InstaLiyana: Italy Trip 2017 & The Importance of Taking Photos On Vacations

Can you believe that 4-5 years ago I pretty much hated having my photo taken? I didn't enjoy snapping photos either! Honestly, I cannot believe myself. To think of all the lost chances for beautiful photos and the general lack of photos I have of my European days...

I must have mentioned this like 137 times on my blog but I lived in Paris in 2012-2013 for almost a year (Shah had a full year but I went home for a month for my best friend's wedding!). It was one of the best moments of my life  but actually, most of the times I was overseas was the best times of my life, come to think of it. Paris was really the beginning of all my traveling though; Shah and I visited so many cities around Europe from our stint there, and I discovered that traveling is a passion of mine.

Whenever I look back at my Europe photos, I always get thoughts like "I can't believe I was there!" or "Omg that food was the BEST" but then those thoughts would be accompanied by this spark of frustration at seeing how terrible my photos are and why are there so little of them??
I have to say, the turning point was when I created an Instagram account. Really. It's weird how caring about how my photos appear on my feed affect my outlook on photography. It really makes me want to improve what little photography skills I possess, but I suppose the upside is, I can only get better!

I found out that I can recall so much more of the place I visited when I look back at old photos I took when I was at that particular place, which is why taking vacation photos gives me so much pleasure now  especially when the photos are of good, and by "good" I don't even mean the quality per se, but the composition of the photo and what the subject of it is.

I've done a few "photo diaries" and travel posts filled with photos taken using my DSLR (I just do point-and-shoot and never manual to be honest!) but I find that snapping photos with my iPhone involves less effort and energy, plus it's so quick, so I stuck with my iPhone mostly during my Italy trip. The quality won't be as good but the photos will evoke the same kind of nostalgic memory!

As long as I take cute photos, that is... Anyway, I hope you like my little Italy 'grams here! If you haven't followed me on Instagram, please do give @theliyanaaris a follow!

Check out: My previous InstaLiyana posts

Italy Instagram Photos
Shah and I arrived in Milan at night, but immediately did a quick day-trip to Venice the very next day! Using a floppy sun hat is a great way to prevent tan lines on my forehead (hijab tan lines, to be specific!) so I more than happy to purchase this cute "Venizia" straw hat from a vendor!

Italy Milan Corso Buenos Aires Duomo Instagram Photos
People say Milan is such a shopping haven, and it sure is, providing you have a BIG shopping budget! It doesn't mean you can't indulge in a little high-street shopping though, right? Thankfully the sales were still going on yesss.
And were you in Milan if you didn't visit Duomo di Milano? Answer: Of COURSE you were, but it's such a majestic piece of architecture, why miss it? It doesn't matter that I've been there before!

Italy Milan Vittorio Emanuele Instagram Photos
I usually explore a city by myself on Shah's work trips but lucky for me, Shah's colleague works full-time in Milan for the time being and I'm good friends with his wife Sin Yee, who was more than happy (well, that's what she claimed!) to take me around! 
Sin Yee and I actually met during our stay in Paris and she is the sweetest human being I know, and I always have a great time with her. Huge plus: she totally volunteered to take LOADS of photos of me!
You can't visit the Duomo without popping into Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, can you?

Florence Uffizi Gallery Duomo Instagram Photos
I actually have SO MUCH MORE photos from Venice and Milan but I couldn't help diving immediately into my Florence pics! Florence was a total last-minute plan after we discovered we had some free time after all, so Shah and I took a train to Florence and got to spend one precious night there! Uffizi Gallery was closed the last time we went to Florence so I was SO EXCITED to finally get the chance to visit it! 

Florence Uffizi Gallery Instagram Pictures
Did you know Leonardo diCaprio's parents named him when his pregnant mom and dad visited the museum? And yes, I have no shame in admitting that is the number one reason of me wanting to visit the museum.
I already knew I can never relate to Renaissance art when I was in Louvre years ago but there's just something about visiting museums, you know? Regardless of what it carries, really. Uffizi Gallery is such a beautiful building, it's worth paying the ticket just to see the inside.

Florence Ponte Vecchio Ravioli Instagram Photos
 I just had to make a quick trip to Ponte Vecchio, just to look at the scenery around it!
By the way of course Shah and I stuffed ourselves silly with Italian food, but I was especially happy about eating my first ever brown butter and sage ravioli, which is a dish I saw being made on one of the Masterchef US seasons that I had been wanting to taste ever since. It's a puzzler but I cannot seem to find it in any of the local Italian restaurants, but I'm still searching! And, oh, all the gelato you could get your hands on! Italian really knows their ice cream! 
PS: I discovered pistachio gelato and omyGod, I had no clue PISTACHIO ice cream could be so delishhh.

I hope you like the photos and the little stories I've shared here. I will be back soon with new outfit post! xoxo


  1. I have never been to Italy! But you took me on a little trip! Very nice.

    1. Hi there Nancy! I hope you're feeling well over there.
      Also, I'm so happy my post had that effect on you! =D

  2. All of these amazing places have added to the richness of your life experience and although I'm envious of your adventures I'm grateful to know you and enjoy them through your eyes Liyana! You go girl!! Love, Jude

    1. What an incredibly sweet and thoughtful thing to say, Judy. I am also very glad to have met you, you know that, don't you? <3 <3 <3 xxxooo


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Hi, I'm Liyana

I'm a style & lifestyle blogger based in sunny (and ever humid) Malaysia. On The Good Weekender, you can find typed journals of my evolving modest personal style, travel adventures, skincare/beauty updates, home decor things, and stories of other bits and pieces of my everyday life. I hope you'll enjoy flipping through these pages of my virtual book!