(Part 1 of 113 in 2015 Italy)
This post presents a gallery of ALL images in this series. You can click on any to enlarge; you can even click on the first, sit back, and it’ll run them all as a slide show. The gallery is dynamic so it will automatically grow as I add more posts to this series.
(Part 2 of 113 in 2015 Italy)
Mom and I have disembarked from Quantum of the Sea. We’ll take a quick bus tour of Barcelona, and then we’ve a short flight to catch to Milan Italy.
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Off the ship, and a quick bus tour of Barcelona before our flight. Photo from the National Art Museum of Catalunya (we didn’t have time to go in, sorry.)
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We spent a few hours touring Barcelona, after which they dropped us at the airport.
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On Thursday, we took a train 3 hours south to La Spezia. When I wasn’t snoozing, I took a few photos of Tuscany as we zipped by.
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Tracy arrived today! She arrived this morning (in Milan) and we met her at the airport. From the airport we took two trains to reach Milan and then La Spezia. This street is lined with orange trees, so I managed to catch a photo of Tracy in her natural state (ie, photographing plants.)
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Just a few photos of La Spezia the day we arrived. We checked in, walked around a little to get oriented and had a crazy-omg-good dinner (not shown here sorry).
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Monterosso! Long journey of several years to get to this spot… now for a walk on the beach!
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yeup, they have wine, chees and salami! Lunch with my gal.
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Clinging to the sides of a steep ravine, and surrounded by terraced hillsides. We started at the bottom… supposed to be a “good” view farther on, but this was irresistable!
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Holy schmoly… what. a. view!
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Our first journey into Cinque Terre! These photos are from the our walk from Monterosso (the main town where the station is) over to the old town.
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Photos from our visit to Vernazza (the second town from the north in Cinque Terre).
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On our first day visiting Cinque Terre, we spent the most time at Manarola (the fourth town from the north end.)
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Hot in Monterosso today… cool in here with Sinatra, and sangria… wait, what country is this? ….ppppphbt, who cares. SALUT!
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Frecciabianca high speed to Genoa. (USA transportation sucks; We are 27th in the world.) Turns out a friend from Vancouver BC is in Genoa for a conference …let’s go see Genoa and have dinner with Peter! #smallWorld
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Birthplace of Christofor Colombo. Pretty hot in Genova today; spent the day just wandering around the old city with Peter.
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A random sample of some of the neat shops we found in the back streets of Genova.
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On our second day visiting Cinque Terre, mom was along. We started in Monterosso and explored the new side a bit before returning to the old town.
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I’m guesing ~100 mph in the straight sections. Elec power and A/C keep going out, but the cafe car has a proper esspresso machine. Yeup, #italy
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Our third day in Cinque Terre, we went into Vernazza with all five of us. Very busy town on the weekend, but it’s fun to return to a place once you’ve gotten a feel for it on a first visit. We took more time to just sit and take it all in.
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On our last day of visiting Cinque Terre (while staying in La Spezia), we visited Monterosso last. Hid from the heat in a wine bar and explored every corner of the “old” side of town. Shout out to fellow travelers Larry and Tara from Florida: Thanks for the Venice tips!
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The main square in Genoa Italy. Sometimes it’s nice to simply wander around until you stumble into things like this.
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Tremendous marble cathedral, the main (duomo) of Genoa. Somethings are just too big to fit in a quick, square photo.
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On Monday, Tracy and I ran up to Genoa on the Frecciabianca train to spend the day with our friend Peter. (He just happens to be in Genoa for a conference. Small world.) We didn’t have much of a plan for the day, so we spent the whole day wandering around the city.
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Out Rome’ing around on Tuesday, and found this. On my mother’s side, we’ve a whole branch of Spagnolas…
(Part 27 of 113 in 2015 Italy)
We arrived in Rome Tuesday, and just a few hours of engergy left. Tracy and I grabbed our copy of Rick Steves’s Rome and did the “inner city walking tour”. Here’s a rndom collection of photos from Rome!
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The quick self-guided walking tour led us to… the Pantheon D*8
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Best coffe in Rome? (dunno, but very very good.) Within sight of the Pantheon, back here today with the whole gang.
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I’ll just leave this little photo here… 8*O
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My hat went to the Colosseum, and all I got was this lousy #selfie
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What can I say? …this is the Colosseum.
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On Wednesday, we walked around Rome to see various things.
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This isn’t spectacular per se, but it’s pure Rome.
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Wee bit of a queue to get in to the Basilica (photo from mid queue wrapped around entire square) yowza!
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500+ stairs to the exterior cuppola view. easy walk. ;) etre forte. etre utile.
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Yes, all the frescos up on the dome, really are mosaics. They are beautiful and impressive from the Basilica floor, from up in the dome, things go to 11.
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They are truly enormous up close, and their names are carved on each pedestal. It was odd to see them from behind… seemed like peeking out from back stage or something. I was waiting for one of the statues to glance over its shoulder and shoo us away.
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Wall-run/tic-tac/rock-climbing challenge presented by the Vatican. I could not resist touching the bricks…
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We toured the Vatican Musuems, including the Cistine Chapel. (Photograhy is not permitted in the chapel, however, so no photos of it here.)
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There is a side tour of the dome. You ascend (by elevator or stairs) to a side roof area at the level of the statues on the fron of the cathedral. From there, it is hundreds of steps in tight, spiral, sometimes sideways-sloping stairs to the upper-most level of windows. At that level there is an exterior walkway around the peak.
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Photos from our visit to the Cathedral.
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yowya… hold your hats, few hours of walking tours and instagramin!
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The view from on top…
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View off the back; Colosseum, Palantine Hill, Roman Forum, … #oooh #aaah
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Wild life spotted.
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Classic Italian; The heart of a neghborhood complete with fountain and church.
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…and inside that unimposing exterior? wow!
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On Friday (our last full day in Rome), we started out for the Palatine Hill (home of the Emperors’ palaces). We were planning to go to the Roman Forum (a large archeological area next to the hill) and then to continue to other sites. …and then it rained. We saw it coming (being on top of a hill!), and made it to the tiny Palatine museum for shelter from the thunderstorm. Eventually, the rain let up enough that we could cover the 1/2 mile of twisty paths to the nearest metro. (We went back out later in the day when the rain passed.)
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Standing next to Piazza Venezia (the piazza at the heart of Rome), this monument is… well, take a look!
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Piazza della Signoris: Made it to Florence. This a half block from our apt. Commence exploring!
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Well. That’s pretty neat!
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Some of the prices here are unbelievable. #waitForIt #wordPlay
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The Duomo of Florence.
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From Piazza Venezzia we walked south to Isola Tiberina and then strolled through the Jewish Ghetto. Tons of vendors and delicious aromas as dinner time approached.
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In St. Peter’s Square: Here are some (first of three posts – hopefully) panoramas from Rome.
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St. Peter’s Square from the top of the Basillica dome (about 500 feet.)
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Last pano from Rome; This one is from the top of the Victor Emanuel II monument, overlooking Piazza Venezzia (often called “the heart of Rome.”)
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On the day we arrived, we spent a bit of the late afternoon and evening walking around; Getting a feel for the neighborhood and finding some shops, a place to eat. etc.
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Panorama from Piazza della Signoria.
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Panorama from Ponteveccio bridge.
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View from the hill
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Please please please PLEASE can I climb on this?? p l e a s e . . .
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Woa, nice lighting! :D
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Wine fixes weary feet! Church is waay over-exposed, sorry ;)
(Part 67 of 113 in 2015 Italy)
We’re on a bus tour today and we just drove by the Florence American Cemetery.1 Although I had read about it years ago, I had forgotten, and certainly never thought I’d see it, let alone on Memorial Day.
We flew by on the Autostrade, but the hillside of nearly 5,000 crosses in the bright sunshine was very poignant on Memorial Day. Our tour guide didn’t mention Memorial Day; I will fill her in when we stop.
Thus, in one sense, my trip along the road back to Rome tended to impose new scenes that blurred my sharp memories of the war in Itally — until on Memorial Day we visited the American cemetery at Anzio and saw the curving rows of white crosses that spoke so eloquently of the price that America and her Allies had paid for the liberation of Italy. If ever proof were needed that we fought for cause and not for conquest, it could be found in these cemeteries. Here was our only conquest: all we asked of Italy was enough of her soil to bury our gallant dead.
~ WW II general Mark W. Clark, from his book “Calculated Risk.”
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Home to a 14th century, mine’s-bigger-n-yours tower arms race. No, seriously. UNESCO heritage site for its medival towers.
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We don’t often agree.
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On our second day, Tracy and I walked all over both sides of the river.
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The cathedral wasn’t open when we randomly got to the square, so just a few shots from the outside.
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We strolled from our apartment near the Piazza della Signoria, across the Ponte della Grazie, to the south side of Florence on our way to a locals-hangout “enoteca” (wine bar.)
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We took a bus tour of a few spots in Tuscany. After some touring inside Florence, they headed west to see Sienna.
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Cathedral climb this morning.
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Next to the Duomo, cappuccino… I’m already waaaaay to used to this.
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Move along! Nothing to climb here…
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Part of our bus tour through Tuscany included a super-quick winery tour and lunch (with wine tasting of course.) Stuff us with Italian food and wine? …bam, enture bus-load of Happy Campers.
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After four glasses of wine, everyone on our bus was able to pronounce San Gimignano! So off we went for a ten minute ride. This town is perched high on a hill and is little-changed; It fell from importance and was ignored (ie, not town apart and rebuilt) until last century when people realized they have, like, 42 mediaval towers from the 1400s. BAM! UNESCO World Heritage site. BAM! Tourists (me included :)
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Spoiler: Tower is leaning. Obligatory photos from around the “Field of Dreams”.
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Venezzia, riding put Murano.
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Lunch on a canal while glass shopping. Feeesh!
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Traffic and one entire island is a cemetery.
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Piazza San Marco. #oooh #aaah
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hmmmm, will need to teturn, and spend more time here!
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Oof, what a sight! We’re running up to “The Ghetto” for Venice’s specialty: “cichetti”.
(Part 87 of 113 in 2015 Italy)
(post on Instagram is video, everywhere else just a still cover is shown) Well THAT was a crazy, whirlwind, dive-bomber, i-bought-hyphens-wholesale, visit to Venice. Yeeeeup, definitely need to go back there!
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Piazza della Signoria, gazing at the Neptune Fountain and the Pegasus statue, warming up in the sun.
(Part 89 of 113 in 2015 Italy)
I’ve been posting photography two ways; I can shoot Instagrams on the fly, and they are picked up by my web site and posted — so those (like the previous breakfast shot) come out quickly. But the albums of photos that I’ve been putting up take a little bit of time for me to sort through the day’s photos, do some fixing and upload them.
So far, I’ve kept up with the photography so things have (hopefully) made sense. But I’m now far enough behind that photo albums are going to be appearing that are a couple days behind the more real-time Instagram shots.
“Portions of today’s programming are reproduced by means of electrical transcription, or ‘tape recordings.'”
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The Perseus statue steals the show every day.
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Cellini circa 1550.
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Circa 1590. Yes, all those inner pieces move… D8
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Two of his telescopes, and a tiny lense is enshrined in the ornately carved display case at the bottom. (From the Galileo museum in Florence. They also have several ofhis fingers…)
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Literally, Galileo. Index finger and thumb. Also a tooth. o_O
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This giant sun dial is awsome! So cool to see people notice their shadows, then the indicator behind them, them they explore the instrument on the piazza itself. Human curiosity for the win!
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Just watched kids playin a neat variation on h-n-seek. fun to try to rev eng their game w/o knowing wat theyre sayin. #piazzaLife #italia
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Sans crowd, con gelato! (pistaccio, by the way)
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David, “…the humilty and courage which defeat arrogance and brute force.”
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Michelangelo’s original, often imitated… ‘wow’ is an understatement.
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Last day, grabbing a drink before final shopping dash, (I’m drinking. Tracy will be shopping.)
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For our last sunset in Italy, we all headed up to Piazzale Michelangelo where a copy of his David stands gazing over Florence.
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Pretty hard to take a *bad* photo from Piazzale Michelangelo at sunset. Poor statue of David has to look at this view every night.
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Photos from our hike to the top of the Duomo in Florence.
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Next to the Cathedral of San Lorenzo.
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Just a few random shots, mostly of things done by Michelangelo.
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Almost every shop and glass producer has a ‘no fotos’ sign. So these are just some general photos of Venice and some photos from the vaperatto to Murano.
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After the ladies shopped Murano, we hopped another vaporetto back to the main island. It made about 200 stops… boooooring.
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Shout out to Dee and Bobby, we were in Venice on their 48th wedding anniversary! …so, Gondola ride was madatory.
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We took a taxi ride up the grand canal from St. Mark’s square to “The Ghetto”. The canal is the bustling main thoroughfare of Venice.
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Thursday in Florence we took the time to duck into the Galileo Museum which was just a couple blocks from the Piazza Signoria. Really neat museum, hardly any other visitors there, and well worth the time.
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Random photos from a walking tour (from the Rick Steves’ Florence book) that we did in the afternoon, on the south side of the Arno river. Lots of neat shops (like the chandilier repair shop) and artisans. There’s also a photo in here of the Trattoria 4 Leoni where we later had, one of the best meals of the entire trip. Just off the charts, wow.
(Part 113 of 113 in 2015 Italy)
Friday was our last day in Florence as we were leaving Saturday morning. We did so much in Italy, had so much fun, took so many awesome photos (I’ve 2,400 after deleting all the junk — 700 are uploaded to the web site here in this series)… well, I felt it was time for a victory lap.