Our new adventure started almost exactly where our previous one had left off- our final stop in Finland last year had been to visit the old town of Porvoo, near Helsinki.  We finished with big smiles as its charming and colourful old buildings and maze of laneways had enchanted us in a way that Helsinki had failed to do a week earlier however we wished we had more than the few hours we had allowed ourselves on our final day last time.

Almost exactly a year later we landed in Helsinki on what we were told was one of the coldest days of their winter.  A temperature of -20 degrees and howling winds chilled us to the bone after having just left behind a hot Australian summer day through the magical twilight zone that is international air travel. But we soon checked into our toasty warm lodgings- a converted barn-house, and the fueled by the adrenaline of exploring our old-world surroundings we launched ourselves back into the Finnish winter.

The reason for our visit? After finding ourselves a part of a surprise proposal in the snow on last visit, Lina & I were invited back to shoot our new friends winter wedding in a magical setting by a frozen river. This experience was an absolute highlight of our visit, even though we had an important job to do on this special day for Emmi & Antti, we felt like more like special guests and had a blast sharing in the festivities and getting to know lots of people from this end of the world.

After spending some time recovering at our favourite little house by the lake in Kinnula, it was time to start the second half of our trip- a road-trip around the Northern half of Italy, firstly exploring the stunning vistas of Cinque Terre and the Riviera coastline and then inland into Tuscany. Here we explored the ancient laneways of my old favourite Florence, stayed in farmhouse in the middle of the Tuscan countryside and tasted the best produce the area had to offer.  Our next stop in Bologna saw me live out several bucket-list fantasies in one short 24hr period- visiting the Ferrari and Lambourghini Museums, test driving a Ferrari through the Tuscan mountains (with terrifying rain, fog and a dash of snow thrown in to keep me awake!) and culminating in a private tour of the Pagani factory, where sadly no cameras were allowed!  After exploring the laneways of Bologna, our trip took us into high up into the Dolomite mountains, where we spent several more days exploring the snow covered peaks and eating the delicious local food. A trip to the peak of Marmolade literally took our breathe away at 3300m ASL as our oxygen deprived brains struggle to take in the surreal views from above the clouds that felt like it should be reserved for aeroplane pilots and old-time mountaineers.

We wrapped up our trip exploring the small towns by the side of Lake Como, being guided by some new friends who were only too happy to play tourist for the afternoon and share an amazing meal with us to celebrate the end of the adventure.  This will be a trip to remember!

Chapter I: Return to Finland

Porvoo – Helsinki – Kinnula – Oulu 

Chapter II: Into Milan and the Sunny Italian Riviera

Milan – Lerici – Riomaggiore – Manarola – Corniglia

Chapter III: Tuscany & 24hrs in Automotive Heaven

Florence – Barberino di Mugello – Sant’Agata Bolognese- Modena – Maranello – Castelfranco Emilia – Bologna

Chapter IV: Back up above the Snowline in Le Dolomiti

Cortina d’Ampezzo – Lago d’Antorno – Pragser Wildsee (Lago di Braies) – Marmolada – Faloria

Chapter V: Saying Arrivederci by Lake Como

Laglio – Menaggio – Varenna – Bellagio