5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament

5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament. Are you or your children Harry Potter fans? These easy to make golden snitch ornaments come together in under 5 minutes! Perfect for your tree, to give as a gift, or string for holiday decor.


Are you or your children Harry Potter fans? These easy to make golden snitch ornaments come together in under 5 minutes! Perfect for your tree, to give as a gift, or string for holiday decor.

5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament

My niece loves Harry Potter. She needed a raffle donation for a friend, and since the auction was geared toward children, she decided to make a Harry Potter-inspired tree. We draped lights, got an owl (that Hedwig and the map are from when I visited Universal Studios), purchased some neckties in the school colors, and then decided to make ornaments, including these Harry Potter Mason Jar Lid Ornaments and Hogwarts Mason Jar Lid Ornaments.

5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament. Are you or your children Harry Potter fans? These easy to make golden snitch ornaments come together in under 5 minutes! Perfect for your tree, to give as a gift, or string for holiday decor.


The easiest ornaments to make are golden snitches. They are simply a small, unbreakable golden ornament and some golden feathers. So, we made six to be placed on the donation “Harry Potter” tree. It took about 5 minutes to make all six. This is a truly simple little craft.

5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament Notes:

• All the materials necessary to make this easy little snowman spoon craft can be purchased at at JoAnn, Michaels, or Hobby Lobby

• Always cover your work surface against spills!

• Make certain your feathers match-up. By this I mean when you get the feathers out of the packet they will be in various sizes. It may not matter on a large craft, but when you are only using two feathers for wings it is important that one feather not be significantly larger than the other. Proportional it key.

5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament. Are you or your children Harry Potter fans? These easy to make golden snitch ornaments come together in under 5 minutes! Perfect for your tree, to give as a gift, or string for holiday decor.


5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament Materials

• Small, Unbreakable Gold Ornament Bulbs
Gold Feathers

5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament Tools

• Low Temp Hot Glue
• Low Temp Hot Glue Gun

5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament. Are you or your children Harry Potter fans? These easy to make golden snitch ornaments come together in under 5 minutes! Perfect for your tree, to give as a gift, or string for holiday decor.


5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament. Are you or your children Harry Potter fans? These easy to make golden snitch ornaments come together in under 5 minutes! Perfect for your tree, to give as a gift, or string for holiday decor.


5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament. Are you or your children Harry Potter fans? These easy to make golden snitch ornaments come together in under 5 minutes! Perfect for your tree, to give as a gift, or string for holiday decor.


5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament Directions:

1. Lay out your feathers and match two as an alike size.

5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament. Are you or your children Harry Potter fans? These easy to make golden snitch ornaments come together in under 5 minutes! Perfect for your tree, to give as a gift, or string for holiday decor.


2. The back of the feather has the spine, the front is smooth. Hold the spine side towards you and run the low-temp hot glue on the extended spine.

5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament. Are you or your children Harry Potter fans? These easy to make golden snitch ornaments come together in under 5 minutes! Perfect for your tree, to give as a gift, or string for holiday decor.


3. Quickly take the matching feather and place it on top of the hot glue. Allow to dry.

5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament. Are you or your children Harry Potter fans? These easy to make golden snitch ornaments come together in under 5 minutes! Perfect for your tree, to give as a gift, or string for holiday decor.


4. Hot glue the middle of the spine (where the hot glue already is) to the back of your gold ball ornament with the spine side facing out. The reason we chose to make them face outward is because of how the golden snitch is represented in the books; it is gear-y. This makes it seem a bit more mechanical.

5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament. Are you or your children Harry Potter fans? These easy to make golden snitch ornaments come together in under 5 minutes! Perfect for your tree, to give as a gift, or string for holiday decor.


5. Allow to dry.
6. Display as desired.

5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament. Are you or your children Harry Potter fans? These easy to make golden snitch ornaments come together in under 5 minutes! Perfect for your tree, to give as a gift, or string for holiday decor.


Yield: 1

5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament

5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament

5 Minute Craft: Golden Snitch Ornament. Are you or your children Harry Potter fans? These easy to make golden snitch ornaments come together in under 5 minutes! Perfect for your tree, to give as a gift, or string for holiday decor.

Prep Time 1 minute
Active Time 4 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost .50

Materials

Tools

  • Low Temp Hot Glue
  • Low Temp Hot Glue Gun

Instructions

    1. Layout your feathers and match two as an alike size.
    2. The back of the feather has the spine, the front is smooth. Hold the spine side towards you and run the low-temp hot glue on the extended spine.
    3. Quickly take the matching feather and place it on top of the hot glue. Allow to dry.
    4. Hot glue the middle of the spine (where the hot glue already is) to the back of your gold ball ornament with the spine side facing out. The reason we chose to make them face outward is because of how the golden snitch is represented in the books; it is gear-y. This makes it seem a bit more mechanical.
    5. Allow to dry.
    6. Display as desired.


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Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe

Britians are said to be the first to come up with eggnog. In medieval times, they drank what was known as “posset.” It was a warm, milky substance that resembled an ale. As the 1400s rolled around, monks were known to drink a similar posset but used eggs and figs in their mixture instead. By the late 1600s, the term “eggnog” came about because this beverage was served in cups called “nogs” which were usually used for ale. The British, by this time, were also calling it “egg flip” because of the way they poured it rapidly from bowl to bowl in order to thoroughly mix it.

Both eggnog and cheesecake have creamy qualities to them and are pretty popular around the holidays. This means it was only common sense to mix them together and add a gingersnap crust for the ultimate holiday dessert. This Eggnog Cheesecake is rich and addicting. It goes over extremely well at parties and get-togethers. I never end up bringing any leftovers home which is probably good since I would end up eating them all before the night was over.

How Do You Make Eggnog Cheesecake?

For the crust, toss the cookies into a food processor, pulse until they are powder, and then add in the other ingredients and pulse again. Grease the springform pan and press the crust inside. Bake for 15 minutes at 325 degrees then set aside to cool.

For the cheesecake portion, place the sugar and cream cheese in a bowl and beat until creamy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and beat until fully combined. Add the eggnog and vanilla, and beat until fully combined again. Then, fold in the flour gently until fully incorporated. Place the filling over the crust and bake at 300 degrees for 90 minutes before placing into the fridge for about eight hours.

For the whipped topping, in a chilled bowl, beat the cream cheese and eggnog until smooth. Add the sugar and nutmeg and beat the mixture for a couple of minutes before adding the cream and beating on high until the mixture is fluffy.

Tips for Making Eggnog Cheesecake

• You can place the frosting on the cheesecake however you like. You can just put it on with a frosting knife or use a piping bag and put it on with a more calculated design.
• If a garnish for the cheesecake is desired, sprinkle with grated nutmeg after the frosting is put in place.
• The cheesecake can be served on its own without the frosting or any garnishes. These are only optional.
• This recipe was made using this Homemade Eggnog recipe of mine. However, it is perfectly fine to use store-bought eggnog, as this will not change the recipe in any way.
• Be sure to store the cheesecake in the freezer or fridge, well covered or protected. An airtight container is best. If storing in the freezer, allow to thaw for around an hour before attempting to cut and serve.
• For my UK and Australian friends: confectioners sugar is icing sugar (powdered sugar, 10x).

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


Common Questions About Eggnog Cheesecake

What is the Difference Between a New York Cheesecake and Regular?

There are a plethora of various cheesecake recipes and styles. However, probably one of the more popularly known styles of cheesecake is New York. A New York style cheesecake relies on heavy cream and has a consistency that stays the same from the outside to the inside of the cake. Chicago style cheesecake is another popular style that has a denser outside with a softer inside and heavily relies on cream cheese more than cream. Therefore, the biggest differences are the consistencies of the various cheesecakes and their main ingredient used to make it creamy.

Why is it Called Cheesecake?

Honestly, we all know that cheesecake is a form of pie since it is baked on top of a crust. However, when the dessert first originated in Ancient Greece, cream cheese had not yet been invented. This means the original cheesecake recipes were not made with the same ingredients we are used to in this day and age. In fact back then, they were made with a mixture of ricotta cheese and honey, sometimes including a bit of flour in the mixture. They were basically a cake of sweetened ricotta cheese and would often be served to gladiators to give them energy. The recipes we see currently are much different from those back then, but these recipes still retain the name cheesecake because of what they were derived from.

You can never go wrong with choosing cheesecake as a holiday dessert. It is worth waiting through the chilling period for it to be ready because it is just that good. If you have never had anything other than traditional cheesecake, you should give this Eggnog Cheesecake a while to mix things up.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Ingredients:

Cheesecake Crust

• 12 oz Gingersnap Cookies
• ¼ cup White Sugar
• ¼ cup Butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling

• 16oz Cream Cheese, softened
• 1 cup White Sugar
• 2 large Eggs
• 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
• 1 cup Eggnog
• ¼ cup All-purpose Flour

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


Whipped Frosting

(optional)

• 4oz Cream Cheese, softened
• 2 TBSP Eggnog
• ½ cup Confectioners Sugar
• ½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
• 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Mise en Place:

Measuring Cup
• Food Processor (mini food processor)
Spatula
Stand Mixer
9″ Springform Pan
Measuring Spoons
• Aluminum Foil
• Baking Pan
• Piping Bag (optional)
Piping Tip (optional)

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Directions:

To Make Cheesecake Crust:

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. Lightly grease a 9 inch spring-form pan.
3. Place 12 ounces of gingersnap cookies in a food processor and pulse until powdered.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


4. Add ¼ cup of white sugar and ¼ cup melted butter to the powdered gingersnap cookies and pulse for 30 seconds until the mixture resembles wet sand.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


5. Press the gingersnap mixture onto the bottom of the prepared spring-form pan.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


6. Bake for 15 minutes and then let the crust cool to room temperature.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


To Make the Cheesecake Filling:

7. Reduce the heat of the oven to 300°F.
8. Using a stand mixer, in a large bowl, beat 16 ounces of softened cream cheese and 1 cup of white sugar until smooth.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


9. Add two large eggs, one at a time and beat on low, until incorporated.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


10. Add two teaspoons of vanilla extract and one cup of eggnog and beat until smooth.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


11. Add ¼ cup flour and gently fold it by hand.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


12. Pour the eggnog cheesecake filling into the prepared crust.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


13. Wrap the outside of the spring-form pan tightly with foil.
14. Place the spring-form pan inside a rimmed baking pan.
15. Pour hot water in the baking pan, until it reaches halfway to the spring form pan.
16. Bake for 90 minutes in the preheated 300°F oven.
17. Remove the eggnog cheesecake from the oven and allow it cool to room temperature.
18. Place cooled eggnog cheesecake in the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


To Make the Whipped Frosting:

(optional)

19. Just before serving, make the whipping frosting.
20. Chill a large mixing bowl for about an hour in the freezer.
21. Combine four ounces of softened cream cheese and two tablespoons of eggnog in the chilled bowl and beat on high till smooth and creamy.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


22. Add in ½ cup confectioners sugar and ½ teaspoon of nutmeg to the cream cheese mixture; beat on high for few seconds till the confectioners sugar is incorporated.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


23. Add in one cup of heavy whipping cream and again beat on high for a minute or two until the whipped frosting is light and fluffy.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


24. You can either slather the frosting on top of the chilled cheesecake or place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a tip (I used Wilton’s 1M tip) and pipe the frosting in your desired pattern.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


25. Dust the top of the cheesecake with freshly grated nutmeg. Serve immediately.
26. Store the leftovers, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe. Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.


Yield: 1

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe

Eggnog Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust Recipe

Three of the most iconic flavors for the holidays come together in this Eggnog Cheesecake recipe. The creamy sensation of cheesecake makes the perfect pairing for the smooth and spicy tastes of eggnog. All while sitting on top of a gingersnap crust. You may think about making two because this cheesecake will be irresistible and gone in an instant.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 oz Gingersnap Cookies
  • ¼ cup White Sugar
  • ¼ cup Butter, melted
  • 16oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Eggnog
  • ¼ cup All-purpose Flour
  • 4oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 TBSP Eggnog
  • ½ cup Confectioners Sugar
  • ½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
    2. Lightly grease a 9-inch spring-form pan.
    3. Place 12 ounces of gingersnap cookies in a food processor and pulse until powdered.
    4. Add ¼ cup of white sugar and ¼ cup melted butter to the powdered gingersnap cookies and pulse for 30 seconds until the mixture resembles wet sand.
    5. Press the gingersnap mixture onto the bottom of the prepared springform pan.
    6. Bake for 15 minutes and then let the crust cool to room temperature.
    7. Reduce the heat of the oven to 300°F.
    8. Using a stand mixer, in a large bowl, beat 16 ounces of softened cream cheese and 1 cup of white sugar until smooth.
    9. Add two large eggs, one at a time and beat on low, until incorporated.
    10. Add two teaspoons of vanilla extract and one cup of eggnog and beat until smooth.
    11. Add ¼ cup flour and gently fold it by hand.
    12. Pour the eggnog cheesecake filling into the prepared crust.
    13. Wrap the outside of the spring-form pan tightly with foil.
    14. Place the spring-form pan inside a rimmed baking pan.
    15. Pour hot water in the baking pan, until it reaches halfway to the spring form pan.
    16. Bake for 90 minutes in the preheated 300°F oven.
    17. Remove the eggnog cheesecake from the oven and allow it cool to room temperature.
    18. Place cooled eggnog cheesecake in the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours.
    19. Just before serving, make the whipping frosting.
    20. Chill a large mixing bowl for about an hour in the freezer.
    21. Combine four ounces of softened cream cheese and two tablespoons of eggnog in the chilled bowl and beat on high till smooth and creamy.
    22. Add in ½ cup confectioners sugar and ½ teaspoon of nutmeg to the cream cheese mixture; beat on high for few seconds till the confectioners' sugar is incorporated.
    23. Add in one cup of heavy whipping cream and again beat on high for a minute or two until the whipped frosting is light and fluffy.
    24. You can either slather the frosting on top of the chilled cheesecake or place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a tip (I used Wilton's 1M tip) and pipe the frosting in your desired pattern.
    25. Dust the top of the cheesecake with freshly grated nutmeg. Serve immediately.
    26. Store the leftovers, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 528 Total Fat: 32g Saturated Fat: 18g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 125mg Sodium: 351mg Carbohydrates: 54g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 35g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 8g
Note: for exact nutritional information, consult your dietitian. All nutritional information provided is simply a guideline.

If you liked this recipe, try these other cheesecake recipes!

Chocolate Cheesecake
Company Cheesecake
No-Bake Cranberry Cheesecake Parfait


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Six Weeks in Italy

Six Weeks in Italy. Hubby and I just spent the last six weeks in Italy. It was an amazing trip with lots of wine, food, and a few archeological sites thrown in. This is a compilation of what we did, where we stayed, and the food and wines we enjoyed while traveling from Turin in the north to Sicily in the south, and across Italy to Venice in the east. In all we visited 11 major cities in Italy, and took a plethora of trips to the Italian countryside.


Hubby and I just spent the last six weeks in Italy. It was an amazing trip with lots of wine, food, and a few archeological sites thrown in. This is a compilation of what we did, where we stayed, and the food and wines we enjoyed while traveling from Turin in the north to Sicily in the south, and across Italy to Venice in the east. In all, we visited 11 major cities in Italy and took a plethora of trips to the Italian countryside.

Six Weeks in Italy

Last year, after Mr. Max passed away, Hubby and I were considering places to travel. We had not been anywhere out of the country in years; our last trip without Max was to Italy and France in 2015. Max was a rabies titer as well as on a lot of daily medications, so anywhere we went, he needed to go with us or we needed Sonny-boy to take care of him.

Hubby asked me how I felt about a trip to Italy, and since I loved our last trip there, I was completely on-board. He spend a few weeks looking into it, came back to me and asked how I felt about SIX WEEKS in Italy.

After a nanosecond of thought, I said, “yes!”

Hubby spent a lot of time planning this trip. He used mainly bookings.com (which we later learned from a tour guide is the #1 way to book travel in Italy), and Viator (for excursions).

We decided to once again travel with only carry-on luggage. It is very convient when transfering trains to only have a small piece of luggage to drag around. I took a carry-on (same one that I used before), and the same pac-safe “purse”.

I decided to forgo my camera and lenses, and purchased a travel camera (the Canon PowerShot) which weighed next to nothing. I used that and my phone this time for photographs.

Hubby used a carry-on, a back-pack, and for every day walking around, he packed a small bag that he used to carry water, suntan lotion, and some snacks.

Since we were gone for six weeks, we, of course, needed to do laundry. I purchased some laundry detergent sheets. They worked very well, were lightweight, and were fabric softening too. We did find laundry sheets on display in several grocery stores in Italy. I am not sure if I would chance it, but it is possible to purchase them there at select grocery stores.

When Hubby was selecting places to stay, we had criteria that included an elevator, no stairs, and a washer. This worked quite well as all the Airbnbs had washers except for Sorrento and Rome (we used a laundromat), all the places that said had an elevator did have an elevator, but for stairs? We got stuck once in Florence as it was not disclosed that there was a set of stairs up to the apartment after the elevator. It worked for us, but if we had been handicapped or elderly, it might not have worked quite as well (these were some very, very steep stairs).

One of the first things Hubby did when we got to Italy was get us each TIM sim cards for our phones. The cost was cheap (about 20€ a month) with 30GB of data… more than we could ever use!

So, where did we go? What did we do?

We landed in Nice, France. Hubby got a deal on La Compagnie (a business seating only plane) that flew from Newark to Nice. We decided to drive to Newark – after our last European plane disaster I was not chancing a connection! – and we stopped midway to watch the Bills game. It worked out great!

In Nice, we took a day to visit Hubby’s aunt and uncle, and then we were off to Italy.

Since the trains from France to Italy didn’t line up well at the time of the day we were traveling, we spent the evening in Ventimiglia and then took a train the next day to Turin.

Six Weeks in Italy. Hubby and I just spent the last six weeks in Italy. It was an amazing trip with lots of wine, food, and a few archeological sites thrown in. This is a compilation of what we did, where we stayed, and the food and wines we enjoyed while traveling from Turin in the north to Sicily in the south, and across Italy to Venice in the east. In all we visited 11 major cities in Italy, and took a plethora of trips into the Italian countryside.


Some of the food for sale during a Turin market tour.


Turin, Italy

In Turin we checked into our airbnb – located in the middle of the city center. We have been told Turin is a big city, yet it felt very small and compact to us.

What did we do in Turin?

Well, our first tour was supposed to be a city center walking tour. We booked with Viator, and we were to meet our tour guide in front of the church where they keep the Shroud of Turin (not on display now) at 6 pm. At 6:15 pm, Hubby called the agency who was giving the tour and got the old “we were just going to call you.” Uh-huh.

This was not an auspicious beginning. Our first tour was canceled! And even worse, they immediately issued a refund and called it “canceled” on Viator. Why worse? We couldn’t leave a review to warn others!

So, we went to the store, wandered around a bit, and then went to sleep. The next day we went on a chocolate tour where I uttered the words, “no more chocolate!”. Turin is known for its chocolate, and it was very good.

We took a very nice wine tour out of Alba, where I bought of few bottles of Barolo wine and expanded my vino taste buds!

Six Weeks in Italy. Hubby and I just spent the last six weeks in Italy. It was an amazing trip with lots of wine, food, and a few archeological sites thrown in. This is a compilation of what we did, where we stayed, and the food and wines we enjoyed while traveling from Turin in the north to Sicily in the south, and across Italy to Venice in the east. In all we visited 11 major cities in Italy, and took a plethora of trips into the Italian countryside.


The port was absolutely beautiful.


Rapollo, Italy

Before Hubby and I left home, we looked at the historical temperature highs and lows of our destination cities to determine what to pack. We saw nothing was much above 75°F, so I packed jeans and a pair of black slacks. Well, starting in Rapallo, the temperatures for the entire month of September ran 10-15° higher than normal. Rapallo is a beautiful little town that led to more beach communities and was about 90°F and sunny outside.

Hubby and I checked into the Best Western Plus – absolutely like no Best Western you have ever stayed in. This was a beautiful hotel with a magnificent view; it was truly lovely. It is also situated well for the beach, boats, and shopping.

Six Weeks in Italy. Hubby and I just spent the last six weeks in Italy. It was an amazing trip with lots of wine, food, and a few archeological sites thrown in. This is a compilation of what we did, where we stayed, and the food and wines we enjoyed while traveling from Turin in the north to Sicily in the south, and across Italy to Venice in the east. In all we visited 11 major cities in Italy, and took a plethora of trips into the Italian countryside.


Guard tower in Rapollo.


Good thing on the shopping. The next day Hubby had us go to a nearby port town, and I was completely miserable. Having only jeans to wear in that type of heat and sun led to an extremely grumpy Ann. The second morning Hubby hustled me into a store for a pair of lightweight slacks which I wore and wore and wore and wore. Best 25€ I spent on the trip (they were so lightweight, they did not last to bring home, but they were still worth the price!!)

We did very little (well, Hubby ate a lot of gelato) in Rapallo, but the town sure was purdy!

Six Weeks in Italy. Hubby and I just spent the last six weeks in Italy. It was an amazing trip with lots of wine, food, and a few archeological sites thrown in. This is a compilation of what we did, where we stayed, and the food and wines we enjoyed while traveling from Turin in the north to Sicily in the south, and across Italy to Venice in the east. In all we visited 11 major cities in Italy, and took a plethora of trips into the Italian countryside.


This is mosaic art in Florence.


Florence, Italy

After that, it was on to Florence!

Our time in Florence was nothing like the last time we went there. We ignored all the art (well, mostly). We used it for a starting point for tours. Hubby had really wanted to stay in Tuscany, but that would have meant renting a car and he was not quite prepared to do that. There were few tours originating in the Tuscan countryside, so we set up base in Florence, and then took the tours from there.

Hubby picked a fabulous spot in Florence on the river Arno. Our airbnb had a private terrace overlooking the river, and a nice little washer set-up.

We did an artisan tour that I swear was trying to kill me. Hubby and I walked 5-10 miles per day every day while in Italy. Some of the walking was easier than others. Some of the cobblestone streets look fantastic, but can contain tripping hazzards. Mentally, this gets to me (I fear falling). The artisan tour started out wonderfully at a Musivo Lastrucci a mosaic artist that is nothing like any mosaic you have ever seen! We wandered over to a shoe maker, furniture restorer, leather artist, and walked and walked and walked. Honestly? We could have gone to the mosaic place, the paper maker and been done and I would have been very happy.

While in Florence we took several trips out into the Tuscan wine country where I bought several cases of wine from Marchese Gondi. This was actually the winery I purchased the most wine from, and I will continue to do so in the future. Our tour guide, Matt, was also a sommelier, and even Hubby learned new things from him. Our other regional wine tour I do not recall the particulars. Oops.

We took one of the best food tours we had while in Italy in Florence, too. Our guide Sarah lived in the neighborhood and really knew what was what.

Six Weeks in Italy. Hubby and I just spent the last six weeks in Italy. It was an amazing trip with lots of wine, food, and a few archeological sites thrown in. This is a compilation of what we did, where we stayed, and the food and wines we enjoyed while traveling from Turin in the north to Sicily in the south, and across Italy to Venice in the east. In all we visited 11 major cities in Italy, and took a plethora of trips into the Italian countryside.


No kitches in Pompeii, so this is a “restaurant”.


Sorrento, Italy

Hubby and I went back to Sorrento as we liked it very much. We didn’t do many tours – well we went to Pompeii since we missed it last time, and did a food agrotourism excursion that was absolutely fantastic!

We went to a wine tasting, then on to visit a guy who was making liqueurs in a still (seriously!) in a tiny little town of about 35 people, and then off to a magnificent experience at a B&B farmhouse up in the hills. The couple cooked for us, and then cooked for us, and then cooked for us. We were a party of eight and all groaning after the first course. Hubby made the “mistake” of asking if they made calzones, so as we were all stuffed to the gills after the third course, we got calzones too! This was one of the best tours (if not the best) we took in Italy, I would do this tour again if I was ever back in the region. It was truly unique and something you will not find just anywhere.

Sicily

There are two ways to get to Sicily – train or boat. And even the train is transferred via boat. Hubby booked us on an overnight boat out of Naples, Italy to Palermo, Sicily, and the question was how to get to Naples from Sorrento. We could take the local train, and then a taxi to the docks, but that was not something we were keen to do.

We ended up going to Capri and spent the day there. Boats from Capri to Naples ran constantly, so it was a pretty obvious choice. We also never went to Capri itself (the town), instead we spent time in Marina Grande and Anacapri (which we liked last time).

Once we landed in Naples, we had to walk over to the second port, but it was an easy half-mile walk and customs was very nice to us showing us how to board the boat without walking all the way around. The ship was very interesting; there were a ton of loaded semi-trucks on the first three floors, and we boarded by escalator. Our cabin was very small, but more than adequate for the evening, and it included a small bathroom with a shower. They had a cafeteria, a lounge, a children’s playroom, etc. We had read some reviews that were not thrilled, but for the price? This was the way to get to Sicily.

Six Weeks in Italy. Hubby and I just spent the last six weeks in Italy. It was an amazing trip with lots of wine, food, and a few archeological sites thrown in. This is a compilation of what we did, where we stayed, and the food and wines we enjoyed while traveling from Turin in the north to Sicily in the south, and across Italy to Venice in the east. In all we visited 11 major cities in Italy, and took a plethora of trips into the Italian countryside.


This Greek amphitheater is in fabulous shape!


Palermo, Sicily

Palermo is a very gritty town. It reminded me of NYC in the 70s (Hubby specifically said Brooklyn circa 1970s). We stayed in a nice airbnb that didn’t have an elevator, but was easy stairs.

We took several food tours, saw the Opera house where scenes from the Godfather were filmed (there were Godfather tours offered all over Sicily, but since I have never seen the movie(s) they would have been wasted on me), and then took more food tours.

Six Weeks in Italy. Hubby and I just spent the last six weeks in Italy. It was an amazing trip with lots of wine, food, and a few archeological sites thrown in. This is a compilation of what we did, where we stayed, and the food and wines we enjoyed while traveling from Turin in the north to Sicily in the south, and across Italy to Venice in the east. In all we visited 11 major cities in Italy, and took a plethora of trips into the Italian countryside.


Our room had a beautiful view!


Taormina

Hubby booked us for a few days in Taormina and wow did I like this place. Very small, quite touristy, it was high up in the hills with a magnificent view. We took a few tours including a wine tour up Mt Etna to the Gambino Winery. I swear this was the most modern winery I have ever been in! The ash and weather on Mt Etna forms a microclimate with great soil, and the wines were very good. They already have a distribution center in New York, so the cost was the cost (they simply shipped across the state) instead of having to deal with a shipping company and duty (it is actually a simple process, but it is an additional cost).

We also took a tour to Erice, and to see Trapani sea salt drying.

The most interesting (to me) thing about Sicily? We went to a lot of Greek ruins (saving Hubby a trip to Athens). Apparently, Sicily has a great quantity of ancient Greek ruins! And, I was thrilled to tour them.

Six Weeks in Italy. Hubby and I just spent the last six weeks in Italy. It was an amazing trip with lots of wine, food, and a few archeological sites thrown in. This is a compilation of what we did, where we stayed, and the food and wines we enjoyed while traveling from Turin in the north to Sicily in the south, and across Italy to Venice in the east. In all we visited 11 major cities in Italy, and took a plethora of trips into the Italian countryside.


Trevi fountain. My SIL & I were able to get right up to it and toss in our coins.


Rome, Italy

After Sicily, we headed to Rome.

After taking a boat down to Sicily, we decided to take the overnight train to Rome. Big, big, BIG mistake. I have taken a lot of sleepers in the United States in my lifetime. My father was a train-nut, and we went all over the country via train. I had no problem going on an overnight train in a sleeping compartment up to Rome, or so I thought.

Hubby booked us on the slower overnight train after I said I did not want to transfer to the train with the Excelsior Sleeper at midnight. I take full responsibility for the awfulness of this train ride. The sleeping compartment was so small we could not both stand up when the ladder was in place for the top bunk. There was no water (they provided a few bottles), there was no way to regulate temperature, it was loud, and horrible, and when we got to Rome we were more exhausted than when we flew from the States!!

In Rome we stayed at this very nice airbnb which had a great location for our purposes. We were close to the train station, embassies (ha!) and the salon where I got my hair done. Priorities!

This location had a set-up that we needed, which was at least two bedrooms as my sister-in-law joined us. It was her first time in Rome so we went to the Trevi Fountian, Spanish Steps, and the Vatican (just as fantastic the second time), Palentine Hill, the Forum, and the Coliseum (OMG we LOVED the Forum), and then on day 3 Hubby and my SIL went back to the Trevi fountain and some church with a tour guide, and they went on a food tour. They did 10 miles that day, and since walking in the Coliseum really pooped me out, I passed. And, after I saw they did 10 miles walking? I was glad I did.

Six Weeks in Italy. Hubby and I just spent the last six weeks in Italy. It was an amazing trip with lots of wine, food, and a few archeological sites thrown in. This is a compilation of what we did, where we stayed, and the food and wines we enjoyed while traveling from Turin in the north to Sicily in the south, and across Italy to Venice in the east. In all we visited 11 major cities in Italy, and took a plethora of trips into the Italian countryside.


Burano was beautiful.


Venice, Italy

After Rome we took a train over to Venice. It was the most expensive city we went to in Italy. I understand why. There are no cars or bikes allowed so things are unloaded at the wharf and placed on carts where men walk the supplies in. Getting around is stairs, stairs, and more stairs (the Italians LOVE their stairs!) and since we are not religious (honestly, how many churches can you visit?) or artsy it was not my favorite place.

My SIL’s friend came down from Switzerland so it was the four of us for three days, and then the three of us for the last day.

Six Weeks in Italy. Hubby and I just spent the last six weeks in Italy. It was an amazing trip with lots of wine, food, and a few archeological sites thrown in. This is a compilation of what we did, where we stayed, and the and wines we enjoyed while traveling from Turin in the north to Sicily in the south, and across Italy to Venice in the east. In all we visited 11 major cities in Italy, and took a plethora of trips into the Italian countryside.


Ever seen grapes grown like this?


We went on a wine tour in Valpolicella and I bought a case of my favorite type of wine, Amarone!

The next day we went to the island of Burano which is famous for its lace making. My SIL, her friend, and I had a fine time buying things!! This little island (part of Venice) we loved and could have spent a lot of time there. But, as part of our tour, it was on to Murano.

For years I had wanted a glass sculpture. I had searched a lot of the US, gone to glass workshops in Corning, and St. Petersburg, Florida, and had not found something that resonated. I decided last year, once Hubby planned this trip, that I would simply wait and get something in Murano.

We ended up in the Gino Mazzuccato demonstration, and then toured their showroom. They made us an offer I could not refuse (I bought one modern sculpture and one in the old style 1600s glass making design), and I went away very, very happy!!

Six Weeks in Italy. Hubby and I just spent the last six weeks in Italy. It was an amazing trip with lots of wine, food, and a few archeological sites thrown in. This is a compilation of what we did, where we stayed, and the food and wines we enjoyed while traveling from Turin in the north to Sicily in the south, and across Italy to Venice in the east. In all we visited 11 major cities in Italy, and took a plethora of trips into the Italian countryside.


We were able to pick and taste these fabulous wine grapes in Valpolicella.


Verona, Italy

After our stay in Venice, my SIL and her friend went to their respective homes, and Hubby and I went on to Verona. This was a place I wish we had spent a lot more time… like weeks more.

We booked a hotel near the Verona Arena (a Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra), and wished we had had time to go in. Instead, it was vino time!!! We went to several more Valpolicella wine tours (this one was my favorite!) as I mentioned Amarone is my favorite type of wine.

All-in-all we shipped home six cases of wine on this trip, and I could not be more pleased!

Six Weeks in Italy. Hubby and I just spent the last six weeks in Italy. It was an amazing trip with lots of wine, food, and a few archeological sites thrown in. This is a compilation of what we did, where we stayed, and the food and wines we enjoyed while traveling from Turin in the north to Sicily in the south, and across Italy to Venice in the east. In all we visited 11 major cities in Italy, and took a plethora of trips into the Italian countryside.


Wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.


Bologna, Italy

Our last stop in Italy was the city of Bologna. Our airbnb was tiny, but very clean. It was about 15 minutes from the old part of the city where everything was happening, so very quiet.

Hubby wanted to end with a foodie-bang, and wow, did he get his wish! We had days of wonderful food tours culminating in an excellent food tour with a farmhouse lunch. We saw how Parmigiano-Reggiano was made (and I brought a pound home and now wish I had purchased more), how Prosciutto was made, stopped into the Osteria del Sole which is the oldest bar in Bologna dating from the 1400s (that was cool!), saw how tortellini was made (who needs refrigeration, gloves or hair nets!?), went on an amazing food tour (we had to be picked up at 7am, but this tour really was worth it) and generally just ate, ate, and ate some more.

After that, it was back to Nice for a flight home.

Going Home

That was an interesting little story… we took the train from Bologna to Milan where we needed to transfer to the train to Nice. For whatever reason, our connection was only 15 minutes. I saw it a few days before and did not insist Hubby find a prior train. {head slap} So, our train from Bologna was 12 minutes late, and while we were familiar with the Milan train station, three minutes was going to be impossible.

We eventually picked up some time so we had about 10 minutes to get our transfer. I was the crazy lady in the Milan train station scusi-ing everyone as we ran for our connection. We made it, and five hours later we were in Nice.

Hubby had wanted to go to Cannes to locate a family grave, but between the possiblity of rain and the tight window we had to get there and back to our plane, I told him “next time”. Which turned out to be a very good decision. As we were sitting on the boardwalk in Nice Hubby received a call that our plane would be departing two hours early! We went back to the hotel (that was holding our lauggage) after a delicious lunch, and took a taxi to the airport.

Now, the Nice airport is interesting. I have never, ever, EVER seen so many private planes in my life. And, I am not talking prop planes, I mean jets. The private planes outnumbered the commercial jets by at least 10-1. It was also the easiest TSA-type checkpoint I have ever encountered.

Our plane took off 20 minutes late, and then when it arrived in Newark, it had to circle for an hour due to weather. When we finally landed, there was a huge line for US customs, but since it is now automated, it was pretty simple and steady to get through the line.

Hubby and I stayed overnight at a very nice Marriott hotel, and then rented a car the next day and drove home across southern New York through some glorious fall foliage!

Takeaways from this trip? I’d go back to southeastern Sicily in a heartbeat. I’d love to spend more time in Verona. We will have to rent a car to do Italy next time as we would like to spend more time in Tuscany and in Valpolicella. This was a trip few people have the time to do. I am extremely glad we did it. We have a much better liking of Rome than we did before, and there are some areas we would love to go back to.

Was this an inexpensive trip? Nope. Not counting the wine and glass sculptures I purchased it was still pretty pricey, even airbnb-ing it. All the excursions, restaurants, and train travel adds up. I have no idea how the backpackers do it!

If Hubby told me he wanted to spend six weeks in Italy again, I would do it. However, I would not move around like we did. Even when we moved close, we still lost half a day to travel. IF we did six weeks again, I’d pick the southeastern coast of Sicily, Tuscany, and Veronao/Valpolicella, two weeks in each spot. Constant travel by excursions gets to be wearing, too.

The bright side? I got a lot of wine, a very good education on wine, olive oil, foods of Italy, lost 10 pounds (Hubby was a walking-slave-driver), and finally bought the glass sculptures I had wanted for years!


• For more Travel posts on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

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