A Travellerspoint blog

Italy

Rome

rain 63 °F

Ah, Rome, I will miss you despite the bad weather, the crowds, the pick pockets, the traffic and the high cost of enjoying in your breathtaking city.

Weather: Every day there was rain, but that didn’t deter us from seeing everything that was on our list, except for the Forum. That was a bit too much to trapes around in the rain.

Crowds: Once again the crowds were large everywhere! But unlike Florence, they didn’t overwhelm you. The piazzas are large so you had plenty of space to move around without feeling trapped.

Pick Pockets: We didn’t experience this first hand, but we met a couple who told us what happened to them on the metro. A passenger on the train motioned to the wife that there was someone trying to get into her backpack. When all eyes were on her, the pickpocket retrieved the wallet of her husband from his front pocket. The deception of the wife’s backpack was the play that allowed the thief’s to succeed.

Traffic: Just like in Los Angeles, there is traffic everywhere. Unlike Los Angels, the traffic flows onto the sidewalks.

The Cost: It’s no surprise that Rome is expensive so we had planned accordingly, but sometimes when you look back on what you spent, you wonder how much is too much.

Wow! The food is beyond delicious and the sights beyond beautiful. I truly will not be able to enjoy pasta again knowing what homemade pasta taste like. Italy has ruined Italian food for me. 😉

This was our last stop as a family which was bittersweet as we won’t be seeing Cody and Alona for possibly another year. But then again, you never know. 😁

Arrivederci Italy!

Vatican
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Being herded through the Vatican Museums on our way to the Sistine chapel - too many people! This after waiting in line for 3 hours
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Leaving the Museum
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St. Peter’s Square is located in the Vatican City at the feet of St. Peter's Basilica. It is one of the most renowned squares in the world.
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The Colosseum is, along with the Vatican City, Rome's greatest tourist attraction. On 7 July 2007 the Colosseum became one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
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The rain didn’t keep the tourist away
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The Arch of Constantine
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Trevi Fountain
The myth of the Trevi Fountain
Why are there always people in the fountain throwing coins into the water and taking photos of themselves?
The myth, originating in 1954 with the movie "Three Coins in the Fountain," goes like this:

  • If you throw one coin: you will return to Rome.
  • If you throw two coins: you will fall in love with an attractive Italian.
  • If you throw three coins: you will marry the person that you met.

In order to achieve the desired effect, you should throw the coin with your right hand over your left shoulder.

An interesting statistic is that approximately a million euros worth of coins are taken from the fountain each year. Since 2007 this money has been used to support good causes.

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The Spanish Steps were built at the beginning of the eighteenth century connecting Piazza di Spagna and the Church of Trinità dei Monti.
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Victor Emmanuel II Monument
The Victor Emmanuel Monument is not exactly known as one of Rome’s most beautiful structures but it is nevertheless well worth the visit, even if only for the great views from the top.
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the Pantheon claims to be the best preserved building from ancient Rome. One of the masterpieces of Roman architecture.
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Bocca della Verità
The Mouth of Truth marble sculpture, it depicts the sea god Oceanus and was likely originally used as a drain cover, though today it is famous for “biting the hand of liars”. The Mouth of Truth was featured prominently in the 1953 classic Roman Holiday featuring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
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Piazza Navona
the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers)
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Tiber River
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Porta San Giovanni is a gate in the Aurelian Wall of Rome, Italy, named after the nearby Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano.
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Homemade pasta
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Posted by joannereyes 10:04 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Monterosso al Mare

storm 60 °F

What a great colorful little town. Monterosso al Mare is the westernmost of the Cinque Terre region. The Cinque Terre is named after the five little towns of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare. Beautiful villages that are linked together by varied hiking paths and old steps all within a 5 hour walk/hike of each other. At least that’s what they tell me because the weather was so bad the government actually closed down the hiking trail. Italy in general was having awful weather and closed down most of the trains, the schools and government offices. In Monterosso they called it the storm of the decade and it hit the first night of our stay and didn’t let up until our last day. So our last day was spent walking around surveying the downed trees, the ruined decks and most importantly watching the community come together to clean up the mess the storm left behind. At least the day we left, the trains were running, albeit not on time. What should have taken 4 hours to Rome (via Pisa and Florence), took 8 hours of waiting and wondering if we would make our next train (the answers is no - but luckily they added more cars so they were able to accommodate the late passengers on the next train). Even though we didn’t get to see the other towns, we did enjoy our time here and will schedule another vacation so we can experience the hike and the breathtaking views these trails have to offer.

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Statue of of St. Francis petting a dog
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Before the storm
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Tunnel into Old Town
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Old Town
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The storm is coming
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Storm
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Not a roof top pool
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Damage
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Sunset
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Posted by joannereyes 04:04 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Florence

65 °F

Haters gonna hate.
It’s my blog and I’ll write what I want to.

Florence, not a fan. I know, I know, I must be insane not to like such a beautiful historic place, but I just didn’t enjoy my time here.

Florence is big! Everything is massive - the buildings, the art, the Churches, the crowds. Oh, the crowds. You are so busy dodging people while you are walking, you can’t enjoy the beautiful sights. If the crowds are this big in October, I would hate to see what it’s like during high season. The city is a walking history museum all on its own, then add all the actual museum and it can be overwhelming. We bought the Firenze art pass which is now €85 for 72 hours (recently raised from €72). With this pass you were supposed to get special access but reality is, a lot of people get this pass so your special access isn’t so special. It can be confusing navigating all the different museums and the guidance you get isn’t always the best because the workers are so busy. Is it worth the price, depends on how much you enjoy museums and walking up the stairs! And yes, there are a lot of stairs. 463 steps to the top of the Duomo and 414 steps to the top of the tower of Palazzo Vecchio. Our Airbnb had 72 steps which gave us an excuse to end our day with the an oversize two scoop gelato. The food was fabulous, the shopping was amazing and did I mention the gelato? Okay, so Florence wasn’t so bad now that I think about it, but I won’t be putting this on my must revisit cities.

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Ponte Vecchio
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Florence Cathedral
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Duomo vista
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Inside the dome of the Duomo
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Giorgio Vasari's frescoes of the Last Judgment
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Santa Maria Novella
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Uffizi Gallery
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Michelangelo's David
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The Palazzo Pitti, in English called the Pitti Palace, is a vast, mainly Renaissance, palace
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Casa Dante
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Arno River
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Streets scene
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Palazzo Vecchio
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CIn Cin
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Posted by joannereyes 08:48 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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