PART I: ITALY
There are so many phrases that Liz and I could probably come up with to describe this trip to Italy, among them, "We walk where no one else walks", "The quest for honeysuckle" and "Eat. Eat. Drink. Eat." All in all we had an AMAZING whirlwind of a trip that included ten destinations, six hostels/hotels, one overnight train ride, one encounter with the transit police, several not so friendly encounters with older Italian women and multiple bottles of wine! Here are some of my fav pics...
First meal/glass of wine in Rome at the Mozzarella Bar. So far so good!
Just one of the many amazing visuals you see during a day at the Vatican. This is the ceiling of the hallway leading to the Sistine Chapel. Pretty much everything you see on this tour is unbelievable, even though you are witnessing it with your own eyes. Just unbelievable.
Um. This is like my heaven. Can it get any fresher than that?!
The Colosseum at dusk.
PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! Thanks to a very friendly train conductor who couldn't have been prouder of his beloved hometown, Naples, we were able to find the "best" pizza place in the city, Pizzeria da Michele. The fresh mozz was sweet and very wet and the crust very very thin. We put down two pies easily!
Venice. We loved Venice. The crowds could be overwhelming at times, but we mostly managed to navigate ourselves away from the mad rush. Although i use the term "navigate" lightly. I don't think anyone can actually really navigate around Venice, its a serious maze! They try to be helpful with signs and arrows, but I swear you follow an arrow one way only to find another arrow pointing back where you just came from!
Surrounding Venice are other little islands, accessible only by boat. We were lucky enough to spend a day and night on the quaint San Erasmo Island, where we laid on the beach, walked around pretty much the entire island, fell in love with the fresh scent of honeysuckle and made an "out of the suitcase" dinner from pistachios, almonds, some canned tuna and two bottles of wine!
Ah Bologna. Liz had been dreaming of the food in Bologna since she first thought of going to Italy. And it did not disappoint.
I couldn't even guess what half these meats are.
One of my absolute favorite things about the cities in Italy? The very cold and very refreshing water fountains! I got excited every time I saw one. Really. (Maybe, however, this was because Italy was hot as hell and I am a water junky who couldn't for the life of me stay hydrated because of the copious amounts of sweat that my body was producing on an hourly basis! But I'm guessing no one really wanted to know that :) )
The David. Probably the coolest thing Florence had to offer (we were otherwise not the biggest fans of the city). Liz kinda twisted my arm to get me to go in but i was super happy I waited the hour in line with her. It is impressive to say the least. This is my illegally taken photo!
We were under the Tuscan sun! Walking ten plus miles this day (done while singing duets of random songs such as Whitney's "We believe the Children are our Future") allowed us to see some beautiful countryside, buy a few bottles of wine and get a brief but informative tour of a vineyard.
The streets of Siena. Siena was by far our favorite place. The vibe was chill, the people friendly, our hostel/hotel fabulous, the food amazing and the stores wonderful. It was a perfect place for our last night.
And finally, this shot that I took through the window of a cafe in San Gimignano, a Tuscan hill town. I just thought it was beautiful. All in all we had such a great time! Shout out to Lizzy for taking me with her, I couldn't have asked for a better traveling companion!
Stay tuned for Part II....