartment near the Colosseum where we enjoyed a cooking lesson taught by Eleonora our guide, followed by my favorite, our big group lunch!

Lunch at Pierluigi, Rome, Italy

After an afternoon full of busy work and relaxing, we headed out for a guided dinner. We regrouped at a small family restaurant near the Pantheon called, Armando al Pantheon. The food was fanatic! Our guide Gina, as well as the chef, spoke to us about the dishes served to us. We had something like 7 or 8 courses, pastas, meats, buffalo mozzarella, vegetables, and a fantastic desert they called tiramisu, however it was nothing like any tiramisu I have ever had before. Gina was full of information to share with us about the history of food in Rome and the amazing food we were eating.

Cooking Lesson lunch with Eleonora, Rome, Italy

Both of these tours brought out a side of Rome I had never experienced before. Food. I have always travelled on such a small budget, normally sharing a pizza and never having more than a single course at any given meal. I will admit that my favorite of the three meals was the lunch we ate near Campo di Fiori at Pierluigi, this was not a guided lunch, but we had some fantastic dishes. It was a perfect end, filled with amazing food, fantastic people and great conversation!

Guided dinner with Gina, Armando al Pantheon, Rome, Italy

A big thanks to Context Travel for arranging our guided market tour and our guided dinner! They arrange tours in cities around the world. And of course I want to thank House Trip for inviting me on this adventure. All opinions in this post are my own.

Interesting Links:

House Trip, Apartments in Rome and worldwide

Context Travel, Tours in Rome and worldwide

Eleonora Baldwin, Italian Culinary Adventures

Gina Tringali, Food & Travel Writer

Armando al Pantheon Restaurant

Pierluigi Restaurant

Kirsten Alana, Aviators and a Camera

Angie Orth, Angie Away

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Vespa Tour’s & Italy

What better way to see Italy then on a Vespa? This was not something I set out on a mission to do, it wasn’t something on a bucket list or a dream of mine. However, I managed two rides in Italy! One, a vintage Vespa evening tour through the city of Rome and the second, a self driven tour of the Chianti region of Tuscany. I had so much fun. I would highly recommend the experience to anyone who come across the opportunity.

The first night I was in Rome with House Trip they booked our group on a tour through the city. Imagine our luck when these gorgeous men show up at our apartment on vintage Vespa’s. Everyone in the group had a huge smile on their face, the whole 3 hour ride! It was such a fantastic way to see the city, learn a bit of history and experience something in a slightly different way.

Saint Peters Bascilica, St Peters Bascilica, Vatican City
St Peter’s Bascilica, Vatican City

In attempting to make a decision on where I should spend a few days post the Travel Bloggers Unite Conference I attended in Umbria, Fun in Tuscany reached out to me and invited me on a Vespa tour. Their tour is slightly different then the one in Rome. I had the option of driving my own Vespa, which I jumped on! We sped along dirt and paved roads in the Chianti region of Tuscany for a few hours. My only complaint was that the ride wasn’t long enough! This wasn’t a specific tour with stops and history along the way, but being that there was a total of four of us, we got the chance to take advantage of several overlooks and pull over areas for some pictures. And after the ride, we stopped for lunch at Monteriggioni, a castle that still has about 45 residence, but mostly contains a few shops and some restaurants.

Vespa, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
Chianti Region, Tuscany

Why not considering seeing something new, or old, in a slightly different way? Consider a Vespa tour! Nerone Tours and Fun in Tuscany both offer many different ways to see the sites! Check them out.

Vintage Vespa tours of Rome with Nerone Tours

Vespa ride, Chianti region of Tuscany, Fun in Tuscany Tours

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