Summer might be winding down, but our seasonal wanderlust has not subsided. Not helping our case whatsoever, our beloved makeup-artist friend Nikki DeRoest (who works with such beauties as Chiara Ferragni) just returned from a whirlwind Italian getaway with plenty of envy-inducing photos too good not to share. Though we might not be jet-setting abroad anytime in the near future (insert heavy sigh), peep Nikki’s snapshots to inspire your next Eurotrip—which hopefully will be sooner rather than later.
Nikki DeRoest's Europe Travel Diary
"One of my favorite things to do is visit Italy in the summer. Nothing feels more like a true holiday than that warm, summer-night breeze, gelato, aperitivos and historic eye-candy in every direction. I started my trip in a small mountain town called Pollino, near Lago Maggiore. The small towns outside of the big cities are so charming and special."
Photos: Courtesy of Nikki DeRoest
"My boyfriend is Italian and lives in Milan, so I have a great excuse to always travel over there. I love visiting the city center and walking to all of the shops. (I know, so typical—but you can't deny the beauty of the Duomo!) If you're in Milan in the summer, make sure to pack your mosquito repellent—the bugs are intense in the warm-weather months. I also love hanging out in the Navigli neighborhood: It has great cafes, a young, cool vibe and good vintage shopping."
"I spend a lot of time in Genoa, which is about an hour-and-a-half train ride from Milan. It's a great mixture of the city and the sea. The city has so many amazing alleyways and lovely character, and the seaside is so charming."
"My favorite place to go in Genoa is Boccadasse. It's an old mariners' neighborhood on the sea and is my favorite place to get a gelato."
"I also love walking along Nervi and stopping for an aperitivo on the sea. Genoa is known for its focaccia bread and pesto, so those two things are a must. Some locals even have focaccia for breakfast and dip it into their cappuccinos!"
"I went to Venice for the first time and it's a dream—it was everything I'd heard and more. I would suggest staying in the center as your starting point, but walking 10 minutes in any direction from the center to the real streets of Venice. It's magic—full of quiet, dreamy little cafes, secret alleyways and bridges. There's a mystery about it you can't deny. I went on a gondola ride which was embarrassing for my Italian boyfriend but I'm an American tourist and proud of it! Pack a comfortable pair of shoes and get lost in the city. The summer is terribly hot so be prepared for that."
"As far as food goes in Italy, you really can't go wrong anywhere you go. Even the smallest of bars have homemade, fresh food. I always order Caffè Americanos at cafes. Make sure to enjoy the long lunches and dinners and fantastic aperitivos anywhere you go. It's really the joy of Italy: relaxing, connecting, having great food and wine, and living la vita bella."