Thursday, January 20, 2011

La Bella Italia!

Winter break (#3/3)

Well here it is. My final post from my wonderful winter break is…drumroll please…ITALY!

Five classmates and I headed to Italy to spend the first week of winter break, Dec 20 – 27. We started in Rome, but immediately travel to Florence including a trip to Pisa and Sienna, and then returned to Rome for Christmas.

It was a really great trip and I enjoyed part of Italy I saw – how many places can you say that about?

Impressions of Florence – a dreamy city. Everywhere you look there are beautiful buildings with al fresco paintings, statues of Roman gods, ornate fountains, museums and churches that are breathtaking and when looking over the city you see a sea of red roofs.

Pretty Pisa – we didn’t spend much time here, our mission was to see the famous Leaning Tower. Mission completed.

Siena – a different Italy. Sienna is a medieval town and it was so unlike every other part of Italy we saw on this trip. My highlights of the city were the enormous piazza and the inside & out candy-stripped Duomo (cathedral).

Roma! I told my family that since I wouldn’t be coming home for Christmas, I would spend it with the Pope instead. We started with a tour of the Vatican which left me speechless, it really is overwhelming. I have never been in a place that has such wonderful rich history that continues to be written. I am Catholic and I was so excited when we were able to get into St. Peter’s Basilica for midnight mass on Christmas Eve and I was happy again to return to the square for the noon Christmas Day blessing.

While in Rome we also visited many Roman ruin sites (when in Rome!), saw the famous Tivoli fountain, the Colosseum and oh so much more. Rome itself is a living museum and everywhere you I’d see something and wonder “What’s that?” but my tourist map failed me. (Maybe next time I should travel with a Rick Steve’s book?)

One last note on Italy, the pastries, food, coffee, and wine is all amazing. I can’t do it justice by explaining it here, so I won’t even try. You just must go there and taste for yourself.


And as always, click on any pic or the link below for all 447 pics I took!

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