When I mentioned in my last post that my camera had broken upon trying to take pictures of myself, I wasn't joking.

Sadly, whenever I turn it on, I am now greeted with a delightful pattern of bright colours that unfortunately do not look like anything I'm actually pointing the camera at. None of the buttons work and to turn it off means taking the battery out, turning it on so the lens retracts back into the body and then quickly taking the battery out again whilst the lens has retreated. 

In short - it just isn't happening.

So I'm going to be a little short of new content for a while (read: until I can save up £700 to buy the camera I want so about 5 years). Luckily, my poor scheduling in the past means I have plenty of old content to finally release to the world! Talk about Throwback Thursday..

And whilst digging through the depths of my external hard drive, I found the perfect place to rave about.

One of my favourite places in Italy and, particularly in the lead up to Christmas, the one place I'd really like to be right now.

Sud Tirol.

So admittedly, these pictures are from the summer of 2014 (!!!) but it's countryside so how much can it really change? I'm sure all of this is still completely relevant... (except from the fact that it's all probably covered in snow at this time of year!) I actually started blogging about our trip closer to the time itself but never followed up with the rest of our photos.

And even though it's been so long since we were there, I can't help but feel as though it were only a few months ago. The Dolomites charmed me more than any other place has managed to in my adult life. Sud Tirol is characterised by an expansive and pure countryside, dotted with chocolate-box Alpine towns and dominated by the impressive, jagged rocks of the sky-piercing mountains.

We spent our days either hauling ourselves up those mountains (more on those to come!) or taking gentler strolls across the undulating hills. Every excursion was always met with the consumption of an ungodly quantity cheese (if you're vegetarian and want to visit the mountainous regions of Italy, be sure to take an affinity for dairy with you).

I also spent the days absolutely convinced that I had secretly turned into Snow White and was going to spend the rest of my life singing to the birds in wooded glades and skipping from cutesy chalet to cutesy chalet. Sadly, two years later, I can confirm I am back in the real world.

As well as the mind-clearing fresh air and the gentle clanging of cow bells on the breeze and the abundant cheese and the heart-melting scenery, there are beautiful towns and cities to explore such as the city of Bolzano. In the very same year we visited, it was voted as best in Italy for quality of life.

As the main point of our trip was to explore the mountains in the region, we only stopped by one evening for (a sadly unremarkable) dinner. Yet I still remember the intense prettiness of this city, nestled like a jewel amongst the mountains. The market was just packing up as we arrived, with the hustle and bustle of the crowds dispersing between the brightly coloured buildings. We sat outside at dinner and watched people go by and even then, in the middle of August, there was something inherently Christmassy about the dimming evening light, the sparkle of the shop windows and the happy groups of people meandering through the streets.

On the one rainy day of our trip, we came down off the mountains.

And spent the day wandering around the gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle!

(Ok so it probably wasn't the best decision given the weather. But we have a habit of visiting gardens on rainy days, just like the time we visited Villa Carlotta on Lake Como in the rain - it might be cold and miserable but the gardens are always just as beautiful and even better, they're empty! Plus you can get lots of pretty photos of rain drops on roses etc.)

(Apparently pineapples grow on the ground - who knew?!)

We spent a couple of hours there, wandering around the gardens in circles and ducking into the cafe for hot apple strudel when the chill began to get to us. A few rooms of the castle were also open to stroll around and we took refuge from the cold weather to admire the beautiful rooms (photos weren't allowed sadly!)

(The version of the story the Bible won't tell you ^^)

Apologies for a disjointed post and a rambling collection of memories - I'm afraid it's going to be this and/or phone pics for quite a while to come! #studentlife.

Nevertheless, I'm really looking forward to revisiting our trip to the Dolomites in the next couple of posts. I truly fell in love with the place and it's so wonderful to try and sink back into those memories and remember what it was like.

Are there any places you've instantly felt at home in upon visiting?