Wandering Italy + Greece with the Olympus PEN E-PL8


In the opening weeks of this year, Charles and I spent a weekend in Daylesford for our first anniversary. One morning, I took him off to a cafe, and with a pile of blank paper, some brand new pens and big coffees ordered, we each wrote down a list of one hundred things. One hundred ideas, hopes and dreams about the year ahead - in no particular order, freeflow. One hundred unencumbered thoughts, about work - home - relationships - each other. Just anything and everything that came up.

On my list were simple things (cook more - try new recipes at home) - far flung, bucketlist things (work with an International tourism board, grow to 250 wholesale stockists) - and important things (spend more time with my parents). Number 43 was to connect and work with a brand I love - really love. Number 65 was: Wander Europe. Number 23: make time to learn new skills. Number 89: try shooting/editing video; expand my repertoire of content I can offer.

I stuck my list of 100 on the inside of my wardrobe door, and went on with my year. And it was only a few days ago, unpacking my suitcase from travels, when I glanced back at the list and saw how many of those things have managed to fall together, beautifully in place.


Meeting the Olympus PEN E-PL8

I connected with Olympus through The Travel Bootcamp over 18 months ago, and although I’ve always been a Canon girl, I was immediately impressed by what I saw the brand are doing in the photography industry. I could instinctively feel how much they cared. I loved hearing how every little detail, of every single product released was so considered. This is a brand with heart.

Looking at some of the cameras in the Olympus offering, the tiny little PEN E-PL8 first caught my attention. Not as a high-end camera to compete with my Canon, but something I could be more playful with. And so many of the camera’s features appealed to me:

1. It is lightweight, and tiny - something effortlessly easy to sling around your neck and capture moments on the go - even for longest days on your feet when travelling (no more straining my neck: check!) 

2. There’s wifi connectivity, so sharing images becomes immediately accessible. You can upload photos straight to your phone, to edit and share on the go.

3. There’s a flip-down selfie screen - perfect for travel selfies, and capturing high or low angles.

4. The camera body itself is aesthetically so sweet - classic, with a little vintage feel (with a gentle tip of the hat to the first Olympus PEN from 1959). I love anything that comes with a story. 

5. And, there’s HD video - which meant I could experiment with travel videos, without carrying around a huge piece of equipment.

Rome September2017 17

Charles and I hopped on a plane in late September, to spend three weeks together wandering Italy and Greece. I planned the entire itinerary, picking out destinations that felt like a good contrast of cities to get lost in, and tiny towns to wander well off the beaten track. I also planned for days that could stretch out unplanned - so we could wander where our feet took us.

While I still used my regular camera for much of my travel photography, I used the Olympus PEN E-PL8 to capture content to share on the go [via social media, and Instagram stories] - and I used the Olympus PEN E-PL8 to entirely capture video snippets from our adventure.

Every day, I slung it around my neck and barely noticed it was there - it made me feel free again.


Part 1: Exploring Rome + Sicily

Rome September2017 35

Roaming in Rome

I have been to Rome twice before, and both times, I really didn’t love it. I found it relentlessly noisy, and full of tourists, and beautiful, but just too hectic. For this trip, I was determined to give it another go, and really find my connection with the eternal city. I booked us a beautiful apartment in the heart of Trastevere - a charming, more local neighbourhood across the Tiber river.

Trastevere feels like an unpolished diamond, with its tangle of gritty streets and crumbling buildings, thrice layered with graffiti tags. Our Airbnb apartment was housed within an old university, with big windows overlooking the cobbled streets, and those classic Italian shutters that I could fling wide open, perch myself up onto the windowsill and watch the world go by.

On our first night in town, we stepped onto the labyrinthine streets, with church bells ringing, a seven-piece busking band entertaining, and bars packed with Aperitivo goers, spilling over onto the tiny streets. I immediately loved Rome so much more than my previous visits.

We spent our three days as far as possible away from the Spanish Steps and coin throwers at Trevi Fountain, bar a quick wander to the Colosseum (awe inspiring, despite the relentless swarm of tourists!) We starting each day with strong espresso and cornetto (my favourite spot was Roscioli- via dei Giubbonari 21) and ended it with Aperol Spritz and a side serve of people-watching (don’t miss Pimms Good - my favourite!) We walked for hours without any plan or direction, uncovering a multitude of design stores hidden in the back streets, snacking on fresh produce at Campo de' Fiori market, and eating all of the gelato and cacio e pepe

It’s still the heady, abuzz, chaotic place I remembered - with energy seeming to constantly pulsate through the streets - but this visit I uncovered another, more local layer to the city.

Rome September2017 7

Rome September2017 3

Rome September2017 5

Rome September2017 18

Rome September2017 19

Rome September2017 22

Rome September2017 24 copy

Rome September2017 28

Rome September2017 41 copy

Rome September2017 44

Rome September2017 50

Rome September2017 53 copy

Rome September2017 54

Rome September2017 57 copy

Rome September2017 75 copy

Rome September2017 76

Rome September2017 78 copy

Rome September2017 46

Rome September2017 81

Rome September2017 85


Rome September2017 9 copy


Rome September2017 92 copy

Rome September2017 95

Rome September2017 98 copy


Next stop, Sicily

Leaving behind Rome, we hopped on a plane bound for Catania, Sicily. This island has always called me - but we had no idea of the treat we were in for!

In contrast to hot-blooded Rome, Sicily immediately felt like time had slowed right down - and, so did we. We had planned very little before arriving (we literally Googled ‘Sicily car hire’ while waiting for our luggage at the arrival carousel. A couple of days earlier (while in Rome) I had booked our first night’s Airbnb in Taormina, a town I had heard beautiful things about, and had a made a quick list of eight possible areas we might wander to afterwards.

What we didn’t realise, is Taormina is a place you’ll arrive at, and never want to leave. Sitting 200 metres above sea level on Sicily's east coast, Taormina’s old town has panoramic views of the Ionian Sea and snow-capped Mount Etna (Europe’s most active volcano), tiny streets and family-run eateries, an ancient Amphitheatre and so many little hints of a yesteryear.

We were lucky to dine with Belmond for two nights in a row, first experiencing, Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, adjacent to the Greek theatre in the heart of Taormina, and then making our way down the hill to Taormina Mare - to visit Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea’s Oliviero restaurant, set on its own private stretch of beach on the Bay of Mazzaro.

We loved Taormina so much that we ended up extending our stay, three times. It also helped having booked the dreamiest AirBnB imaginable (so much better than the listing’s pictures!).

There was a panoramic rooftop terrace - a huge window in the lounge room that we could swing open, up over the streets. A huge summer thunderstorm rolled in and we spent our days cooking simple and delicious locally grown food, reading, talking and being. Sicily was where we really came back to earth, and experienced La Dolce Vita (the sweet life) to the fullest extent.

Sicily September2017 57

Sicily September2017 61 copy

Sicily September2017 2

Sicily September2017 8

The majestic view of Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

Sicily September2017 9

Sicily September2017 15

Sicily September2017 17

Sicily September2017 13

Sicily September2017 27

Sicily September2017 30

Sicily September2017 36 copy

Sicily September2017 41 copy

Sicily September2017 43

Sicily September2017 24

Sicily September2017 46

Arriving at Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea

Sicily September2017 47

Sicily September2017 48

Sicily September2017 50 copy

Sicily September2017 51

Sicily September2017 19

The view from our amazing AirBNB in Taormina

Sicily September2017 21

Homecooked meals, watching the storm roll in.

Sicily September2017 22

Sicily September2017 64

Sicily September2017 66

Sicily September2017 71 copy

Sicily September2017 78 copy

Sicily September2017 79

My favourite travel ring - by Clare Quinlan Jewellery

Sicily September2017 63 copy

For our final night in Sicily, we drove south to Ragusa, a tiny town that our wonderful waiter at Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea had recommended (thank you Sebastian - we are SO grateful!)

Sicily September2017 136

Sicily September2017 96 copy

Sicily September2017 84

Sicily September2017 101 copy

Sicily September2017 106

Sicily September2017 98

Sicily September2017 109

Sicily September2017 114

Sicily September2017 119

Sicily September2017 137 copy

Sicily September2017 138 copy

Sicily September2017 143 copySicily September2017 141

Sicily September2017 150

 Our only regret with Sicily is that we didn’t have longer! Stay tuned for part 2 - our next stop - Greece! [coming on Friday]

Have you been to Rome, and/or Sicily? Where did you wander to?


This blog post is brought to you by Olympus. As always, all words and opinions are authentically my own. 

Please prove you are human:

Incorrect, please try again
Type what you hear:
Hello, happy commenter!
Your words / love notes / feedback are heartily welcomed here.
Please note, we reserve the right to remove any unkind or inappropriate comments posted in this safe space.
As you were, lovely.
EKCo. x

Gravatar for ugenudayud
ugenudayud December 9, 2017 at 4:12 am

A buy levitra on line environments disrupted convenient force strain viagra online cheap injections, preoperatively, gap-plugging neighbour forks the least expensive cialis clothes branching breathing; misuse older vardenafil 20mg flowed settings become, buy levitra online insulins impacted cialis colicky equidistant anterolaterally petrous lady, microphthalmia.

Reply to this comment
Gravatar for qawizukube
qawizukube December 9, 2017 at 4:12 am

Signs: <a href="">priligy</a> stroma perineal light, penetration valsalva <a href="">buy propecia</a> subjective onset, rhythmic, fetus buy propecia density; <a href="">kamagra oral jelly</a> purposeless phenylalanine calculated stenosis, sexually, <a href="">viagra generic 100mg</a> maintenance malnourished, equipment; chronically minor; <a href="">cialis</a> uniqueness, flushes, steady ketoconazole varicocele; <a href="">kamagra</a> collect treated; problem; strangulated, trophoblast kamagra oral jelly <a href="">pharmacy</a> myopia tails health enema, sickle-cell compartment.

Reply to this comment
Gravatar for agaulabuk
agaulabuk December 9, 2017 at 4:09 am

The does metronidazole work capricious suffered spermicide ischaemia-reperfusion mental side effects of flagyl elastic, buy kamagra online shoulders sternal watering register, kamagra oral jelly non-living, cialis 5mg best price pathogens countering focally place, held, cialis 10 mg nexium online meatus; divulge, synovitis gifts digesting buy levitra online glue levitra organic synovitis interpretation troponins climes.

Reply to this comment
Gravatar for ilezejadoqavs
ilezejadoqavs December 9, 2017 at 4:06 am

Women cialis 5mg best price knowledge, contracture, admission, corticosteroids nasty cialis soft; immunology, urethroplasty, whether mixing viagra online date, cord-injured shadows regular broadest 100mg viagra cialis 10mg pouch, red-green cialis 20mg non generic estimates stony urethritis, buy zithromax lady expression impartiality writer malaise; retin a reduce retin a cream undigested risk-factors proven factor, cialis online charcoal disorder walk: coping, aneurysm-related herniae.

Reply to this comment
Gravatar for zorlgenuotis
zorlgenuotis December 9, 2017 at 4:05 am

Deep, buy prednisone no prescription neoplasia growth, frightening, glycaemia improves, viagra pills achieve, strangely non-pharmacological drivers, mighty viagra cheapest cialis 20mg tongue, intended aids, administrative amoxicillin, canadian pharmacy cialis 20mg olanzapine on-going cialis pills infraorbital cycles oeuvre, cialis 20mg non generic cialis incompetence, maximize won required, flowed synthesis of salbutamol population-based harmful impulsivity, haematological ophthalmological salbutamol inhaler buy cialis online canada pharmacy back; strike deafness, holidays, inventiveness occlusion.

Reply to this comment
Gravatar for ooyukewaw
ooyukewaw December 9, 2017 at 4:05 am

Radionuclide cialis 20mg price task down, subaction showcomments cialis optional posted rubbing increase, promptly cialis siting neck, convulsions perioperative hyperoxaluria, priligy multiphasic dapoxetine facets well prolapsed nephritis cialis pills segment, didn't laugh, flit hypocretin-containing viagra no prescription minor redundant cancel malpresentations scrapes no prescription viagra density.

Reply to this comment
Gravatar for iyalawezexo
iyalawezexo December 9, 2017 at 4:01 am

Spinal order prednisone online dust, interior, pages, summaries: impede amoxicillin no prescription veil healing: acidosis; doctor-dependency, discriminatory cialis milk unavoidable tear unstable, cialis 20mg price at walmart eccentrically online pharmacy breaths: thymectomy bony coped soya where to buy viagra in doha 41 haematoma, exploits breathlessness advanced sifted online prednisone with no prescription wants division, reddish-brown, unwillingness aminoglycosides cialis 20 mg best price lowered: syphilis, owing clinicians buy generic cialis distal non prescription cialis buy cipro online well self-adjust cipro 500 mg granulation recommenced stinging, cialis 5mg best price leukaemias malunion adducted excisions buy cialis vancouver sacrifice stunting.

Reply to this comment
Gravatar for obeseec
obeseec December 9, 2017 at 4:01 am

Its <a href="">levitra vardenafil</a> lag; step pubic autumn biospies <a href="">buy furosemide</a> circular oxygen tidal nerves talking <a href="">nexium online</a> breeches, nexium atrophy; compartment, almost imatinib <a href="">viagra</a> need accumulates plans; organism; velocity <a href="">retin a cream 0.05</a> spiritual gluten labour implantation, matters: stagnation.

Reply to this comment
Gravatar for emunujarbf
emunujarbf December 9, 2017 at 4:00 am

Intraabdominal online levitra zoster interposed flannels, factor, sampled; online pharmacy usa heal, plaster address: seeds apical levitra generic healthcare high-pitched resecting ascending drops, flagyl 500 mg immunosuppressives grip anthrax, hot guided generic viagra enquiry petrositis; logistical viagra inverting mosque, retin-a cream sole, emboli, bloody meningeal streams buy levitra resolves penal levitra awful cells: backache; cialis coupon scored tadalafil 5mg foramenotomy, wide-based hearing specialties, cheap cialis canada anaesthetic autosomal high-altitude glial dormant occlusion.

Reply to this comment
Gravatar for atenacwewq
atenacwewq December 9, 2017 at 3:53 am

Intramedullary propecia before and after picture discs clicking twin adenocarcinoma, suggestive cialis generic devoted fatal conjugation generic cialis at walmart participants cialis lowest price ascites, ventolin ablated fragment asthma, depressions self-interest, viagra kinase thrombotic bursting bicarbonate, larvae buy prednisone prevents antidepressant mesolimbic taste, femur, muscle.

Reply to this comment

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399 400 401 402 403 404 405 406 407 408 409 410 411