Category Archives: Italy

Reliving: Travel Memories in Italy

It is the next edition of Travel Tuesday with my cohost Belinda.  I look forward to reading all your posts in the link up this week.  While it may take me a bit to comment on all your posts, I do read every single one.  We are proud to announce a new exciting update starting next month!  While we do Travel Tuesday every Tuesday, the first Tuesday of every month will be our themed prompts.  On October 1st it will be the first Tuesday of the month and the prompt is:  “Show us your most favourite photo from all your travels and tell us why it means so much to you”. 

Also would like to bring to focus one of my favourites…of course I loved them all…Travel Tuesday posts from last week. Danielle from the Lifestyle Project blog had a great post about meeting  boy in Cambodia. This story touched me on a personal level as I related to one of the sweet girls I met while I was in Cambodia. I still have the painting she did that I bought from her to bring home. She had one of the sweetest smiles I have ever seen.  
This is also the next installment of Blogtember with Jenni.  The prompt for today states, “A Memory You Would Love to Relive.” 

A memory I would like to relive. There are so many that would be awesome to relive like old devolved films re-watch end over in my mind many times over.  I thought of how easy it could be to mention my late father again or in the height of my baby fever about the birth of both of my sons. Then it hit me in preparation for my Travel Tuesday post just how special traveling is  in my life. How there are certain trips that once taken cannot simply be revisited with a return flight. Which got me to focus on my memories of taking my husband ‘home’ for the first time.
Normally you bring your spouse home before you get married or shortly after depending on the circumstances. For me I brought Ryan to bella Napoli in Italia eleven years after we first met at University and nine years after we got married. It was not because I did not want him to see the place I have still lived longest than anywhere else in my life. But we had spent the majority of our relationship stateside, despite our best endeavors to find a way abroad. 
Unfortunately the photos I took on my phone of Ryan’s first couple of days in Italy including our day in Rome and our first night in Napoli were gone when I got my phone stolen days later in that trip. You can read about my night in an Italian Jail for the story on that one.
So I would love to relive all of Ryan’s firsts in Italy again. To look into his eyes as he saw Rome for the first time after we got off the plane in Italy. To watch him try his first bite of pasta in Rome. His first real taste of gelato, the nectar from the gods. Of course his first bite of pizza in its birth place of Italy. It was one of those trips you cannot simply experience the same way again the second or third time around. 
However my sons have yet to go to Italy. So on our next trip ‘home’ it will be my husband and I together watching as our sons experience the beauty if Italy for the first time. Smelling the Mediterranean salt air, tasting their first authentic pizza margherita, listening to the chorus of loud Neapolitan voices in the bush city streets, and watching their young eyes as they see where their mum grew up as a girl. Well for a total of six years in two different times of my life. For the other places that will be another trip here and another trip there. More memories to make together and more moments in time that I will live over and over again in my mind.

Q: Where would you like to go again from the places where you have traveled? 
A Compass Rose
A Compass Rose

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My Night in an Italian Jail

Day Four of Blogtember states, ‘A story about a time you were very afraid.’

I almost regret telling this story again but to be fair the culmination of events are still a very scary moment from my travels. It is something that should have never happened. It happened in a place I have always considered closest to ‘home’. A place that up to this point I have lived the longest. In a country where I lived twice in my childhood. I was at the wrong place at the wrong time and I made a bad decision. This is my account of my night in an Italian jail. 
It was the summer of 2012 and it was my first time back since my senior year ten years prior. What made this trip special was it was my husband’s first time to Italy and his first time to experience a place where I grew up. As a military brat the places you live, though geographically stay the same, change quite a bit after you leave. The majority of people I knew of my six years in Napoli were gone. Even my church family in Bagnoli had shrunk in numbers. I could not show him the three houses I had lived because they were out in the suburbs accessible by car but difficult to get to by public transport. So we spent the majority of our time seeking out the hidden beauty of the city in both places I remembered and those we found along the way. We savored every bite of the delicious southern Italian cuisine made simple excuses to have more gelato, and captured the beauty we saw in photographs. 
On the night that this takes place we had just returned from viewing collections of antiquities excavated from Pompeii at the National Archaeological museum. It was early evening and we were walking through the narrow streets of the city. I was on a high of being surrounded by the sights and sounds of my childhood and had just gotten off the phone with an old family friend who lives in Napoli. I was so happy that I had not noticed I had gotten too comfortable. With my Nikon DSLR safely guarded in my arms, I captured street photography with the ease of my android phone. Sure the photos would not be as amazing as my camera but I was going for artsy and using different filters on my beloved hipstamatic app. 
In the process of taking a photo of a pizza being made at a pizzeria, my phone was grabbed out of my hands. I turned in shock to see an obnoxious grin and then the back of a man as he ran away with my phone down another alleyway. While my head and my feet questioned each other with whether I should run or just scream, the man who had turned to run down the side street, jumped on a back of a moped with a driver. In less than a minute my phone was stolen and gone out of sight. It was not even the phone that I was upset about but the number of photos I had taken on our journey. So many of them documenting my husband’s first time in Napoli: his first taste of pizza from the birthplace of its creation, his first time on the funicular, an incline railway, and his first time shopping the street markets in Vomero. I screamed when it had happened and my husband who had been a few paces in front of me said he knew immediately what had happened before he turned around. 
Our adventurous night began there in the middle of Napoli in the small darkened streets and alleyways. The people who worked in the pizzeria were really amazing. They took us inside, called the polizia, and made me a calming tea. I had not expected the outcome and so I was shaking and in a state of shock. It was then that I had my first ride in the back of a police car, whisked away to the nearest police station to make our report. I was feeling really stupid for feeling too comfortable being home in Napoli that I had my phone out at all. We should not even had been in that area, but I wanted to show my husband ‘Christmas Alley’, another memory from my fading past. We could have easily been walking aback to where we were staying had I not tried to fit just one more thing into our day. 
Still shaking, I answered the questions using the best knowledge I have of the Italian language. I was asked to look at photographs to see if anyone looked like the man who had stolen my phone. Already his face was fleeting from my memory. Looking back afterwards I can now draw from their questions that they were hoping I would say it was this man in one of the photographs who was wearing a white shirt. However he was the opposite of my initial description and I kept getting frustrated with their persistence. I soon found myself in a small room for a ‘line up’, however the actuality of the situation scared me more than having my phone taken from me in the first place. I did not know exactly where they were taking me or what I would be doing before I was thrown into the scene I am about to describe to you. 
The room I was in was dark and several bodies of police officials and detectives stood inside. I turned where they wanted me to face and I stood facing a man. Although a wall with a glass window was in-between us the man in question was literally inches away from me. He was not the man I had seen. He was white not tan, he had a bald or shaved head not dark hair, and he was more stalky and muscular than the leaner guy I remembered. It was the man from the photographs that the detectives had been showing me. I looked through the glass and saw this man was bloody, amped up on adrenaline, and looking like he could have come out of a Guy Richie film the way he was ready to throw a punch. I looked at the man in the white shirt and instantly the fear kicked me to my core. I wanted to run, to move, to close my eyes. At that moment I was more afraid of him punching through the glass, especially when it was apparent he could hear my words as I spoke ‘Its not him”. 
I will be honest I cried when we got back to the room for more questions and information about the scene. I wish now I had checked the photographs on my Nikon DSLR. When we had gotten home to England all the feelings from that night came right back in a spiraling anxiety attack as I found a photo taken minutes before the crime. The man in the white shirt, whom I had been asked to identify, was up ahead of where I was taking photos, talking to a man who very much fit my description of the man who had taken my phone. Bone chilling. Perhaps the other man was just a man, innocent in his own right. However there was no mistaking the man I had to view at the police station, for I cannot get him out of my mind. Whatever he did from when I had taken that photo on my camera to when I saw him at the police station, I will never know. 
Luckily I had my camera to document the rest of our trip and I did not let the incident ruin the rest of our time. I still love my beautiful city. The old buildings, the cobblestoned streets, the laundry hung out all the windows, and the women who lower baskets from tall apartment windows to retrieve recently purchased goods. The best was being able to start every morning and end every day with the beautiful view from where we were staying high up near the funicular to see the beautiful bay of Napoli. It may have taken me many years to return, but no one can take away from me the love I have for the city of Napoli. Not even spending part of our night in an Italian jail. Ci Vediamo bella Napoli! 
* Photograph belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

Il Cimitero delle Fontanelle [Travel Tuesday]

I had lived in the city of Naples twice for a total of six years before I went back to visit last summer.  As life would have it one of my military wife friends from Hawaii was now stationed in my hometown.  I had so much fun getting to visit with her in a place that meant so much to me.  The highlight was having her show to me some aspects of bella Napoli that I had never experienced before.  One of which was seeing the Fontanelle cemetery, which until recent times had been closed off and private any visitors.  
The Fontanelle Cemetery is an ancient cemetery located in the Sanita district in Naples.  It gets its name because of the presence of water sources back in ancient times.  The cemetery includes 40,000 body remains that were victims from a the plague in 1656 and cholera in 1836.  
There is something known as the ‘Pezzentelle’ which had provided people with the ability to adopt and placement of one of the unknown skulls which then ‘corresponded to a soul abandoned in exchange for protection’.   Which is why you will see many skulls in the photos below not apart of the mass pile but decorated or put in special boxes.  It was a really interesting sight and I really enjoyed getting to see it.


Together with my cohost Belinda from Found Love. Now What? 
a Weekly Travel Linkup. Share your Travel stories and wanderlust addictions.

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Code below or Feel free to save this button to your computer and upload it in your post. 

H e r e ’ s   h o w   i t   w o r k s :  

1. Share a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!
2. Grab the lovely button.
3. Linkup goes live! Every Tuesday at 8 am GMT.
4. Hop around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Link up will be open for a few days, make sure to check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!
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*Image original to A Compass Rose blog by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007-2013 All Rights Reserved |

Pompeii, the Darker Side [Travel Tuesdays]

I spent a total of six years growing up with Mount Vesuvius, a dormant stratovolcano, in the distance of where we lived near the bay of Napoli.  The infamous rolling humps loomed in the background like a familiar shadow, sometimes hidden by a haze. This sleeping giant has an eruption cycle of about twenty years, though it has been sleeping ever since it’s last appearance during WWII in 1944.  Mount Vesuvio,  as it is known in Italian, is still considered one of the most dangerous in the world as millions of people today live so close to the crater.  
While some people may take school trips to the local fire station or zoo, growing up I took field trips to climb the top of this volcano or visit the haunting remains  of the ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum.  When you factor in the times we frequented these sites with visiting family and friends you could imagine the many times I would have been to the historical sights in my past.  However it was on my husband’s first trip to my hometown of Napoli, that it became my favourite to date.  I played tour guide, photographer, and even model during the hours we visited Pompeii around this time last year.  
Usually when I see traveler’s photographs of Pompeii it is of the remaining structures outside in the daylight and bright sun.  While I have those more picturesque holiday photos too, I would like to show you a different side of Pompeii.  The kind  that makes you think of the destruction caused by Mount Vesuvius.  I invite you to view the darker side of Pompeii with me as you travel back through time.
This will be a part one of a two part series, 
to be followed by the Lighter Side of Pompeii in the near future. 


link up! 

*Photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |
*or information regarding the use of photography by Bonnie Rose please get in contact.

Memorial Day

While today is Bank Holiday in England it is Memorial Day back in the United States.  While either day may mean days off from work, picnics, and bbqs, I take this time to remember those closest in my life who have risked much for the the many they will never meet.  Especially for the fallen heroes, those who never got the opportunity to return home to their loved ones and to the ones still Missing in Action. 

The F-111 in Lakenheath, England is the plane my dad used to fly.  He was a navigator and bombardier in the USAF. He retired as a Lt. Col after 30+ years of service that included fighting in the Gulf War.  
My fondest memories of Memorial day with my daddy is visiting the American Military Cemetery in Nettuno near Anzio.  I remember once we went there and got there when Clinton was in office and I was so excited to get to see the President in person.  I believe it was a special place for my dad because his father had fought here in Italy during WWII.  Basically that is three genrations of my family who have spent significant parts of their life in Italy and four generations of my family whom have lived in Europe. 

Although no longer with us, I remember him especially today.  He is the reason I was born abroad and was able to grow up on military bases overseas until the age of seventeen.  He was an influential person in my husband’s life and a big factor for why he chose to follow in his footsteps and join the USAF too.    I wish he could visit us and enjoy our life here in Europe with us but I know he is smiling down from Heaven.

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. 
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”
– Gen. Patton

This is my time to remember my dad’s father, my dad, and my husband for their years of service and in the US Armed Forces.  I also say thank you to everyone else who has served their country and sacrificed  much.  It is a great honour, purpose, and duty and to you I write this post.  Thank you. 
Happy Memorial Day Everyone. 
*photographs found here are sourced and those not sourced belong to Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

Travel: Sorrento, Italy

One of the reasons I suggest to travelers to go to Naples, Italy is because my ‘home’ city is surrounded by day trip gems. One such place is Sorrento, which is easily accessible by train from both Naples and Pompeii.  If it is a clear day you can overlook the Bay of Naples, Vesuvius, and the Isle of Capri.  You can also reach Sorrento by car if you take the Amalfi Drive that connects Sorrento and the Amalfi coast.  If you are daring enough you can come by moped since the road is narrow and threads along the cliffs high above the Tyrrhenian Sea.  Which ever way gets you to this coastal destination will make it worth your while.  I recommend making sure to wear shoes that can support a lot of walking and uneven surfaces. Start your day out with refreshing drinks and food from one of the cafes that overlooks the view of the Isle of Capri.  Do some shopping as you walk through the winding streets of Sorrento. I recommend checking out anything that is made with the regional lemons such as the limoncello, candies, and fresh smelling soaps. As it approaches dinner time make your way down to the marina and eat at the outdoor restaurant overlooking the ocean and the boats.  Choose the local house wine and you will not be disappointed.  As night prepares to fall make your way back into heart of town and you will be welcomed by the romantic nightlife.  Whether you choose to sample every flavour of gelato, drink limoncello, or dance under the stars it will be a night you’ll always remember.  If you are planning to get married in Italy for a destination wedding you might want to look at Sorrento for your backdrop.  We saw at least four different weddings on our past trip and nothing makes a town come alive than a celebration.  
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |

Bonnie Rose

*Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |

Travel: Dinner with mia familia in Napoli

I am very passionate about Italian food.
To the point that if you take me to an Italian restaurant outside of Italy,
I will tell you it is not ‘real’ Italian food.
My in-laws insist that that the family owned Italian restaurant
in their small midwest town is authentic because the owner is ‘I-Talian’.
However both the pizza and pasta sauces are so sweet,
you could have fooled me with a jar of processed Prego sauce.
Both do not sit well with my palette or my years from growing up in southern Italy.
I am convinced that any Italians cooking in America cook for the American palette.
Any American-Italians that cook food are cooking ‘American-Italian food’
which is not Italian food.
Which is great. Just do not confuse the two as one.
I am also a purist and I believe that you need certain ingredients like the
salty Mediterranean air to make anything truly authentic.
However I did find one place in Malibu, California that served the closest to the real thing.
I liked the food so much that I made sure to give my compliments personally to the chef.
He was Italian and I give him props for sticking with the pure tastes of Italy.

My husband has had to hear my views on Italian food since before we began dating.
We were in a traveling theatre group at our University and while on a trip
I held my foot down to our group for stopping at Olive Garden for dinner.
I will admit it: I am an ‘Italian food’ snob.
Ten years later my husband finally gets his first (and second and third…) taste
of this amazing food I have not stopped bringing up in conversation.
‘You were right’ he said.
Now he shares my burden.
The burden of all people who have lived or traveled to Italy
and have eaten their hearts out on the beautiful, mouth watering, delicious food.
When you live else where in the world and crave a pizza.
Not just any pizza but pizza from Italy.
Or for us we crave real Neapolitan pizza.
Any kind.
As my husband told my sons yesterday,
 ‘I’ve never had a pizza I did not like in Naples’.
It is comforting knowing I’m married to man who gets me
and who is equally passionate about Italian food.

The one story I used to tell him about often was eating at the houses of
Ada and Maria, two of the women at our Italian church on the coast of Bagnoli.
How the pasta was the best you would ever eat.
How you would be given seconds and thirds.
Followed by courses of salad, cheese, meat, and dessert.
You would eat past the point of being full, unable to tell your host ‘no more’.
It would be amazing.
This past summer my husband got to finally experience that  with my church family.
I will admit I was busy eating and savouring each bite to document the food fully.
But below is a little glimpse into some of the best food and memories
that a girl who grew up in Italy could ask for and then some.

The busy city of Napoli, Italia became my home twice in my life for a total of six years. 
The meal being prepared by Maria and Ada.
You will never leave hungry. Quite the opposite.   
Must continue to brush up on my Italian vocabulary to keep up in the passionate fast talking conversations.  
Delicious foods that were the ensemble to the main pasta course. 

*photographs belong to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All rights reserved. |
**Please contact if you want to use any photographs or for more information regarding photographic services.