Well, I’ve been back for a few weeks now actually, and just haven’t sat down to bloggity blog!
But alas, here am I, with pictures!
Our trip was amazing. I was sick for most of it, and my loving husband took wonderful care of me so all that walking didn’t get to me too bad (though I won’t lie, I was BEAT by the end of the day, every single day)!
Each city was fabulous in its own way. We started in Paris, took a night train to Venice (and no, it was not nearly as awesome as I imagine the Hogwarts Express is, and there was certainly no Honeydukes Express trolley stocked with candy….I would have been all. over. that.), then another train ride to Roma.
Paris was just as I remember it! Cloudy and rainy and full of big, old, beautiful buildings. We got our use out of the Metro, felt inspired to be slightly more fashionable, and got lost while being caught in the rain. The rain was miserable at the time, but now when it sprinkles, the thought of it makes me smile.
The Eiffel Tower
Outside of Ladurée, where, when I tried to take a picture of the inside to share with you, this tiny, well dressed man popped up out of nowhere and yelled “NO PICTURE” at me. Normally I would have just walked out…but I really wanted one of the macaroon boxes (let’s be honest, I was only there for the packaging).
We did so much more in Paris – the Palais Garnier (the opera house), shopping (well, more like window shopping) at some of the many malls like the Galeries Lafayette, took a stroll through the Carnavalet Museum (which is dedicated to the history of Paris) and the Champs-Élysées, quietly walked through Notre Dame (which is celebrating it’s 850th [yes, that’s years] anniversary soon), ran through the Louvre (where I left my sunglasses *sadface* ), and spent some quality time on Île Saint-Louis (which I think is one of our absolute favorite spots on the planet :)).
Venice was so cool! We actually stayed on Lido, one of the islands that’s a bit farther away from the main islands. Our hotel was great though, so it made the half hour trip “into town” every morning worth it.
The city is just so unique! We hardly even scratched the surface. We walked down tons of tiny “roads”, which were more like sidewalks with buildings on both sides. Some were only a few feet wide! It was such a cool experience.
A cheesy honeymoon shot with beautiful buildings in the background.
This is a bit blurry, but I had to take a picture to show how narrow the walkways were! Plus I really love Brandon’s ensemble.
A quatrefoil. Duh. 😛 This huge, beautiful stonework quatrefoil was grouped with a few more in one of the courtyards of the Doge’s Palace. I wanted to lay in the center of it to accurately show my excitement for the picture, but figured that might get a few looks. Isn’t it just fabulous? LIOB!
A shot of some of the colorful houses on the island of Burano (which we visited after accidentally stopping at Murano where we bought some glass). It was very quiet while we were there, but I imagine that was just the weather/time of year (it was pretty chilly). It’s known for the brightly colored homes (thus the gazillions of pictures I took of random peoples’ homes…sorry guys!). I would have loved to have stayed here if it were warmer – can you imagine roaming the streets in the middle of the summer in a cute sundress and wedges?! YES!
We spent more of our time in Venice driving around in the vaporettos (water buses – the craziest mode of public transportation I’ve ever seen and the cheapest way to get around [oh, and check out this picture from some of the chairs…bwahahaha!]), getting lost, eating delicious food, and seeing an opera. Well, we more like listened to an opera. We had THE worst seats in the house (no, I mean really, we had to hang over the railing to see the stage and we could only see the tops of the performers’ heads), but honestly, we were really there just to sit down for a while. The theater’s interior was absolutely beautiful…and we got a REALLY great look at the ceiling, which we could touch from our seats. Not kidding. At the time it just seemed hot and uncomfortable, but it makes for one really great memory.
When we first got to Rome, the first thing I thought was “Man, this place is dirty.” And it was, though I guess many big cities are that way. I don’t know why, but I really didn’t expect all of the cool old things we’d be seeing to be plopped in the middle of not-nearly-as-old buildings, many which had been transformed into shopping districts (surprise, surprise).
My favorite thing about Rome was all the ancient stuff, like the ruins (more on these below), and learning more about its history. I honestly didn’t think I’d love it as much as I did!
The Colosseum (and thank you to Brandon for cutting off my double chin)! Super cool. Superduper old. The thought of what actually happened there makes me sick to my stomach, but I appreciate its historical value. We learned that much of the material in and around the building was ripped off and used for other buildings loooong long ago, after it was no longer an active venue but before someone realized “OMGosh, this is going to be really cool one day…perhaps we shouldn’t destroy it completely.” It would have been amazing to see it in all it’s glory back in the day!
We took this whilst standing in the Farnese Gardens, which are in Palatine Hill (which is next to the Roman Forum, which together make up a huge park of ancient ruins). This was probably my favorite spot in Rome. Everything was so well kept…and that’s really saying something for gardens that were planted in 1550. 😉 Such a perfect spot – pretty plants and beautiful architectural elements, and even more amazing views of Roma. I didn’t want to leave. The park itself was so amazing – go and plan to stay half a day. So much to see and learn! I’m actually looking for a book that goes into more detail about Palatine Hill and the Forum…any suggestions?
One of the many, many, MANY servings of gelato I had while in Italy. It’s pretty much the best snack (or, ahem, meal) ever. I always got mine in a cone, except for the one time I thought to take a picture of it. So. Good.
We did a bunch more in Rome too. Trekked through Vatican City and toured St. Peter’s Basilica (where the line was miserable, but thankfully worth the wait). Saw the Sistine Chapel (and the oh-so-famous “Creation of Adam” by the fab Michelangelo) after going through the most intense maze-of-a-museum (aka the Vatican Museums) I have ever been in (which I would have thoroughly enjoyed had I not been sick and tired, had it not been PACKED with fellow tourists, and had it not tricked us into believing that the chapel was just around the corner for the whole 1.5 hours we were walking through it. I adore art of all kinds, but I have my limits). We also checked out the Pantheon, practically ran by the Trevi Fountain (which is HUUUUGE and constantly surrounded by hoards of tourists…which made its hugeness really great for those of us who saw it from afar), and walked by the Spanish Steps and realized afterwards that they were the Spanish Steps, so we walked by them again for a photo op. I’m not sure how the mass of people chillin’ there wasn’t a dead giveaway the first time around…
Phew. I left so many details out! But this post is already long enough and has way too many pictures of me in it. If you want to check out all of our pictures (most of which aren’t actually all that great), head on over to flickr – they are posted there, but not really organized or labeled yet. I’ll get around to doing all of that one day…
Oh, and please excuse the Wikipedia links and any misspellings/typos you may have encountered along the way.