Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Italy Part II: Florence

Firenze! That is the Italian name for Florence. After we had spent 2 days in Venice, we went to Florence. We traveled via train. It was fun to see the Italian countryside and a few castles. Florence was another amazing city. It was much larger than Venice and obviously not a city on water so it was very different but equally amazing. Everything in Florence is beautiful, it was at the heart of a lot of the Italian Renaissance. In Florence we saw, the Duomo (breathtaking), Michaelangelo's David, Dante's house and the Pitti Palace where the Medici family lived.

We also had the our favorite dinner in all of Italy in Florence where we had an awesome, cool young Italian guy who Shannon had a crush on :) My Dad told the waiter Shannon wanted to go to school in Florence to study art and he seemed very interested. It was really fun and the most amazing night in Italy. They had the best cheesecake we had ever had.

My favorite part of Florence was seeing the PItti Palace. I love all things royal and palace! I just love seeing how people used to live and the places they used to live in and the things they used. Most of the Pitti Palace was still decorated as the Medici Family had decorated it when they lived there. In the 15th century! It was gorgeous. The furniture was so beautiful. I soaked in all the lavishness :) Sometimes I wish I lived back then and got to where the dresses they wore and it would be so romantic. Then I remember they used chamber pots and change my mind.

Here are some pics of the beautiful Firenze!


On a hill overlooking the city



The Famous Ponte Vecchio (which also had the best gelato in all of Italy)



This is the inside of the Duomo! Jackson and O.E. climbed to the top!






Part III: Tuscany and Roma is next!

Ciao

Monday, March 24, 2008

Italy Part 1: Venice

Ciao Ciao! Even though this is much delayed, I thought everyone would enjoy a full briefing (with pics) of our fabulous Italian Spring Break!

Our first stop was the beautiful, breathtaking Venice, a city on water. Venice was my favorite city in Italy. I was just so taken with the charm and mystique. The absence of cars creates an enchanting, tranquil town. The architecture was phenomenal. Highlights include seeing Saint Mark's square, Rialto Bridge, the Doge's Palace, Saint Mark's Basilica, Napoleon's apartment and the Academy Art Gallery. I learned so much about the history of the ancient Venetian kingdom. It was fascinating.

The one thing I regret already was not taking a gondola ride. My family took lots of tours everyday so when we had a free break, Jackson and I chose to go back to the hotel to take a nap before dinner instead of going on a gondola ride. Oh well, we will just have to come back to Venice for that (before the city completely sinks underwater....so sad). Here are some pics:




















Stay Tuned for Part II, and III!