Our trip began flying into Milan at about 8:30 in the morning. We decided to take the metro over to the Duomo. Talk about a cool way to begin the trip.
After a few hours of being in Milan we took the train to Cinque Terre. We ended up staying in a quaint beach town called Monterosso.
The following day we hiked a little over seven miles through the five towns that make up Cinque Terre.
The trail would take you right down into each town. After hiking we took the train back to Monterosso and fell asleep on the beach.
After Cinque Terre we took the train to Pisa and walked to the Field of Dreams.
These pictures were taken illegally. (Right after we were kicked off the grass).
From Pisa we got back on the train and went to Florence for two days.
In Florence we saw The Birth of Venus, The David, went to the Pitti Palace Gardens and climbed 483 stairs to the top of the Duomo.
This was Dan's best idea for a picture inside the Duomo.
It was meant to look like we were seeing a vision, but now it looks more like aliens are beaming down and stealing our faces.
Dan wanted to kneel down, but I thought we had been sacrilegious enough for one day.
From Florence we went to Venice. Probably the coolest part of Venice (outside of scoring free tickets for the boat from and to the train station) was where we stayed. It was a little apartment just behind St. Mark's Square. The bottom floor was completely untouched, and on the second floor our room looked out to a canal.
The second coolest part of our trip to Venice was finding these hats...and listening to Dan say (with a very heavy lisp) "Come here Sailor Boy." (This also was an illegal picture. After we took these pictures we saw signs everywhere that read, "No Photos.")
The third coolest part of Venice was walking around for an entire day. We had planned on taking a sleeper train to Rome that left Venice at midnight...consequently, there isn't a canal or little street Dan and me haven't walked.
After walking for six hours we decided to get the biggest pizza we could find and eat with the pigeons on St. Mark's Square. (This again is an illegal picture because later we saw a sign that said, "No eating on St. Mark's Square." ...Tell that to the pigeons.)
From Venice we took a night train to Rome. I will never forget coming out of the metro from the train station and seeing the Colosseum at seven in the morning. The streets were virtually empty and the sun was just rising over this incredible site.
Since we arrived so early in Rome were one of the first in line to see the Colosseum. (And the ones who had to wake up half of Italy to get into our hotel at seven in the morning).Before we left on our night train back to Milan we took some pictures of the Colosseum at night.
Me with Rick Steves (my Italian crush...and guidebook) inside the Forum. I'm standing on something really old.
After a little nap we went to the Pantheon and scored a free explanation from an American guide. The description of the Pantheon = fascinating. The 150 Euro ticket he received to give it = more fascinating. (Apparently, you aren't allowed to talk loudly in a church.)
Our first night in Rome ended with an awesome meal from a huge Italian named Michelangelo, a walk to the Trevi Fountain and more gelato.
As I mentioned in a previous entry Dan was able to find us a private tour guide for the Vatican. In four hours we saw the private gardens of the Pope and went into St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel without waiting in a single line or paying for a single ticket. The magical phrase was, "We're with him."
The entrance to the Private Gardens of the Pope.
A piece of the Berlin Wall was given as a gift to the Pope. (It was just sitting behind the summer home of the Pope...funny that's exactly where I would put my Berlin Wall also.)
While we were in the Sistine Chapel Feliche demanded that we take a picture of the ceiling. The picture isn't great, but you can see Feliche pretending to talk to me as we shielded Dan from the 20 guards who were there to stop idiots like us. Italian Guards - 0 Dan, Kate and the mastermind of Feliche - 1.
I know after the Vatican I should be raving about the magnificent art and history we saw...but what's just as cool was the best pizza I had in Italy. (It was a little place just outside the Vatican walls...and yes, it was a religious experience.)
At night we hung out at the Spanish Steps for a while. There were a bunch of German students there singing, dancing and getting drunk...it made me sad for college.
The last day we were in Rome it absolutely poured, yet in spite of the rain we had a very eventful day. One, I tried to talk an umbrella seller into giving me an umbrella for 1 euro (not because I thought he would do it, but more because it was sort of fun to see him get all frustrated.) Two, we found the best gelato in the world...cinnamon...I still dream of it. Three, we stumbled upon this angel in the last church we entered. I know it's a strange way to end our little photo gallery, but I think it sums up how we were feeling by the end of our trip...
Do you notice anything funny about this angel's hand? If not...well, then you are more mature than I am.
After a night train from Rome, we flew to New York and then to LA. I think in total it was over 30 hours of traveling.