So friends, shall we talk about our recent adventures in Italy? I've finally made it through all 600+ photos and I can't wait to share our trip with you! For me, the trip was split into two parts -- one week traveling with Chris and one week staying with a good friend from college, who moved to Italy a few years ago. That's right, Chris had to leave after only seven days! :(. Just to give you a little overview, Chris and I spent two nights in Rome, two nights in Tuscany, two nights in Cinque Terre and one night in Modena, with my friend, before he left. I then stayed in Modena (it was SO NICE not to be moving hotels every couple days!) and took day trips to Florence, Verona, Venice and a couple other cute small towns.
As for sharing our trip with you, we began our trip in Rome, let's start there, yes? We actually flew into Milan and took a three hour train down to Rome, where we arrived late afternoon. Honestly, it was a crazy long day, but it worked out perfectly. We got settled in our hotel, ate dinner and went to bed early. It was super helpful for our jet lag, but we did have to cram a LOT into day two :).
We started our day at the Vatican. I honestly had no idea what to expect, but it was HUGE. And there were SO many people. But the museum and the artwork and the architecture were amazing.
Of course, the Vatican led us directly to St. Peter's Basilica, which was our main goal of the entire venture. (Oh, and I know, it's free. It's a long and boring story why we went through the Vatican to get there. But if you're visiting Rome, shoot me an email, because in that case the why is worth knowing!). So, when I started college I was actually an art major. Even though I switched after a couple semesters, one of my favorite classes of all, and the one that by far made the biggest impact on me, was art history. I LOVED that class. And one of the statues we studied, and that I fell head over heals for, was Michaelangelo's Pieta.
Well, it lives at St. Peter's. I knew it would be even more amazing in person, but was still in complete awe. It's actually behind glass now -- there was a vandalism episode in the 70's -- and that was kind of a bummer, but even separated by glass it was beautiful and powerful and amazing.
After that we simply wandered. It's what we do best. We picked out a few things on the map that we'd like to see and we just wandered through various neighborhoods to get to those places, taking in the sights and sounds as we went along. We stopped where we felt like it, got off course if we saw something interesting and generally just had a lot of fun.
We spent a few minutes at the Trevi Fountain.
And, quite awhile at the Pantheon. Which is so, so cool. Oldest church in Rome, dating back to Caesar!
And wow, you can completely see my gray hair in the photo above. Yikes!
We ended our day at a lovely little restaurant near the river. We didn't intend to go anywhere near the river, but an Irish woman we met earlier in the afternoon when we stopped to watch a street performer recommended this neighborhood for dinner. She was right. We sat outside a tiny restaurant along a super sweet little street and shared a beautiful Italian dinner. The next day we'd risk our lives to rent a car and drive out of Rome heading for Tuscany, but that evening was perfect.