Endless Inspiration Found in Italy {Trip Recap}!

Italy Inspiration (The Creativity Exchange)


I am finally back from my trip to Italy and I am so filled with inspiration, ideas and pure joy from finally seeing with my own eyes what I have dreamed about for as long as I can remember.  Italy has been at the very top of my list since I was a child and I was left speechless almost every day during our trip as I finally visited the exact spots that I had only seen in pictures.

Maiori on the Amalfi Coast:

Maiori, Italy on the Amalfi Coast


Cinque Terre (Vernazza):

Vernazza, Italy on Cinque Terre


At every corner there was so much inspiration for me!  The colors of the buildings, the melding of the colors throughout the countryside, the plaster textures, the food, the art, the flowers, the history, the language, the music and the overall experience was overload for each one of my senses.  I’m sure for months to come that I will be reliving every little detail in my mind.  For those of you who have been to Italy before, I’m sure you experienced the same thing.  All I could do was take hundreds of pictures, so I could go back and remember everything!


Florence, Italy




I visited so many of the most popular sights to see in Italy- like Michelangelo’s “David” in Florence,  The Sistine Chapel and Vatican in Rome and the Leaning Tower in Pisa, which were all so amazing to see and inspired me so much.  However, today, I wanted to share with you some of the littlest of details that really stood out.  I hope there is a picture or an idea that I share today that inspires you too!

As crazy as this may sound, nothing inspired me more in Italy than all of the beautiful shades of blue. Italy seriously has the market cornered on the color blue. Shades of blue that I have never seen before that really inspired me and that I can’t wait to recreate this rich vibrant blue at home with paint;

The blue/green color of the Mediterranean on the coast of Cinque Terre:

Cinque Terre Blue

I couldn’t stop staring at the color of the water in Cinque Terre and I kept thinking it looked like a sea of rich blue ink.  It was so surreal to me and the various shades of this amazing color changed along the shoreline.  It looked like someone had poured dye into the water!

In Capri, the Mediterranean was still a rich green blue color but it leaned more blue than green as it did in the northern Cinque Terre.  While I was on the Isle of Capri, it was hard for me to tell where the sea ended and the sky began on the horizon:

The Isle of Capri


The rich blue colors in all of the frescos painted on the inside of all of the church domes throughout Italy were the most vibrant shade of blue that I have ever seen.  This was especially prominent in the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel:


The Vatican Frescos


The Vatican Map Hall


I’m sure the vibrant blue color of the Mediterranean served as the inspiration for all of the Italian fresco artists including Michelangelo.  Think about it, Italians really do not know a boring and flat shade of blue when they have the Mediterranean Sea as their home!

Even just a coat of blue paint on a boat or a building in Italy is done in the most beautiful shade of blue:

Blue boat in Italy


I was in heaven when I saw these boat tarps in Vernazza against the backdrop of these old beautiful colored buildings:


Boat tarp


Call me crazy but I swear the sky in Italy was even a more vibrant color of blue than anywhere else that I have ever been:


Another little detail that I noticed everywhere that we went in Italy was the table centerpieces!  The table (of course the food) is such an important element in Italy and they just do some of the simplest things for centerpieces and that makes a table look like a work of art as well! I can’t wait to use some of these creative ideas.

Lemons are everywhere in Italy and I loved this idea of surrounding a container of planted rosemary with lemons on a pretty plate.  How simple is that?:


lemon centerpiece


Better yet, how about a plate full of lemons?  Simple but so beautiful:


lemon centerpiece (Italy Inspiration)


This restaurant just filled a basket with wine and added some long sticks and put it in the middle of the table!

Fill basket with bottles of wine and sticks for Italian centerpiece


I loved this idea from a restaurant that we stopped along the Amalfi Coast where they just had three wine glasses in different sizes with vibrant bougainvillea cuttings:


Wine glasses in different sizes with flowers. (Italy Inspiration)


I saw so many centerpieces that were just simply glass vases full of rocks with dried flowers:


Fill a vase with rocks and add flowers


This restaurant in Rome created pretty bread bowls just by folding a flat paper bag several times until the got down to the bottom to create a bread boat:


Turn a bag into an Italian bread boat:bowl (The Creativity Exchange)


In Capri, the restaurant created a beautiful table with dried pasta and vegetables!  So simple but it really was so beautiful:


Italian Centerpiece


This restaurant in Rome, simply planted some flowers in pretty yellow garden pots for centerpieces.  Those pretty yellow tablecloths really are fun too!

Yellow Pot

Next up, fixtures/gates and hardware… Yes, I was in hardware overload!! I’m not sure why but I always notice patterns in gates and fixtures.  I just love hardware details.  Italians love beautiful and ornate hardware whether it be light fixtures, door plates and knockers or gates.  Even a vent cover is a work of art in Italy;


vent cover in Rome


light fixtures in Rome

gate in Rome


I could go on for days on all the little things that inspired me in Italy.  I will be sharing more inspiration in another post but today, I really just wanted to share some of the littlest details. It’s probably a little strange to hear that of all the things that I saw in Italy that I was particularly inspired by the color blue, table centerpieces and hardware. What a strange combination, huh?  I’m curious to hear what little things inspire you guys when you travel?   I’m sure everyone comes back from Italy inspired by not only the “big stuff” but so many of the little details too.

Don’t get me wrong, I was also hugely inspired by all of the architecture, history and all of the amazing art throughout Italy.  However, there is just too much to go into details but I do want to say that one of the most amazing things for me to see that was a huge surprise to me was this amazing (and large) Matisse drawing of Madonna and Child in the Vatican Museum right before you go into the Sistine Chapel:





Next to seeing the Sistine Chapel, this drawing was my favorite work of art that saw in Italy.  It took my breath away as I rounded the corner and I had no idea that it was there and that I would get to see it.  In fact, there is a whole Matisse Chapel in the Vatican Museum.  It just really spoke to me, especially after spending two hours touring the Vatican and seeing extremely ornate and detailed art piece after art piece.  I think the simplicity of the piece after seeing it in a sea of over the top-highly ornate art just really moved me.  The irony of where it was..

Thanks friends for hanging out with me today and I’ll be back shortly with some projects and more Italy inspiration.




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16 Responses to Endless Inspiration Found in Italy {Trip Recap}!

  1. Maria says:

    Beautiful pictures! I completely agree with you… Italy is filled with endless inspiration.. between the food, the fashion, the architecture..! I’ve fallen in love with it a little more on every trip I’ve taken there! Your pictures make me want to go back soon again! 🙂

  2. Kathy says:

    The lemoncello is amazing, right? I was just there in June with my daughter who graduated from college. Went to most of the same places – a lot of time in Tuscany – I’m cooking alot better now, too, haha. I think I absorbed the food and the color into my soul. And Michelangelo’s David almost made me cry – it was so beautiful and imposing.
    But. Have to say.. it also made me love my California too.

  3. katherine shauger says:

    Cyndy….glad you had a fabulous time in Italy. Really enjoyed your sharing little decorating touches in restaurants. Your pictures are so pretty, so nice that you shared.
    Katherine in Portland.

  4. Gailj says:

    Breathtaking and beautiful! Can’t wait to see your inspirational projects. Thanks for sharing.

  5. So glad you had an amazing trip! I loved seeing the photos that you shared. 🙂

  6. ooh, it looks like you must have had a wonderful time. Your pictures are beautiful and looking forward to the creative juices to start flowing after the trip.
    Can’t wait to see your inspirations.

  7. Diana Minutelli says:

    My husband and I have an “Italy Fund”, started when we married 5 years ago (October 4th). I’m swooning over your pictures, would appreciate learning any “must sees” you have to pass along, and can’t wait to read more as I continue to daydream of my one day trip to Italy! Our plan is to go for our 10th Anniversary!! Sigh, Can…not…wait!!!!

  8. Robbie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your photos, excitement, and inspirations!
    Since Italy is my favorite place, I loved reliving through your pics, plus enjoying your capturing details!
    Can’t wait for more!

  9. debbie j. says:


    Thank you so much for the beautiful tour. I was right there with you and feel exactly the same. I find the most simple and organic things are, the more beautiful they are to me. God is the greatest artist of all time. The magnificent colors just can’t be duplicated. I really love the soft yellows and terra cottas and then the most brilliant blues in the universe of the sky and sea. So glad you had a magnificent trip.

    Take care and I really look forward to your future projects.

  10. I love seeing all of your pictures and I am also always captivated by the centerpieces! Italy is at the top of my list also so really enjoyed seeing the details that caught your eye.

  11. Kim says:

    Beautiful photos capturing the colors, sights, and architecture. Isle of Capri was one of my favorite stops and I want to go back, but hubby does not want to travel oversea again. Bummer. May have to go without him. 🙂

  12. I’m horribly, horribly jealous! I haven’t been to Europe since I was a kid and I would love to go again. Thanks for sharing your trip with us!
    The Bling Chronicles DT
    CDAC DT Member
    A Look Through My Eyes

  13. Ohhhhhh…I’m so jealous! Sounds like you had a fantastic time, I’m so glad! You’re pictures are insane!

  14. What a blessing to take the trip of a lifetime! Gorgeous pictures! I want to whisk away with my love right now to Italy! Dreamy! I just know you will painting the most gorgeous waterscapes soon with all that inspiration! Can’t wait to see! Welcome home!

  15. Sarah K says:

    Hi Cyndy,
    I just discovered your blog from Savvy Southern Style and now I will be a regula reader! My husband and I spent our 25th anniversary honeymoon in Italy last year. I too, was tremendously inspired by so many things I saw there. One of the main things for me was the beautiful doorways and wooden doors. I must have taken hundreds of photos of doors all over Italy. I was in awe of the tile and stone floors too. They build to last for centuries in Italy and they build it artfully. I can’t wait to go back!

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