Category ‘10.14 – Italy’
One of our favorite experiences in all of Europe was visiting the ancient ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Ben already shared some of our interesting discoveries at these sites (see his Pompeii and Herculaneum post), and here’s a few more photos…
Now that we’ve been home for a couple weeks, I’ve had a chance to sort through our photos. It has been fun to re-live our trip through the photos (all 8,000+ of them!). I found some good ones that never made it on the site during our trip, so I will post some of them here and there. But before that, here’s a little more on our time in Rome…
We’ve seen some amazing churches, but you gotta love the simplicity and ancient grandeur of this Roman “church” (more…)
Ben and I definitely saved the best for last on this Europe trip. We’ve fallen in love with both Italy and Greece, where we’ve spent our entire last month. And our very last stop, Rome, is a culmination of everything we’ve seen up to this point. With ancient ruins everywhere, impressive churches on every corner, museums with great Renaissance art, and a slightly chaotic modern city, Rome really packs a lot into one place. Although we’re a little tired of sightseeing, Rome has made it pretty easy to continue to be amazed.
We’ve seen Roman ruins throughout our trip, but nothing compares to what is here in Rome. There’s a Roman amphitheater in Nimes, France? It’s tiny compared to the Colosseum. You’ve seen Roman statues in a museum in Vienna? The Vatican museum and Borghese Gallery will blow you away. Frescoes and mosaics buried by a volcano at Pompeii and preserved for 2000 years? We were surprised to find that the National Museum of Rome had an almost more impressive collection. I’m not trying to degrade these or any other places, but Rome is really “it”. (more…)
As you may have learned in elementary school, Pompeii is a Roman city that was covered in ash and preserved when Mount Vesuvius erupted 2,000 years ago. In terms of ancient sites, Pompeii really stands out because of how it’s preserved. It’s not like ancient sites that have been discovered in tumbled ruins and restored – like Machu Picchu – or ancient sites that have been handed down through the ages – like the Parthenon – Pompeii is an entire ancient city that has simply been frozen in time. The difference is in the tiny details of everyday life that are visible everywhere. One-way streets and a pedestrian-only boulevard. Takeout restaurants and beware-of-dog murals – some of them helpfully labeled “CAVE CANEM”. It’s hard to believe that all of this was 2,000 years ago.
Ahh, beautiful Tuscany! Now I see why people fall in love with this place. There’s just something addictive about the pretty scenery, charming small towns, and relaxed feeling you get in Tuscany. We wished we had more time there, and Ben and I both agree this is one place we will return to.
People travel from all over the world to visit Pisa, for one reason: so they can take a picture where they pretend to support the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
This is the basic idea:
After Cinque Terre, Ben and I headed to Siena for 3 nights. Compared to it’s old rival, Florence, Siena has a charming small-town feel, with hills and narrow cobblestone streets. As an unexpected bonus, the hotel we’d booked had a big terrace with an amazing view of the city. Here’s a few photos from the terrace:
The Cinque Terre is a region on the northern Mediterranean coast of Italy. There are five towns situated on the rocky coastline, each with it’s own charm, and all connected by hiking trails. This area was made famous for Americans by Rick Steves, and it was apparent the minute we arrived. Besides seeing Rick Steves travel guides in the hands of many visitors, the hotel and restaurant owners showed the book saying “I don’t know if you have this book, but we’re in it!” to entice you to shop there. But Rick Steves recommends Cinque Terre for a reason: it’s a beautiful area with charming towns, amazing views, and great hiking.
Following are photos from the 5 towns (more…)
Ben and I spent a full 7 nights in an apartment in Florence. It was perfect, and exactly the relaxing break that we needed. Staying put in one place (and knowing it in advance) allowed us to enjoy some things we’d been craving… (more…)
Venice is even more amazing than the postcards you’ve seen. The real place is like a postcard in every direction. For about 400 years (beginning in the 1300’s) much of the wealth of the world was concentrated in Venice, and the results are spectacular.
Some images from Venice: