Italy ~ Castel Gandolfo

This August, we were invited to a friend’s wedding in the small town of Bracciano, situated in the province of Rome, Italy. As we were in the Lazio region for a few days, we decided to make the most of our stay and visit a few of the scenic lakeside towns in the area.

Every stop we made was another slice of quintessential Italy. Locals having animated conversations across piazzas. Drinking fountains bubbling away on sleepy street corners. The air fragrant with the appetising aroma of pasta salsa emanating from little bistros. Scenes like these made me want to sell up, move to Italy, change my name to Luigi, and spend the rest of my days struggling to make ends meet as a poet (writing strictly in the Petrarchan form!) who whiles away the hours downing wine and getting fat on spaghetti carbonara at some family run eatery that overlooks one of Lazio’s glorious lakes. Ah, la bella vita!

We made Castel Gandolfo our first stop after arriving at Fiumicino airport. Since this quaint town was only an hour’s drive away, we decided to head there for a quick look around before making our way to our hotel. By the time we arrived, it was early afternoon and the temperature had risen to a scorching 40°. The sun was beating down directly above us, banishing all shade, and most people, indoors. I was sweating buckets from doing nothing more than drinking a bottle of ice-cold beer whilst sat at one of the bars in Piazza del Libertà. But the picturesque scenery and breathtaking Lago Albano backdrop more than made up for the heat. All in all, a perfect start to our Italian trip.

All photos by Davinia Marie.

Castel Gandolfo - side street
We turned a corner and saw this picture-perfect scene that fully encapsulates all of Castel Gandolfo’s charm: cobbled streets, the soft yellow and orange of the buildings, a bistro table overlooking Lago Albano, and a mandatory plant decorated bicycle. Also, out of shot on the right, there was a drinking fountain bubbling away. We both spontaneously burst into a synchronised “Ahhhhhh”
The stunning view of Lago Albano as seen from Castel Gandolfo.
Castel Gandolfo
TOP TIP! To save money and not buy every amazing thing in boutique art shops, travel with only one piece of hand luggage on budget airlines that will charge you for every extra fraction of a kilo you go over the limit. Guaranteed to instantly quash the shopping bug.
Castel Gandolfo - side street deco
We’re not quite sure why the shops and restaurants here decorate their establishment’s fronts with plants and flowers on bicycles, but they certainly make for pretty photos.
Castel Gandolfo - Side Road Deco
Tennis rackets in a barrel, because, why not?
Table with a view.
This is what I call one brave priest. It was 40° and not only was he dressed in full black cassock, but he was also wearing socks under his sandals!
Piazza del Libertà in the afternoon sunshine.

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