One of the things that Glenn and I love so much about Rome is the unique blend of the ancient and the everyday that permeates the city. Walking its streets, one can accidentally bump into fascinating bits of antiquity on practically every corner. For us Americans, whose ancient history is less noticeable, this is pretty irresistible. For Card Carrying History Nerds (really, I have one), this is the equivalent of Christmas Morning every… Read More
Saturday, October 12th, was to be our last day of fun in Italy. The next morning we were scheduled to make our way to Milan, where we would catch our flight back to the states. We were sad to see our trip coming to an end, but determined to enjoy our last day to the fullest. The day was mostly sunny and crisp, and we could see from looking out over our… Read More
When we went to bed the night before, a fierce storm was on its way, with crazy gusts of wind and rain. Although the rain had started just after dinner, it hit full force sometime in the middle of the night, with a howling wind that I hadn’t heard the likes of since Hurricane Ike, back in Texas. The next morning though (Friday, October 11th), was an absolutely gorgeous day to be… Read More
On the morning of day twelve, Thursday, October 10th, we said fond farewells to our beautiful room in Siena, and set out for our longest drive in Italy yet. We were embarking on the very last leg of our journey, the roughly three hour drive from Siena to the Cinque Terre region, on Italy’s northwest coastline, known as the Italian Riviera.
We woke up on day 11, Wednesday, October 9th – our last day in Tuscany – ready to attempt another drive in our rental car, this time to the south. We were feeling adventurous, and had the towns of Pienza and Montepulciano in our sights.
We were beginning to understand that being in Italy in October meant that we were going to encounter at least little bit of rain every day, usually in the afternoons. This was fine with us, since we were coming from Texas, which at that time had literally been through almost a decade of serious draught conditions. Rain can be a beautiful thing.
Day nine, Monday, October 7th, started innocently enough. But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men…
We left San Gimignano around 4:00 pm, and headed for Siena.
After the downpour we had on day seven, I was a bit apprehensive at the start of day eight, Sunday, October 6th. But I needn’t have worried; the morning was crisp and cloudy, but the rain clouds were moving to the north.
Our plan for our final day in Florence, Saturday, October 5th, was to do more walking. I was interested in maybe touring the Basilica of Santa Croce, to the east, and then the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, to the west, and then if we had time, walk through the Boboli Gardens south of the Arno.
On Friday, October 4th, we had a mid-morning appointment with David. Or I should probably say “THE” David, as in Michelangelo’s statue of the shepherd king. We woke up in plenty of time for breakfast at our hotel, which consisted of a really nice rooftop buffet. The seating was indoors, but they had large windows with views over the city. It was a great way to start the day.
As our train pulled into Santa Maria Novella railway station, we craned our necks to get our first glimpse of Firenze. There really wasn’t much to see, other than the graffiti covered walls of the station. We grabbed our bags and disembarked. We were approached by a few kind souls who offered to help us for a small fee, but by this point we felt like train experts, and breezed through the… Read More
Day five dawned clear and beautiful, with literally not a cloud in the sky. We woke up eager and ready to start the next leg of our journey. Next stop – Florence, via the high speed train from Rome, first class. We had a Segway tour of the city planned for 2:00 pm, and we were really looking forward to it.
I won’t lie, I was a little cranky on the morning of Day Four. The thing is, we stayed up a little too late on Day Three. We were hanging out at Da Claudia, and one glass of wine turned into four…and, well, you know how it is.
Tuesday, October 1st dawned a bit too soon for me. I’ll admit it, we had a little too much wine the night before, and it was very difficult to get up early. But we had no choice; today we had to be at the Vatican at 9:00 AM for a three hour tour. (Why are they always “three” hours?)
We had covered a lot of ground in one day (Tuesday, September 30), 2013, but we didn’t come to Rome to sit around.
We shook our wet shoes off, and left the small cafe where we’d waited out the rain and had some lunch. Our next stop was the church known as “San Pietro in Vincoli”, or “St. Peter in Chains”. I was interested in this site for two reasons. It was home to the relic chains that the faithful believe had bound Peter when he was held prisoner in Jerusalem, and it was also… Read More
We woke up very early on Monday, September 30th, which dawned with a clear blue sky, and had time for a quick breakfast at our hotel. All of the hotels that we stayed at in Italy had a wonderful breakfast buffet. Some of the more common items were Italian bread, mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, and of course coffee. Eating in Italy was never a problem…
The flight over the Atlantic (leaving from Newark) was mostly uneventful, other than some pretty severe turbulence at one point during the evening. I’ve never been on a flight before where my sparkling mineral water (my drink of choice when I fly) threatened to slosh out of its little plastic cup, but on this flight it was very nearly a big mess. I was tens and little bit scared, but the flight… Read More