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S: Italy: May 2011

FC: Italy: May 2011

1: Da New York a Roma. From New York to Rome.

2: This is a very mountainous region, where the towns are built right into the mountains. | After arriving in Rome, we drove three hours east to a hill town in the region of Abruzzo. | The roads coil around mountains, leading to each individual town.

3: These houses are typical for the center of town in Abruzzo. They are built small and close together. However, houses away from the center generally have a lot more land with room for farms, vineyards, and gardens. | In the small town of Tornareccio, we saw many fountains. Some provide drinking water and some that were used by woman in years past to wash laundry.

4: This small, Catholic church lies in the center of Tornareccio. Many of the small town's inhabitants visit it regularly whether for a service or to worship Madonna.

5: Lago di Bomba (Lake Bomba) lies at the bottom of the mountains in Abruzzo below the towns of Pescara and Bomba. The lake was manmade and now attracts many tourists and sportsmen. | Lago di Bomba

6: A "trabocco" is a wooden fishing hut unique to Abruzzo. Fisherman catch fish from the borders of the hut. It is then cooked and served at the restaurant in the center of the hut. To get to the restaurant, you have to walk along the long, rickety bridge.

7: Lanciano | While traveling around Abruzzo, we visited a town called "Lanciano." This town is rich with history, art, and culture. We saw old churches, an old theatre, and a typical italian square, Piazza Plebiscito,

8: Abruzzo | After a weekend in Abruzzo, we drove three hours east back to Rome... | Una campagna rustico A rustic countryside.

9: Roma | to | Una citta storica A historical city

10: il Colosseo | Our first day in Rome, we visited the Colosseum, one of the seven wonders of the world. Much of the architecture in Rome is very old, the Colosseum being some of the oldest. We saw a number of tours given in many different languages, along with many school field trips. Italy places a great deal of importance on education of the country's history.

11: The stage was put into the Colosseum in 2003. Various performances are held on the stage. | After an earthquake, the statues that sat in the windows of the Colosseum fell and broke. These heads are some of the remnants.

12: Rome is full of history! On our first day, we saw... | The Palatine | Basillica of Constantine

13: The Arch of Septimus Severus | The Arch of Titus | Roman baths on Palatine hill

14: This is the Vittoriano with the Altare Della Patria guarded by soldiers and the statue of King Victor Emmanuel II.. The statue of the horse is so big that 15 men fit inside!

15: After a long morning of touring Rome, we had pizza in the park with Claudio. Even the park was covered in ruins!

16: La Scuola Elementare | On Tuesday, we visited one of the many elementary schools in Rome. We spent about a half hour interviewing the principal of the school, then she took us around the classrooms and outside.

17: We visited the school during recess and saw the children playing games like tag, basketball, and dolls | una matita | un libro | un pastello

18: Roseto | After visiting the school, we went to a huge rose garden where a traditional rose competition is held every year.

19: Ponte Rotto | Our next stop was the oldest standing bridge in Rome, "Ponte Rotto." This bridge lies over the Tiber River.

20: San Pietro | On Wednesday, we went to St. Peter's Basilica. This is the largest Catholic church in the world. We climbed to the top of the coppola where we could see St. Peter's Square and much of the city of Rome.

21: These are a few pictures taken from St. Peter's Square and from inside the church. The size and architecture was breath-taking.

22: Una Notte a Roma

23: On Wednesday night, we toured Rome at night to see the city in a different light. We visited the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the Castle of St. Angelo, the Spanish steps, the Colosseum, and the Tiber River.

24: Villa Borghese | On Thursday, we visited Villa Borghese. This is a large park with historical mansions, modern artwork displays, fountains, and a large pond.

25: Next, we saw the Tiber River from a few different angles. The Tiber is one of the longest rivers in Italy and runs through the city of Rome. | Tevere Fiume

26: MAXXI | On Thursday afternoon, we went to a modern art museum. Both the architecture and artwork were unique, unlike anything I had ever seen. Art is an important part of the Italian culture. | Architettura Arte Design

27: Roman Catholicism, the dominant religion in Italy, plays a very important part of the Italian culture. It seems that an extravagant Catholic church lies on every corner. Our last day touring Rome, we went to this typical Catholic church.

28: Piazza di Navona

29: The last place we visited inRome was the Piazza di Navona,. This square was lively, filled with break dancers, vendors, children's activities, and musicians surrounded by intricate architecture.

30: Bagnoregio | On our last day in Italy, we drove to Bagnoregio, a small, abandoned town with only 10 inhabitants. The town sits on a pinnacle in a canyon. Cars are not permitted, providing a peaceful environment.

31: Arrivederci, Italia!

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