S: Italy - September 2010
1: Our trip began with a flight to London and a five hour layover in the middle of the night. We stayed at the Yotel in the London Airport. It was a super tiny room similar to a room on a train.
2: Bettoja Atlantico Hotel | Rome, Italy
3: After we settled in to our hotel we hoped on the tour bus for a ride around Rome
4: We decided to hop of the bus and walk to Trevi Fountain, however we got very turned around trying to follow the maps we had. We didn't find Trevi Fountain, but we did stumble upon the Imperial Forum!
6: We ended our first day in Italy with dinner, wine and champagne at the rooftop restaurant of our hotel. This wine ended up being our favorite of the whole trip!
7: Our first bottle of wine in Italy!
8: We decided to walk this day and try and find Trevi Fountain, The Spanish Steps and The Pantheon | Happy Birthday Jason!
9: But first...a quick peek at the Colosseum
10: Trevi Fountain | ...we found it!
11: Packed with tourists | Our first Gelatos
13: PIAZZA DEL POPOLO is a large urban square. The name literally means "People's Square." The two twin churches in the square are Santa Maria in Montesanto (left) and Santa Maria del Miracolo (right). The central streen known as Via del Corso exits between the two churches. | the twin churches | Piazza del Popolo
14: The Spanish Steps | THE SPANISH STEPS are a set of steps climbing the slope between the the Piazza di Spagna and the base of Piazza Trinita dei Monti. It is the widest staircase in Europe.
15: A view of Piazza di Spagna from the stairs | When we made it up to Trinita dei Monti, the church at the top of the stairs, we walked in and heard the most beautiful choir singing. It
16: Windows of Rome
18: A little snack before we head out for the night tour | Our Hotel: Hotel Atlantico | Love in an Elevator!
19: The Vatican | Termini Train Station
20: A Night Tour for Jason's Birthday
22: Pompeii The next day we took a train to Pompeii
26: Our guide and new Michigan friends
33: After the train ride back to Rome we had dinner with our new friends
34: The next day we left for Florence! | A glimpse of Jason's favorite Trees
35: Our original hotel was under construction so they upgraded us upon check in and paid for our taxi to this beautiful hotel only a block away from Piazza de Duomo! | A view from our balcony looking towards piazza di Duomo | Hotel Venice Palace. Our room is the right window on the balcony | Hotel Venice Palace
38: Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore | (or Duomo) is the cathedral churck of Florence. The exterior is faced with marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white. The cathedral complex is located in Piazza del Duomo and was just down the street from our hotel. The basilica is one of Italy's largest churches and is the dome is the largest brick dome ever constructed. Unfortunately we did not take the tour to go inside.
40: A few creepy statues outside the Uffizi
41: A "fake" David | When a building is being restored in Italy it is covered like this
42: Galleria degli | UFFIZI | A view of Ponte Vecchio from the Uffizi Museum
43: THE UFFIZI GALLERY one of the oldest and most famous museums of the western world
46: These are views from the rooftop café of the Uffizi
48: THE PONTE VECCHIO is a stone closed arch bridge over the Arno River. It has expensive jewelry shops along it as well as souvenir sellers.
50: Windows of Florence
52: A walk around Florence
54: A little snack before dinner
56: Le | Fonticine
57: This restaurant was by far our favorite in all of Italy! We made quick friends with Giampiero who promised me the family tiramisu recipe if we returned the next night for dinner. He also gave us Grappa shots! I don't really remember the walk back to hotel! That stuff is STRONG! | Grappa
58: Florence Hop On, Hop Off Tour
60: PIAZZALE MICHELANGELO | is a famous square with a magnificent panoramic view of Florence. The views from here were absolutely breath taking! | Another "fake" David statue
63: FLORENCE text text text
65: The views were magnificent coming back down the mountain
66: We had Limoncello this night and kept away from the Grappa!
67: We returned to Le Fontinne for dinner that night and as promised, Giampierro gave me the family recipe for Tiramisu! Here it is!
68: Duomo day
69: Duomo night
70: We started our last morning in Florence with a trip to the laundromat. Then we waited in line at the Accedemia Gallery to see David
71: Michelangelo's | DAVID
72: Next Stop...Venice! | We had to take a water taxi from the train station to our hotel stop
78: maroubra beach | SYDNEY
79: AYRES ROCK/ULURU the world's largest monolith and an Aboriginal sacred site is Australia's most famous natural landmark.
86: Train back to Rome
89: Sometimes you just want a burger and a milkshake
90: Roma: Colosseum
92: V A T I C A N
96: Sistine Chapel
98: THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE is a multi-venue performing arts centre in the Australian city of Sydney. It was conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jrn Utzon, finally opening in 1973 after a long gestation starting with his competition-winning design in 1957.
102: The Catacombs
103: maroubra beach
104: The End!