The annual Chief Petty Officer (CPO) pinning ceremony is one of my favorite events to photograph of all time! Last year, I photographed two brand new Chiefs, while this year I had the honor of photographing SIX! These six included four Navy Chiefs and two Air Force Master Sergeants. You might be thinking, “I had no idea other branches of the military could partake in CPO Training!” And, that’s because it is quite a rare opportunity. Occasionally members of other branches are invited to participate, be accepted into the CPO Mess, and be pinned as Chiefs. This made photographing this year’s ceremony even more exciting!

Congratulations to Chief Aragon, Chief Beatty, Chief Harden, Chief James, Master Sergeant Chavez and Master Sergeant (Sel) Garza! Thank you all so much for this opportunity. What an honor!


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Chief Aragon

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Chief Beatty

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Master Sergeant Chavez

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Master Sergeant (Sel) Garza

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Chief Harden

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Chief James

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Congratulations to all of those whom were tested, tried, and accepted as a Navy Chief Petty Officer this year!

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It seems like it was just yesterday that the Plankenhorns and I met up for Kristina’s maternity portrait session in Brucoli. Just a few weeks after our June maternity session, baby Niels was born!

In August, I had the honor of visiting the Plankenhorns in their beautiful home for a few lifestyle newborn photos. It was important to them to incorporate the whole family, including mom, dad, and brother Fynn. So, we did just that! Everyone hung out in the living room and oohed and ahhed over the little Niels while I snapped away.

Falk and Kristina, Niels is absolutely perfect. Thank you so much for inviting me into your home and trusting me to photograph your little family.

Plankenhorn | Lifestyle Newborn


It’s been an unofficial goal of mine to visit as many of the Aeolian Islands as I can while living in Sicily.  Last year, we made our first visit to Stromboli island, where we spent seven hours scaling an active volcano just to look over the rim and watch it erupt right before our eyes. It was pretty epic!  This past summer, we relaxed on Salina island while checking out some of what Malfa had to offer.  We loved it. But considering there are seven Aeolian Islands (Vulcano, Lipari, Salina, Panarea, Stromboli, Filicudi and Alicudi), and we had only visited two, I knew we needed to step up our game.  So our trip to Vulcano island was born.  

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We usually travel on our own, but this time we decided to join a tour group here just to lessen the burden of having to drive, park, and do research.  Traveling gets exhausting when you add all of those factors in.   We are so glad we did the tour because the guides showed us some of the best local places to go.  We got to check Vulcano off of our list AND climb another volcano and look down into it’s caldera. 

If you’re looking for a bit of adventure (or just some pure relaxation), here are some things to know before you go! 

Vulcano Island Day Trip

Fun Facts

– Vulcano is the southern most of the Aeolian Islands.
– It’s approximately 8 square miles

– It’s home to one of the four active volcanoes in Italy
– It last erupted from 1888 to 1890

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Things to do

  • Arriving by hydrofoil is easy and only takes ~45 minutes.
  • You don’t need a car or transportation. Everything is close to the port.
  • All recommendations provided here were from our Sicilian guides


There are several hiking trails in Vulcano. We hiked the Gran Cratere (3.15 miles – pin info here). The hike is deemed “easy” online, but I would beg to differ. That being said, we did enjoy the hike and would definitely do it again. Once to the top, you can look down into the caldera, walk around the rim, and experience live sulfur vents. Note to self, they are stinky!!

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On one side of the rim, you can walk through sulfur fields which are quite stinky and hot, but really neat to see and experience. Our guides told us not to stop walking. We did and the result was REALLY hot air (aka a burn). So, yeah, don’t stop walking through the sulfur vents!

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Spa Terme di Vulcano

One of the most unique things you’ll find in Vulcano is this sulfur mud bath. It is SMELLY, but apparently has incredible health benefits. Since it’s a thermal mud bath, it’s a bit hot. Also, the smell is pretty bad, so I would recommend wearing a swimsuit you are fine with tossing because I doubt the smell will ever come out. Entrance was only about 3€. It was so hot this day, we didn’t end up doing it. But we want to go back when it’s cooler to give it a try!

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Lunch: Don Piricuddu

We had amazing pasta dishes and wine here. We stopped for a bite on our way to the spa directly after the hike.

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Piscine Geotermiche Vulcano

Vulcano is famous for its geothermal spas. We got a day pass to this one and enjoyed trying out all of the different geothermal pools. Just to note, this spa does NOT have lockers. So you need to keep your things by your pool chair. They do have many different pools to choose from, spa services, and a bar!

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Overall, this was a great day trip from Catania. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment or message me on Instagram: @mandalynrenee!

2019 has been a year of road trips for us and we have loved every moment!  Tuscany was our first official road trip of 2019.  The entire trip, we kept asking ourselves over and over why we didn’t do it sooner.  It was complete BLISS!! Of course, there was so much to see and do and we couldn’t conquer it all, so we have a second trip planned for fall. 

Because we had THE BEST TIME on this trip, I wanted to share our itinerary.  Planning our Tuscany road trip proved to be a bit more difficult than I expected, because I was set on seeing the Tuscany you see in the movies.  But since that part of Tuscany is the countryside, there isn’t as much about it on good old Google as I thought.  By the way, did you know that area is called Val d’Orcia?  I initially didn’t!

As I’m not a strict planner, I had a TON of options for things to do and see on the itinerary so we could choose at our leisure along the way.  So in the itinerary below, I’ve provided the things we did AND the things we didn’t get to do.  You know, just so you have options :). Our Tuscany itinerary hits places that are: low-key, reduced crowds, and don’t have a TON of attractions. Whether you’re planning a trip yourself, or just checking out the photos, enjoy!!

Click here for the Google Map

A Tuscan Road Trip | Italy


We flew into Pisa instead of Florence (because it was cheaper).  While we were in Pisa, we took a short drive from the airport to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  It was BUSY and quite touristy! We spent about an hour there walking around and taking photos before we hit the road to drive south and work our way back up.



Along the way to our first hotel, we stopped in Arezzo.  Arezzo is known for its Renaissance art (see The Legend of the True Cross by Piero della Francesca in the Cappella Maggiore in the Basilica di San Francesco), medieval jousting (we did not see this), its famous film locations (e.g. Life is Beautifulsee Piazza Grande), and FAB antique shopping (seriously, bring a checked bag).  It was, like most of the towns we visited, quite picturesque.  It also wasn’t crowded, which was a HUGE plus for me. 



We felt Montepulciano would be a great base for us in the southern Tuscan area (we were right!).  We booked one night at Villa Poggiano (10/10 would recommend). 

The town boasted vast panoramas, ancient churches, and a plethora of Renaissance buildings. We had dinner at La Bottega del Nobile and enjoyed walking around and exploring the town.  Montepulciano is know for Nobile wine (vino nobile di Montepulciano) and its underground wine cellars. It is also known as the location of the Twilight sequel New Moon (ha!), so you can expect a few more tourists than in other Val d’Orcia towns. You can tour these cellars in the town and sample all the wines!!  This was one of our favorite stops!!  Here are some wine recommendations:


Villa Poggiano


We stopped in for a moment to wander one of the most beautiful medieval villages.  Not much to do here but we did wander around, buy some art, and grabbed a drink and bite to eat. From the city gate, you’ll be privy to absolutely stunning views across the valley to Pienza.


Bagno Vignoni

A small, thermal village which is unique in that its town square is a pool of hot springs!  You can’t swim in the main “square,” but you can swim in the Parco dei Mulini .  We didn’t swim, but we did visit and it was STUNNING seafoam green waters.  We spent a ton of time here just hanging out by the water. 

Winery: Podere Le Ripi

Bagno Vignoni


Once the summer home of Pope Pius II, Pienza is an ideal Renaissance town.  Don’t miss the street “Via dell’Amore” aka Love Street!  The main sights include: the cathedral, Piazza Pio II, Palazzo Piccolomini, Plazzo Borgia, and Palazzo Comunale. 

Brewery: La Fonte


San Gimignano

The “Town of Fine Towers.”  The “Manhattan of the Middle Ages.”During the 14th century, every well off family in San Gimignano built a tower to show its economical power. Today, 13 towers still remain.

San Gimignano had many more tourists than any town we visited in Val d’Orcia.  Thus, we were a bit more partial to the towns down south. However, there is tons to see and do here including: the Cathedral, which is considered to be one of the most well known in all of Tuscany.  The Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a white wine produced only here, is a must try.  

For dinner: Locanda la Mandragola – Amazing quality food. Make sure you arrive early if you don’t have a reservation.

San Gimignano


A small, yet extremely photographic and picturesque small town.  We randomly stopped here, but would come back.  At Palazzo Pretorio, you can tour a pretty enthralling medieval castle. Upon purchasing your ticket for the castle, you also receive entry to Boccaccio’s house.  I wasn’t super into visiting this house, but did it anyway (because free).  I was glad I did because it provided access to a tower overlooking the entire town! 

Winery: I Balzini



A walled town known worldwide for its alabaster hand-made objects is less popular than it’s neighbor San Gimignano, but nonetheless worth the visit.  It features the oldest town hall in Tuscany (Palazzo dei Priori) and a rather unique duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta).  The walls and gates of the city are Etruscan with many sections from the 13th century.  We also visited the Medici Fortress and walked around the Roman Amphitheater while there. 

We wandered into a tiny little wine shop that focused solely on selling small batch wines: Enoteca Scali.  They have a plethora of excellent wines on tap that you can taste, sample, or have a glass.  

Wine Tasting: Enoteca Scali


Val d’Orcia Region


Cities we wanted to visit, but didn’t make it to: Sienna, Lucca, Florence.

Maybe next time, Tuscany!

The biggest compliment you can get as a photographer is having another photographer ask you to photograph them!  Stephanie is another photographer here in Sigonella who I’ve photographed a couple of times before.  If you follow along with my blog, then you may remember Stephanie, Will, and their adorable daughter Hadley from our Veteran’s Day mini session back in the fall!

To be completely honest, I photographed the Clark family only YESTERDAY, but was so in love with the photos that I had to edit the entire session TODAY.  I just couldn’t wait. One of the things I connect with is humor, as I dearly love to laugh.  The Clark’s session was not even a little bit short on laughs!  I know I had an incredible amount of fun capturing their love for one another.  I hope they did too! 

Check out the images from the Clark’s Sicilian vineyard family session below.  I promise, their happiness is contagious!  

Thanks for having me Stephanie and Will!  Can’t wait for next time!!!

The Clarks | Sicilian Vineyard Family Session

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The Dolomites were on my “to visit” list for a long time, but I just didn’t know when to go to how to narrow down what to do.  The possibilities for things to do and see seem endless initially. Once we were able to narrow it down, creating the itinerary was a breeze. In case you’d like to visit the Dolomites (or are just curious about what we did), I’m sharing our 4-day road trip itinerary with you!

We take a lot of trips of four day weekends because it’s convenient with our work schedules.  This works perfectly for a short trip to the Dolomites, but if you have the option to stay longer, do it! The more time, the merrier!  


Day 1


We flew into Venice (Marco Polo) airport, because that was the most convenient and cheapest option for us.  You can also fly into Venice (Treviso), Verona, or Innsbruck, Austria for short drives.  Milan and Munich are other options that are a bit further away. For more detailed information on transportation, see “How do I get there?” here.

Rental Car:

After flying into Venice, we rented a car.  We are Hertz Gold Card members (do it, it’s free!), so we don’t have to wait in the hours of lines to rent a car.  It’s an incredibly nice service to have (and for free!) and saves us a ton of time.

Views on the drive in


We hopped in our rental and drove to our hotel in Cortina.  From Cortina, we visited Tre Cime (~45 minutes) and Lago di Sorapis (~20 minutes).  The town is much more built up than I thought it would be and has lots of shopping.  To be honest, I was a bit surprised by all of the designer shops!  If you need any additional gear, you can always stop at a shop in town.

For more about where to stay, see “Where should I stay?” here.



Tre Cime di Lavaredo –  You could definitely spend DAYS hiking here, but we opted to arrive a few hours before sunset for two reasons: reduction of crowds and getting to watch sunset and hike back in the dark.   This was my absolutely favorite hike of the whole trip.  It was vast and stunning and a relatively easy one! The paths are wide and a bit rocky with some sheer drop-off cliffs. The views were STUNNING as everything is wide open and you can see for miles.

Get a pin and more specific details about visiting Tre Cime di Lavaredo under “Where are the places I must see in the Dolomites?” here.


Day 2

We spent the morning shopping and eating before we embarked on our evening hike.


Lago di Sorapis – This hike is the complete opposite of Tre Cime di Lavaredo.  It’s very leafy and with several walks thought the forest and a tiny, one person path.  I would 100% recommend visiting here in the early morning or evening, as it would be pretty annoying to be stuck in the hiking conga line.  This hike was harder and a bit more dangerous.  Jordan liked this hike more than Tre Cime.  The lake at the end made it worth it!  A helpful tip is to bring bug spray.

See more details about how to find Lago di Sorapis, under “Where are the places I must see in the Dolomites?” here.


Day 3

From Cortina, we drove west toward Ortiesi for our last night. Along the way we drove though the old Dolomites road which included several small towns, Passo Sella and Passo Gardena.  We made sure to stop along the way for some photos and just to enjoy the general splendor.  There are many gondolas and hiking trails to stop off on along the way if you have time!

For more about Passo Sella and Passo Gardena, see “Where are the places I must see in the Dolomites?” here.



After arriving at our hotel, Alpenhotel Rainell, we decided to relax at the spa and pool until dinner.  The views from this hotel were worth it!


Day 4


We awoke early (I’m talking 4:30AM) to drive to Alpe di Suisi for sunrise views.  We were sleepy, but the 30 minute walk to my view of choice was easy and we were rewarded with some killer views!! 

Learn more about visiting Alpe di Suisi by reading “Where are the places I must see in the Dolomites?” here.


After returning to the hotel, we checked out and drove over to the Seceda lift.  We purchased two lift tickets and up, up, and away we went.  The views are the top were completely incredible and we definitely wanted more time here. 

Read more about how to reach Seceda under “Where are the places I must see in the Dolomites?” here.


After two hours at the top, we took the lift back down to the car and drove the three-ish hours to the airport. 

We had several places we wanted to see but didn’t get to (due to time and my unwillingness to deal with people), so we will return once again! Check out some additional places to visit by scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page and reading “Places we didn’t have time for, but want to see when we returnhere.

Could you pack in more than we did? Absolutely! Would you want to?  Well, that’s totally up to you!

Okay, so it’s no secret that I LOVE SENIOR PORTRAITS!! There is just so much excitement surrounding them.  Last year of high school! College! Boys! A fun photoshoot to share with your family and friends!  For Alex, it was about a little bit more than those things; it was also about leaving the island.

While senior sessions traditionally take place in the beginning of one’s senior year, Alex elected to have hers at the end.  When I met her, she was just preparing for her last few weeks in Sicily before some travel and then COLLEGE!!! What an exciting time in life. 

Alex brought her S-T-Y-L-E and her family, which I loved!  I’m pretty sure she’s secretly a model, but I’ll let you be the judge! 

Alex, thank you so much for trusting me with your photos.  I hope you love them and will cherish your last few months in Sicily forever.  Best of luck in college and your future endeavors. 

Alex | Brucoli Senior Portraits

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If there is one single thing I knew I must do while living it Italy, it was visit the Dolomites. After posting a ton of photos on Instagram (check them out here), I realized that many others dream of visiting as well. The planning and researching stages of this trip were a bit tedious (as with our trip to Ireland), since I didn’t really know from the beginning which places were a “must see” in the Dolomites. Thus, I thought I’d write about exactly what to see and how to visit here!

What are “the Dolomites?”

From my Instagram stories, I’ve had many questions about the Dolomites. To clarify, the Dolomites are located in northern Italy and are a part of the Southern Limestone Alps. One thing you will realize very quickly is that everything there has two names – one in Italian (as they are in Italy) and one in German. While you’re there, you feel like you are in Germany. The towns have a very Bavarian feel and many people wear traditional Bavarian attire. Just think of it as a place where you can order both pasta AND apple strudel at dinner.


When should I visit?

Summer is the most popular time for hiking, as the weather is warm. August is the busiest month, so I would aim for June or July. September to October are fall colors time and November begins the ski season. If you choose to visit in a shoulder season, you will find lack of accommodations and restaurant options. Thus, it is important to plan accordingly.


How do I get there?

There is no airport in the Dolomites! Thus, I would recommend driving. We flew to Venice (Marco Polo, but you can also fly to Treviso as well), rented a car, and drove 2.5 hours north. You can also fly into Verona, Innsbruck, Milan or Munich. I’d recommend you Google Map it. Here is a great “how to get to the Dolomites” resource here with more information.

When flying in and renting a car, I’d highly suggest ensuring the rental car office will be open when your flight arrives 🙂

Where should I stay?

Great question! This was the most difficult one for us to answer for ourselves. Cortina d’ampezzo is a great base for Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Lago di Sorapis, Lago di Braies, and Cinque Torri. Ortesi is a great base for Alpe di Siusi, Seceda, and Lago di Carezza. Passeo Gardena and Passeo Sella are between the two towns, so you can stop in on your way though.

There are a ton of other towns to stay in, but these two are general “hubs.” You can also stay in the rufigos, but to do this, you need to pack SUPER LIGHT because you’ll have to carry all of your stuff up the trails with you. So, keep this in mind (and make a reservation in advance).

Where are the places I must see in the Dolomites?”

Tre Cime di Lavaredo


I’m listing Tre Cime di Lavaredo first because it is probably the most iconic place in the Dolomites and it was my personal favorite to hike.

To get to Tre Cime, use this pin here. You will park right at the peaks, but to see them properly, you need to walk away from them (because they are just so huge). On your way up to the parking lot, you will reach a booth with an attendant. The fee for parking is 30€ per car. I know, it’s outrageous, but totally worth it for the views.

We arrived at Tre Cime around three hours before sunset. This was just as everyone was hiking back to the car to head home for the day. However, we had sunset views in mind, so this worked perfectly for us.

From the parking lot, walk toward Rifugio Lavaredo on top of the hill. Once you reach it, you just follow the path after it. Then you are on your way! We walked for about two hours until we reached Rifugio Locatelli (the third one on the path). Then, we stopped for a while before heading back in the dark.


There are many other paths you can take and hikes you can do here besides this one. For example, instead of walking to the first rifugio, you can walk away from it for additional stunning views (like, Paternsattel). You can also keep walking past Rifugio Locatelli if that is your jam. Many options for exploration here.

For lodging on site, you can camp in the parking lot or stay in a rifugio. We opted not to do either (as I’m not really down with group sleeping hostel style). Also, these rifugios offer meals, so you can stop in and grab a beer or food. Note, they are cash only!!!!

There are some incredibly steep drops here, so if you are bringing kids, make sure they don’t walk too close to the edge! Paths are very wide, so this should be doable.


Lago di Sorapis


This was the most popular place I visited (according to my Instagram replies, at least). Everyone seems to be in love with the light blue waters here and I can’t blame them.

To reach Lago di Sorapis, park on the side of the road at the Passo Tre Croci (click for pin). There will be a big field (probably with horses or cows). The trail begins at the end of that field. To know you are going in the right direction, look for signs for trail 215. You will follow 215 all the way to the lake. This is most certainly a trail that I would want to do in either the early morning hours or late in the evening (and walk back in the dark, as we did). The path starts out wide, but narrows quickly to a one person at a time path. There are also some areas where you must hold on to a wire rope, as you are walking along the edge of the mountain with no fence (sheer drop-off).

For this hike, I would not bring small children (unless you plan to carry them). As I said, the path is narrow, and the drop offs are steep!




Another iconic Dolomites peak, Seceda, is breathtaking! To reach the top, you can simply take a cable car from Ortesi (this is what I would recommend). It is 17€ one way or 34€ to return. The hours for the cable car are limited (08:30 – 17:30 in summer) and a ride to the top takes approximately 30 minutes if you time it right. You will first take a gondola and then board a cable car that takes off every 15 minutes. Just be careful not to get stuck up there if you aren’t prepared for the 2+hour hike to the bottom.

If you choose to hike up, you can park at the Praplan Parking lot. The hike is relatively steep and takes around two hours.

Once at the top, you can walk (uphill) for approximately 10-15 minute to get the best view of the Geisler Peaks. There are also endless hike possibilities here as well.

Seceda is open for skiing in winter as well.


Alpe di Siusi


This Alpine meadow is absolutely worth visiting. As the largest high-altitude Alpine meadow in Europe, Alpe di Siusi is home to some worthwhile views.

To reach the top. You have two options: drive and hike or take a cable car. The cable car is located here . Like Seceda, the hours are limited, so it’s important to plan accordingly. If you choose to drive and walk (as we did), it is very important to note that there are many driving restrictions associated with Alpe di Siusi to preserve its natural beauty.

To drive, park at the Compatsch parking lot and then walk the remainder of the way. A good path is to follow the road to the ADLER Lodge Alpe. It is incredibly important that you don’t drive past the Compatsch parking lot AND that you don’t drive to or from the Compatsch parking lot between the hours of 09:00 and 17:00. This is because this road is restricted usage. Both driving past the parking lot and driving to and from the parking lot after 9 and before 17 will result in fines upward of 150€. We drove here at 04:30 and left by 06:30 (for sunrise) and did not have to pay a parking attendant. However, parking for the day at that lot is 18€.


Passo Gardena & Passo Sella


During our drive from one hotel to another, we drove through both of these mountain passes. The roads wind back and forth up and down the mountains and the views are simply stunning. We pulled off the road quite a few times to soak in the views and take a few photos. There are a plethora of hikes and gondolas around the area, so you have plenty of options to choose from if you elect to do more than just pull over.


Places we didn’t have time for, but want to see when we return:

  • Lago di Carezza – There is no hike to get to this spot. You can park right next to the lake. It has green waters and is flanked by pine trees and tall peaks.
  • Lago di Braies – I’ve heard this spot be compared to the Eifel Tower in Paris – it’s the classic Dolomites place to visit. However, with this sort of fame, you know it HAS to be busy! Lago di Braies is one of the largest and deepest natural lakes in the Dolomites and also one of the most popular. There is a parking lot just a short walk from the lake. However, if you visit in the afternoon, you will have to leave your car in town and take a shuttle because of the sheer number of people visiting. Because of this, we did not visit on this trip.

    You can also rent a beautiful wooden boat and float out on the lake from June to September (10:00 to 17:00). It costs 18€ for ½ hour and 28€ for 1 hour. I have been told that if you want to rent a boat, you will need to be there before opening to snag one, as they are sold out very quickly.

  • Baita G. Segantini – A small pond that provides incredible reflections of the surrounding mountain ranges. It’s a 30 minute walk from Passo Rolle.
  • Cinque Torri – Rock climbers favorite! Also just good for viewing.

I’ve had a few other photoshoots in Bellini Park before (like this one), but none with a “farewell to Sicily” theme.  I honestly have no idea why I haven’t blogged Karryne’s images already.  I’ll attribute it to the fact that I have a growing backlog of blog posts to make.  Look out world, I’m about to step up my blog game!

Karryne’s session is the third farewell session I’ve shot (see more here and here) and they just keep getting better and better. I think I’m in love with these types of shoots because of the pure emotion going into them. Now that I’ve been here for almost a year and a half, I can say that leaving the island is probably quite hard.  Karryne was a breeze to work with and she really brought it for this shoot. With every snap of the camera, I was more and more in love with the images. We even did a little city night shooting at the end. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to check those out!

Karryne, thanks so much for trusting me. I hope you had as much fun at your shoot as I did!

Karryne | Farewell to Sicily

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Just off of the northern coast of Sicily, lies a unique string of UNESCO protected islands – the Aeolian Islands.  The Aeolian Islands consist of: Vulcano, Lipari, Salina, Panarea, Stromboli, Filicudi and Alicudi, each unique in its own way.  If you have been following my blog, then you may have read about our NINE hour hike to the rim of the Stromboli volcano. That was a crazy, but unforgettable, experience!  This year, we thought we might try out something a little more chill.  Thus, our summer weekend in Salina was born. 

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Spiaggia di Scario

About Salina

Salina is known for its productions of capers and honey-sweet Malvasia wine.  It is known as the “green island,”  as it has its own water source and thus is greener than most of the other islands.  Salina is actually the second largest of the Aeolians (after Lapari) and has around 2,300 inhabitants and three towns: Santa Marina, Malfa and Leni.  This makes Salina a nice break from society. 


To travel to Salina, you need to take a hydrofoil or ferry from Millazzo or Messina. You can also take a boat from Palermo or Naples.  We traveled from Milazzo and parked in Garage delle Isole (without a reservation).   Just to note if you plan to park there – check the hours first! They are not open 24 hours a day like other garages. The port you would need to get off at is Salina S.M. not Salina Rinella.  Book tickets here.

Once on Salina, you have several options for transportation: taxi, renting at motorbike, car, or small open gocart, or public bus (the updated time table here.)  For the bus, you can buy the ticket when you board and the bus stop is next to the main square in Santa Marina (1/2 minute walk from the port). 


There are a few hotel options on the island, so be sure to reserve early! I reserved our room at Principe di Salina in January for June.  We chose Principe di Salina because we had heard amazing things from a friend and loved that it is small and quite curated. We spend most of our time in Salina at Principe de Salina and we weren’t sad about it one bit! At some point, we would like to go back and see more of the island. Maybe next year.

For now, you can enjoy the photos from our summer weekend in Salina and perhaps even get some ideas for yourself! Below are some photos from our stay at Principe di Salina and from exploring Malfa (make sure to scroll to the end to see more of Malfa).

Our Stay at Principe di Salina

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The communal spaces were perfectly curated and perfect for relaxing.
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We had many fresh meals prepared with local ingredients, including this basil pesto.
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The dinner menu was posted on the wall daily.
The private cabanas and pool areas were incredible places to unwind.
The hammocks and swings were made for naps!
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The communal dinner table.
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The bar by the pool had many delicious selections.
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Our room – even had air conditioning!

Exploring Malfa

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Caper plants (the symbol of Salina) and a cute kitty.
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My favorite find – a cute fluffy pup.
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The town and architecture were stunning.
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Spiaggia dello Scario was one of the craziest beaches I’ve ever seen.
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The beach was all large stones.
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A cute little beachside bar – drinks were 1€
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Our 1€ Aperol spritz and 2€ bruschetta.
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