Sunday, September 11, 2011


Rome wasn't built in a day, and there was no way we could see all of it in just one. Our day in Rome started off like National Lampoon's European Vacation. You know the scene where they are driving around in circles and saying "Big Ben! Parliament! Big Ben! Parliament!" Yeah, kind of like this.

Only it was the Rome version:


Roman Forum!


Roman Forum!

Surprisingly, we didn't stop at either the Coliseum OR the Roman Forum. But we did stop at the Circus

This is where the chariot races were held. On the right side are many palaces from circa 900 AD. really, really old!

Here are some of those palaces:

We continued our tour of Rome and passed this pyramid. I love the cars + ancient pyramid here - quite the contrast!

Our next stop was Trevi Fountain, where we threw our coins in.

It's in a small square, and boy, is it CROWDED!

We walked a few blocks to our next stop - the Parthenon

The interior:

In the midst of all the antiquities, we saw this shop

In the something you don't see every day file: the green shuttered balcony is the apartment where Napolean's mother lived.

Another oddity: Roman gas stations:

You just pull off onto the shoulder of the road, gas & go. No super 7-11's, here!

Here are some other sites in Rome:

Smart cars were all over Rome. And they parked them anywhere they could find a couple feet of space:

And this was just the morning!!

Stay tuned - we spent the afternoon (the ENTIRE afternoon) at the Vatican.

Enjoy your new day!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


After Pisa, we drove through the Tuscan countryside to Florence (Fiorenza). Along the way I found my dream estate:

Our first stop was Michaelangelo's Square, high above the city to take in the view.

And oh, what a view

There's a bronze replica of David in the square too

My, what big hands you have!

We also saw the old city walls of Florence

Another view of the city. The estate on the top of the hill, in the center of the picture is the original fortress built to protect Florence in Roman times

Our next stop was lunch - when in Italy, you MUST eat. This is the cafe where we had a delightful lunch:

I splurged - had gorgonzola gnocci

Mom had tortellini with bolognese sauce - also DELISH

Then we were set free to roam the streets of Florence and enjoy what she has to offer.

Loggia dei lanzi - open air sculpture gallery

Then to Santa Maria and the Duomo

And then the world stopped. I saw these:

And these:

I. DIED. I drooled. I coveted. I left them behind.

I got over it, and we ventured onward to Ponte Vecchio, the home of many jewelry shops.

That's mom again (in case you've forgotten her!).

We continued our walking tour of Florence, and wandered into a lovely square. I'm not sure who the dapper gent with the aqua sweater is, but he posted nicely for my photo!

Italy = gelato (and vino, but for the moment, focus on the gelato)

Oh, Florence. You are beautiful. And you make great shoes!

Enjoy your new day!