What up, nerds? Good news! We are back with a new jetsetter this week: the lovely Gigi Griffis! She’s lovely because she’s a self-described “honorary European” and “risk-taking, fear-facing, world-traveling wordsmith.” Most notably, though, gf is a published author! Cha, yeah, we know.
After interviewing a variety of 100 locals and long-time expats living and working in Italy, she’s done the exceptionally nice thing and compiled all of their handy dandy advice into one amazing book. In her words, it’s an “Italian best friend who can guide you through the best of Florence, Venice, the Cinque Terre…you name it.”
GUYS, WE’VE ALWAYS WANTED AN ITALIAN BEST FRIEND WHO CAN DO ALL THOSE THINGS! Well, all those things + make us homemade pasta whenever we please. (Gigi, how are you in the kitchen…?)
Anyway, go forth and check out her book here, and know that that magical link will also take you to a bunch of Italy-related giveaways she’s running every month for the rest of the year. Like, we’re just doing you guys all sorts of favors. Now, read on for Gigi’s words of travel wisdom, and go be nice and say hi on Twitter!
Favorite Place: Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. It’s the one place in the world that I always find myself circling back to. I just can’t get enough of the towering cliffs, the waterfalls (72 of them in the valley!), the well-marked, tough hiking trails, the paragliders and BASE jumpers constantly gliding through the air, and the rowdy, fun international community.
Favorite “I can’t believe I’m doing this” moment: Paragliding in the Swiss Alps. First, I thought “I can’t believe I’m doing this…it’s so beautiful!” and then I thought “I can’t believe I’m doing this…I’m going to fall to my death.” (But it was absolutely worth it.)
Place you can’t wait to return to: The Cinque Terre in Italy. When I was there years ago (during my first trip to Europe), I walked the pretty cliffside path between the five towns, and I promised myself that someday I would go back and kayak between all five towns. It feels like time to give that a go.
Place you can’t be paid to return to: It would take a lot of arm twisting to get me back to Barcelona (which wins my award for rudest people), Morocco (whoa, harassment), or Florida. That said, I am a sucker for second chances and I have a habit of doing things I say I won’t (so, who knows, maybe next week I’ll be announcing the Barcelona-Morocco-Florida tour).
(one of the quieter, nicer moments in Morocco)
Favorite “I’m trying not to look like a tourist” attraction: Any multi-hour walking path. Walking the trail from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland and the Water of Leith Walkway in Edinburgh were both excellent adventures that let me see a lot and still feel like I was experiencing the area like a local would.
So, listen. We’re always looking for our next jetsetter! Get in touch.
the romantic & the wino