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Italy // Our Vacation Part 2

So, now that it has almost been two years I guess I should finish the blog I started years ago about our trip to Greece and Italy. If you have not read about our time in Greece, click here. Greece was such a dream I hope you take the time to read about our adventure there.

After a dramatic experience at the Santorini Airport that included miss labeled gates, mis information about baggage, a HUGE crowd in a tiny airport and Jon using the bathroom the exact moment our gate was called which lead to me almost having a panic attack, Jon and I made it to Venice. We took a pre-booked boat from the Airport to the main land of Venice. However, our bad luck continued as we proceeded to get very lost in the winding streets for about 45 minutes with all our luggage and no help from google maps. After finally making it to our AirBnB, we dropped out bags and with a better plan of action ventured back out into the streets. We explored St. Marks Square and were forced into feeding some pigeons.

The next day Jon and I took the local water taxi out to Murano and Burano islands. Murano is known for its glass blowing and Jon and I got to watch a glass blowing exhibition. We explored the island and saw some beautiful pieces of art; unfortunately most of the pieces we wanted to get were too big or too fragile to try and transport home. We then hopped back on the water taxi and went to Burano. Burano is known for its lace making and colorful houses. We browsed many of the lace shops and walked the back streets of the island to see all the colorful houses. Once back on the main land of Venice, Jon and I wandered around and came upon a Gondola makers shop. We were able to watch him work for a little while as he made a gondola oar.

We spent the rest of the evening wandering around Venice, eating delicious pasta and ALOT of gelato. We took a water taxi down the Grand Canal and eventually made out way back to the AirBnB for some rest before traveling to Florence the next day.

After Greece and Venice, Florence was really a let down for me. This was also mid point in the trip and I was tired and grumpy. However, Jon and his stellar husband powers talked me off the cliff. This was the city we were in for the shortest time but during that time we were able to fit quite a bit in.

Upon getting to Florence we took a bus into the city and made our way to the Duomo. We hiked up the bell tower and took in the incredible view. We hung out at the top of the tower for a little while to catch our breath after the climb up. But once we ventured back down we wanted to go inside the church but due to me wearing a tank top we were not able to get inside. So we ventured on to the Pontevecchio. We wandered across the bridge and marveled at all the jewelry on display. This was the point in time Jon had to talk me off the cliff... I was hot and tired and Jon in all his grace allowed us to head back to the AirBnB for a nap.

After a much needed nap Jon and I took a bus to the outside of the city to the Roman Baths. We had heard earlier in the day about a concert at the baths so we went up early, got dinner and then watched a piano concert inside the Roman Baths. After the concert we took the bus back into the city. We packed our things and headed to the train station the next morning for Cinque Terre!

After an insanely busy city I was ready for the beach; Cinque Terre was a welcome break from the city craziness. Our train from Florence got into Monterosso, Cinque Terre in the late afternoon which gave us just enough time to hit the beach and board walk before dinner. Italians eat dinner late and when we were ready to eat none of the restaurants were actually open for dinner so we had a few drinks (limoncello, so yummy) and appetizers before eating dinner at D'Eraldo. After dinner we went back to our room and watched the sunset from our balcony that looked over the sea; so beautiful!

During our only full day in Cinque Terre we hiked the trail from Monterosso to Vernazza. This is a 2 mile trail that took Jon and I about an hour and a half to complete. This trial was not as intense as the trail in Santorini but it was definitely challenging. It follows the ridge between the two cities and was full of steep inclines up the side of the island followed by steep descents into the city. However, you could not beat the views! The one mistake we made one this hike was not bringing our swimsuits because once we got to Vernazza all we wanted to do was jump into the water but alas. Instead we got lunch and gelato while we rested along the water. We toyed with the idea of continuing our walk to the next city but decided to take a boat back to Monterosso and hit the beach instead.

After relaxing on the beach in the afternoon we went shopping in Monterosso and stumbled upon the Anchovy Festival. Jon really wanted to try the anchovies but the line was too long, so he bought a shirt instead. We then got ready for dinner and went back to D' Eraldo because it was just so good the night before, and Jon was finally able to try his anchovies!

Cinque Terre was a slow paced and relaxing city and if we were to do it again we would have spent much more time here, maybe skipping Florence to be honest. It was the perfect break between crowded busy cities. We left Cinque Terre early the next morning for our final stop, Rome!

Our train got into Rome in mid-morning and upon getting to our AirBnB our host would not take no for an answer and made us a complete breakfast and was stunned when Jon turned down coffee. Once we ate we went out into the city and hit the Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Palazza De Popalo and a variety of churches all in our first few hours in the city. Besides the Acropolis, the Trevi Fountain was what I was looking forward to most on the trip and it did not disappoint. Jon and I threw our coins into the fountain and again I thanked my husband for making another dream of mine a reality.

One thing we loved about Rome was that all the fountains within the city had drinkable water. This came in handy during midday when temperatures were rising and water bottles were low. We spent most of the day exploring the city and ended the day with dinner at the most delicious Pizza place, Pizzaria la Boccaccia.

Our first full day in Rome was spent at the Colosseum. We had a tour that took us all over the Colosseum; we even got to go under the arena floor and up into the upper deck. We spent a few hours here before exploring the Roman Forum. It was so cool to think that we were walking in places that Paul and some of the other Apostles has done ministry work thousands of years ago.

Our last day was spent in Vatican City. We walked through the city and went inside the Sistine Chapel. It was honestly more sad then anything else, so many people in a city built on faith yet so far from their savior.

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