A Day Trip to the Artsy Tuscan Town of Pietrasanta, Italy

Europe, Italy, Travel

Big & Small took the train up from Lucca to the chic Tuscan town of Pietrasanta to enjoy an artisanal chocolate festival and the opening of the stunning Roberto Barni exhibition. The Italian sculptor’s works were scattered around the main square (Piazza del Duomo) and the former 14th-century church of Sant’Agostino. To be honest, our main mission of the day was to snatch up a whole lot of handmade chocolate, but we were pleasantly surprised to discover such a charming artistic enclave full of trendy boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.

Here’s a look at our day and night (when the town really comes alive) in Pietrasanta.

Roberto Barni Exhibition in Sant'Agostino, December 2017

Roberto Barni Exhibition in Sant’Agostino, December 2017

Roberto Barni Exhibition in Sant'Agostino, December 2017

Roberto Barni Exhibition Outside Sant’Agostino, December 2017

Where's Big?

Where’s Big?

Balloon Lift Off

Balloon Lift Off

Yes, those are chocolate heels.

Yes, those are chocolate heels.

Cioccolato di Modica: Specialty chocolate from Sicily with an especially grainy texture that allows the cacao to bounce off every individual tastebud. Small highly recommends the 85% variety.

Cioccolato di Modica: Specialty chocolate from Sicily with an especially grainy texture that allows the cacao to bounce off every individual tastebud. Small highly recommends the 85% variety.

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48 Hours in Slovenia: Ljubljana, Lake Bled, Dragons, and More!

Europe, Slovenia, Travel

Big & Small had a quick two-day trip through Slovenia. Play the video to find out the 5 things you should absolutely do when visiting this beautiful, peaceful European gem.

1. Explore the center of Ljubljana. This small and tidy capital is easy to walk and full of high-quality food at reasonable prices.

2. Visit the Ljubljana Dragon. The Ljubljana dragon is perhaps the most recognizable symbol of the city. Symbolizing courage, grandeur, and power, the dragon appears on everything from car registration plates to buildings around town. The one you’ll want to see stands majestically on the Dragon Bridge.

3. Walk up to the Ljubljana Castle. The castle is a key landmark of the town. Originally a medieval fortress, it was constructed in the 11th century and rebuilt in the 12th century. The hike up is a nice little workout and totally worth every step.

4. Visit Lake Bled. Lake Bled is just 35 km (about a 1-hour bus ride) from Ljubljana, making it an ideal day trip. Located in the Julian Alps of the Upper Carniolan region of northwestern Slovenia, the lake is the sparkling center of the town of Bled.

5. Walk around Lake Bled. The perimeter of the lake is only about 6 km. Take your time winding around the lake, taking in the mountainous landscape and the adorable Bled Island, the only island in all of Slovenia.

Learn more about Slovenia in our video above!

VIDEO: See the Best of Rome in Just 3 Minutes!

Europe, Italy

There are few places left in this world where you can casually walk through 2,000 years of history. Wandering through Rome, Italy, you are constantly reminded of a storied empire that laid the foundation for Western civilization. Around every corner, you’ll run into a formidable ancient monument, grandly gilded cathedral, or priceless piece of Renaissance art. But behind all that outward splendor and beauty are tragic tales of power, religion, death, and destruction – this is history served up in all its brutal rawness.

To capture Rome in every bit of its glory, Big & Small Travel present this quick video of its highlights. We had a whirlwind two weeks in this majestic Italian city, jumping between the fringes of town to the historical center, exploring must-see attractions as well as a few hidden gems (side tip: go check out the creepy Capuchin Crypt, featuring a macabre display of skeletal remains of 4,000 friars – no pics allowed inside!). In this video, see the Colosseum, Pantheon, Roman Forum, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, Circus Maximus, Roman Aqueducts, Vatican City, and more.

The Romans remain proud of their city, their culture, and their pizza, of course – and you will only fully understand why after stepping foot on their stunning and sacred land.

The Colosseum

The Roman Forum

Roman Aqueducts at Appian Way Regional Park

Piazza Navona

Archbasilica of St. John Lateran