11.16.2010

nine days in italy

I was going to post this last week, but I have found myself with no time. I just got to Paris from back to back trips to Italy and then the States. Another blog post will follow all about the huge surprise for Christopher's wedding! To prevent myself from writing another book, I will try to recap each city that I visited. In the end, I am sure it will be a book though, sorry.. haha. Not so sure I can write about each day I spent there either. Because, well, I may have some memory issues.. haha. Overall, it was a very good trip with good friends! I covered a lot of ground in Italy, and boy was it tiring! Here is my attempt of explaining my time in each city.

MILAN:

I had high hopes for Milan, knowing it is one of the fashion capitals of the world. However, I was not extremely impressed. I did enjoy it though. I saw one of the biggest churches in the world, the Milan Cathedral. We all thought it was the third largest, but google told us otherwise. It was one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen. The architecture of it was amazing. Nothing could ever compare to this Duomo. By far, this was my favorite thing in Milan. I had my first gelato here, with many more to come! It was delicious. One thing I will miss most about Italy is the gelato.. haha. We attempted to see The Last Supper, but tickets were sold out. It’s crazy how for all the very important paintings, sculptures, etc., you have to reserve tickets. They are reserved so far in advance; the lady said the next opening was two days from then. Too bad we were not going to be in Milan. One of the other great things about Milan is that we went to the Italian “happy hour.” In Italy, happy hour not only means cheap drinks but also a buffet of food! You pay for your 6 euro drink and get a whole entire buffet of food for free. It’s the most genius thing I have ever heard of.. haha. We all sat and stuffed our faces like poor backpackers. It was great.. lol. Before the train we had in the morning, we strolled around the fashion districts. I wish I could have seen more of the fashion in Milan because that is the main reason I wanted to go there, but another Italian city was waiting!

VENICE:

My favorite city! The streets were small and there were about 10,000 bridges in the city, but it was amazing and gorgeous! The best thing you can do in Venice is wander. It’s the best way to experience the city, so that’s what we did! We took a gondola ride, which was a must-do in Venice. The guy didn’t sing as much as I wished he would, though.. haha. I got a great view of the city through the small passages on the water. Our hotel was right on a main street in the city, perfect location and two seconds from the train station. We could open our window and hear the business of the streets. There were lots and lots of shops in Venice, which I really liked. Even though it was very touristy, it was still extremely beautiful. We walked by the water and saw lots of different sights. Too many to even remember. The Bridge of Sighs was under construction, so we didn’t get to see the whole thing. They had it mostly covered, but you could see some of it. I feel like Venice expressed a true Italian city, and that is why I loved it so much!

FLORENCE:

I was expecting Florence to be more like Venice since it is part of Tuscany, but it was very city-ish. Alisha got to go see the sculpture, David, because she made reservations. She said he was so much bigger than she expected. I wish I could have gone to see it, but she said it was not really worth it. You could not take pictures, even though she sneaked and took some! We pretty much relaxed and shopped around the city. The best thing about Florence were the markets. 365 days a year, markets crowd the streets of Florence. They were awesome; so much jewelry and other goodies! We spent most of our time there. This is the time of our trip where the rain began. It was bad; mostly because it was there to stay for pretty much the rest of our trip.

PISA:

We stopped in Pisa only for a couple hours for one mission: to see the Leaning Tower! I was so excited to see it and that the rain was gone for our time there. Of course I had to get the classic pictures with it, and it was a lot of fun.. haha. I would have never thought I would see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but now that’s checked off my bucket list!

NAPLES:

What a strange, strange city. However, there were some very good things about it too. We stayed at a hostel, that was definitely my favorite one of the trip. It was a very small one called 6 Small Rooms. It’s owned by very, very good looking Australian guys.. haha. It was wonderful. They even had a cat there; it was very “home-y” feeling. The mission of this city was: the food! Naples is known for the best food in Italy, so of course we had to go. I tried some traditional Italian pastries. One was a a pastry type thing that is soaked in rum. It was good, but not the most amazing thing I have had. The other was a warm pastry filled with cream and cheese stuff; not even exactly sure what it was. This one was way better, but very rich tasting! Of course I had to get a canoli, even though I already had some. This one in Naples was the real thing! We went to best pastry shops in the city; two to be exact. Since Naples is on the coast of Italy, we got an amazing view of the ocean. It was so beautiful, but also so windy! One of the best views I saw in Italy! Our day was made complete by the pizza in Naples. I cannot explain how delicious it was. We went to the pizza shop that is the best in the city. It is also the place Julia Roberts went in Eat Pray Love. There were pictures of her along the walls from the movie and also with the staff. There was a huge brick oven at the front of the restaurant where they just threw the pizza in to cook; amazing!

ROME:

This was my second favorite city, but for different reasons. It was the best because of the sights in the city and the beauty of them. I can say that it really is a beautiful city! I loved it. My first stop was the Vatican, where I saw the POPE! Yes, I saw the Pope! He was randomly there when we went. I guess we picked the perfect time to go. It was crazy; at first, we couldn’t even believe it was him. We were like, “Is that the Pope?!” The Italians were going crazy as they wagged the Vatican flag. I later googled why he was there, since I could not understand any of the Italian he spoke. An article said he was telling of his recent venture to Spain. There were tons of cameras and press everywhere; I am guessing it was on television. We walked through the Vatican museum, which seemed like it was never going to end. I was shocked by how small the Sxtine Chapel was, but it was still very beautiful. The ceilings and walls of the Vatican were beautiful. So much artwork was in the place. After leaving the Vatican, we were all so exhausted. I have no idea how older people go through that; it was so long and tiring! We went across the street to the Vatican Café, which was a huge mistake. We ended up paying a fortune because in Italy they like to charge you pretty much double price if you sit down. I spent 8 euros for a coffee, banana, and apple. Alisha paid 6 euros just for a stinkin coke! We were extremely mad! How ridiculous is that? There was so much to see in Rome, and I saw it all! The Trevi Fountain was one of my favorite sights. It was beautiful and amazing, just as I expected! I was so excited to see it. Again, I never thought I would be traveling Europe like this. Of course I threw in coins and made some wishes. First, that I would come back to Rome like tradition requires. The second you will never know! The Collesium was spectacular! It was also everything I expected. It was huge, and from the top you could see all the ruins of Rome. The weather cleared up and suddenly it was super nice outside, thank goodness! It made the entire day better. I saw so much of the historic, grungy side of Rome; the most beautiful parts. The day ended wonderfully with a beautiful view of the city from the top of a park. The sun was setting, and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the entire trip.

Photos are coming soon; ciao!

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