Dan and I had been living in Gdansk, Poland for a couple of months before deciding we wanted to head out and explore a new part of Europe. We hopped online and found cheap tickets on a budget European airline from Gdansk to Milan and then Naples back to Gdansk, so we bought them and off we went! I vlogged our entire trip through Italy and will be posting all the videos on my YouTube channel + the episodes for each day here on my blog too! I'm a little behind on my blogging at the moment, so you can actually watch most of our week on my channel already - stay tuned for all the photos that I will be posting here weekly though!

Our first stop in Italy was Milan. I have always wanted to see the Milan Duomo, so I was really excited that we were heading there first. We landed at Bergamo airport, a lovely little city about an hour out of Milan surrounded by beautiful mountains. We hopped in our hire car and drove straight for the city. Dan and I's usual overseas driving includes Dan driving and me giving him directions on which lane to stick to and where to turn - we make a good team!

When we arrived in Milan and started walking towards the city centre, we realised we had completely underestimated the heat of an Italian summer. I thought Australia was hot in summer, and while it comes quite close, to be honest I think Italy might just be that little bit hotter! To be fair, we were also visiting while Italy and all of South Europe was experiencing a heatwave so intense they named it the "Lucifer heatwave"!

As we turned the corner, my first glimpse of the Duomo came into sight and I was taken away. The sheer size of this building was so overwhelming! Not to mention the longer and closer you look at it, you start taking in all the beautiful details, the colours - everything about it was amazing! We spent a couple of hours walking around the main square in Milan and sat down for a lasagna and pizza lunch and decided that we were happy enough to head off. Our main destination was still a while away from us!

Back in the car, we settled in for a long 4 hour road trip to the epitome of why we came to Italy in the first place - we were heading to the Italian Alps! The drive there was nothing short of amazing. What started off as a normal highway, quickly turned into a (140km/hour) road surrounded by mountains, old buildings perched up on the edges of cliffs and endless amounts of vineyards planted in any patch of land up and down the side of the mountains. Although it was a super long 4 hour drive, the sights along the way completely made up for it and we spent our entire time taking photos and awing at the views just outside our window.

As soon as it became dark, we arrived at Pragser Wildsee, also known as Lago di Braies. I was so excited to see it, I didn't care that it was pitch black so we parked the car and set off for a walk to visit the reflective lake, which delivered everything it promised me from the pictures I've seen online. We took a few long exposures and happily went back to the car where we "camped" ready to wake up to visit it again the next morning at sunrise which will be in next week's blog post!

All photos are edited with my NEW Florence Lightroom Preset!