From Rome we went to Trento and visited Mario & Ely. Trento is a beautiful village set in the valleys of the Italian Alps. Apparently we brought the sun- it was gorgeous the entire time and the green hills seemed to glow. Mario & Ely were the most incredible hosts (thank you!) providing shelter, food, tours, and great company. We miss them already!
They also took us to Venice for the day on Sunday...and there's nothing quite like this place. Every picture is a good picture! But the fun had to end eventually and Monday morning we left for Cinque Terre.
We decided to stay in Monterosso (the most northern of the 5 lands) because it had the biggest beach...however, it rained most of the time which made sunbathing difficult. We stayed two nights in Cinque Terra, but paid for 3...no, we didn't leave early...we simply decided to watch a football game (soccer for you Americans) in a neighboring town and missed our train back. The next train was coming at 4:30 in the morning and taxis weren't an option at that late hour (midnight) so we decided to stay the night in a hotel instead of the station. I sound calm now, but believe me...I wasn't!
As expected the food was great...but eating pizza and pasta for every meal did take it's toll (talk about carb-loading, I think I've gained 20 lbs.). The only food Jeff didn't tire of was the gelato ;) Don't get me wrong, the food in Italy is wonderful, but it did make us appreciate the variety we experience back at home.
(*warning: a ridiculous amount of photos below)
The twin churches at the Piazza di Popolo- we stayed just around the corner of the church on the left and were very happy with our location.
Looks like I'll be coming back to Rome, a coin in the fountain will do ya!
The hole at the top of the Pantheon illuminates the windows inside when the sun hits it correctly. It was originally built as a pagan building...maybe this was designed to reveal one of their many gods?
Vatican city from a distance.
The statue of Peter at St. Peter's Basilica- if you touch the foot something happens..but I can't remember what.
Peter is believed to be buried here.
The road to the Sistine Chapel is a long one...filled with an incredible amount of art (that you can photograph)
You aren't allowed, however, to photograph the Sistine Chapel...rules!? Ha! Jeff laughs in the face of them, and slyly used his iPhone. You can see the creation- good work Jeff!
Look, Jeff's holding up the arch (nevermind the group of people standing in beween).
Jeff was amazed by the amount of marble that was lying around...it was from the 2nd century and you could just sit on it. Apparently they have so much history they can't put everything in a museum.
Jeff wanted to take this piece..he didn't think they'd miss it. But I told him that it was selfish so we left it behind. Can you believe him?
Spices at Campo di Fiori
Disturbing logo on the side of a delivery van. I hope it's from ancient mythology instead of a recent creation from the owner of the company!
Gelato at Gigi's favorite spot (sorry we didn't sit down to eat Gigi)
On the train
A monastery built on a huge cliff just outside of Trento.
The story behind this picture is that one of the monks (from the above monastery) left on horseback one day to visit the Bishop in Trento and on the road was met by a bear who ate the horse. Thankfully, through divine intervention, the monk was able to then ride the bear to visit the bishop. I'm not sure why he isn't riding it in the picture...perhaps the bear needed a rest after carrying a person thrice his size. Jeff was particularly fascinated by this story ;)
Mario & Ely
Can you believe what they feed their kids? Mario and Ely where even surprised. Turkey, rabbit, and ostrich!
The crew in San Marcos Square
An Italian dryer. This is in the Jewish ghetto in Venice.
The bridge of sighs. The last place prisoners saw sunlight as they walked from the courthouse across to the prison.
Monterosso, Cinque Terre
Vernazza, Cinque Terre- When I was here 9 years ago Jocelyn and I stayed in the main terra cotta building with an old italian couple.