BC: Produced by | Vincent F. Williams | March 1 - 10, 2013
1: Italy we have finally arrived! 9+ hours on the plane with 2 hours of on and off sleep. Guess I was anxious like the first day of school. Spending spring break on study abroad; this is not vacation, this is BUSINESS!!
2: Just off the plane and onto the bus headed to Florence (Firenze). Will the journey ever end? Actually it just begun!! We were advised to sleep on the bus but I was too excited to sleep.
3: The culture of Hip Hop is global. Graffiti has reached Italy. The "Hot Boys" were here. | These seats on this bus are too comfortable. I thought I was going to stay awake, but ended up serenading my colleagues with some awful music.
5: The scenery was beautiful, As we were driving, in between naps, I was observing the landscape and countryside of Italy. It reminded me of my stay in Africa. Also, I saw my first Duomo. After this, there were many more! | After our long plane and bus ride, we had another long "2 block" walk. We arrived at the hotel, then hit the town. As soon as we turned the corner, we received the VIP welcome fanfare!
7: They were training the young ones too. | This was interesting. They were wearing funny looking traditional regalia and men were in the color guard too!?! | They had the old school drumline, but only did simple beats.
8: This point was a major landmark for me as I was learning my way around. There was a lot of unusual things in this place, but I guess people have to make some money. People singing and dancing, throw toys in the sky, and a merry go round in the middle of town. This was also the place we caught the cab to hit the club the first night. Interesting thing about the nightclub was that it was all teenagers and they were play hip hop that was 2 - 3 years old.
9: Alpha and the Omega, beginning and the end! | The Grandiose Architecture!! | I don't know what goes on inside these great big old building, but it must be something big. | This square came alive at night!!
12: Piazza della Signoria is an L-shaped square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. It was named after the Palazzo della Signoria, also called Palazzo Vecchio. It is the focal point of the origin and of the history of the Florentine Republic. The General on the horse was a selfish man and wanted a big statue on himself in the center of this square.
13: A pretty young Florentine as our tour guide. Her English was very good and she was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about her historical city.
14: The Italian Mafia set a small bomb and this the remains of the tree that caught fire. The Mob is no Joke!
15: The walkway leading to the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) | The Ponte Vecchio is has some great history to it. But I don't know how all the weight is being held up by the few bricks and wood for all them years.
16: Man is canoing under the Ponte Vecchio. Look at all them jewerly stores. It reminds me of Jewelers' Row in Center City Philly.
18: I was guarding the Castle!!
19: Guccio Gucci was a Florentine who founded Gucci in 1921. This is a museum that had all the history on it. It reminded me of Hitsville (Motown original studio) in Detroit. The artwork on this building was beautiful. This in now the office of the Burkina Faso Consulate General.
20: A view of the Ponte Vecchio from the next bridge. And Marilyn Monroe's picture in an area called the Trinity!?!
21: Below: Another view of the jewelry stores on the Old Bridge, I call it the Gold Bridge | Above: Saint John the Baptist did his baptizing work here.
22: St. John the Baptist's Baptistry, the Duomo, and the Door displaying the pictorial representation of St. John's life.
23: A door on the Duomo | People can see a picture of naked lady out their window. | Guarding St. John the Baptist. | Golden door with one plaque of King Solomon and Queen Sheba
24: More of the Duomo door that has a portrait of Jesus and the disciples. Below, is the statues of Jesus and the 12 disciples. | King Solomon and Queen Sheba in the Holy of Holies, the Unfinished Sanctum Sanctorum on the Golden Door.
25: I'm on guard in front of the Duomo.
26: Come before the Alter and pray!
31: We have to attend to some business at Bvlgari. | Latest line of Accessories | Presentation from Marketing Manager
32: They only use the finest quality of snake (python) skin | Also, only the finest quality of Alligator skin. | I have never seen such before. The whole bottom skin of the alligator.
33: One of the latest lines of hand bags. My instructor, Dr. Tim modeling one off for his wife.
34: Very, Very expensive Omega watches | Busy streets in Rome, Italy | There were a lot of beggars/ panhandlers in Rome. They have a slightly different approach here.
35: We arrived to Rome late in the night. Day one we went to the Vatican. But early the next morning we went shopping. This place is busy. Its like the NYC of Italy.
36: Here in Piazza del Popolo, the layout was one of the more beautiful plots. There was just a different feel here than any of the other places I visited in Rome. Situated in the center of the plaza is a large obelisk, one of the eight that was taken out of Kemet (Egypt).
37: There were many things in this plaza that the blind would not see. Watch the signs!!!
38: Four Doric columns with 4 eagles on guard. Watch the signs!
39: This is one of the many stellar architectures with statues representing Jesus and 12 disciples.
40: The great tribunal to the right with 3 levels of society represented by the Doric, Ionic, & Corinthian.
41: Stained Glass windows. This reminds me of church. Wait, it is a church! I remember the days when my precious mother would make stained glass in the basement. Back in the day!
42: View from the top of St. Peter's Bacilica. | This is priceless!!!
43: Expensive Bvgari Watchs! 4,000 USD + These people that money!
44: GUCCI | Expensive Gucci Watches. Not as expensive as Bvlgari though. Gucci should stick to leather!
45: These places were heavily Guarded by Police! | I couldn't take pictures in the Uffizi Museum but they had Michelangelo's only painting in there.
46: Rolex Watches, now this is top of the line! 1,000,000 USD +
47: Pink Gold, 9ct. Price was not too bad. Italy only has 9 and 18ct. as opposed to our 14 & 24ct. | Bling, Bling! | This is unique! Jewelry in the design of snakes!!
48: These Families were making some great money!! | Kept it in the family for years. Now this is real generational wealth!
49: After leaving Florence, we took a business trip to Fresobaldi. I slept the entire time but I did wake up to this wonderful winery. Been in the family for over 1,000 years!! That is amazing!
50: 1,000 years in the Family! They gave us a presentation but didn't give us the family secrets...
52: Stylin' & profilin' with my new Bvlgari scarf. Rockin' it European Style! Only thing missing are the tight clothes, but I'll pass on that one!
54: Huge office for the Imperial Majesty! They do it big out here. Big buildings and spending but tiny cars. We alighted the bus from Florence here in Rome but it was night and my camera phone could not capture it. Boy, it was a sight to see!!
55: Another view of the Imperial Mansion with the tiny cars. | Tiny roads as well
57: Look at the beautiful artwork! The door on the left has nice sculptures with Corinthian style pillars on each side. This is the entrance for the aristocrats.
58: Inside the Pantheon, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome, and rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in about 126 AD. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.
61: Looks like a Muslim Mosque, but of course its not! | What a view from there, unfortunately I did not go up.
64: This is near our hotel in Rome. Above is the tiny street the hotel is on. To the right is the Tempio Adriano.
66: The altar inside the Pantheon. People do come here to pray. I came to sit down and rest my feet after long walks on the cobblestones!
68: Fontana de Trevi | This was amazing. We were suppose to come see this the night before we left and throw a coin in for good luck. However, I'm blessed so I came when I could see it in the day time. I came back at night though, it did look spectacular.
69: Is this a school??
70: The ruins near the Colosseo (Colosseum)
71: The level was lower centuries ago | I saw this on the walking tour my instructor led.
72: What kind of steps are these??
75: The mouth of Truth. If its a lie then I can just go inside to the alter and ask for my hand back?!?!?
76: Prayer altar inside the church with the Mouth of Truth. | They still conduct mass in here.
77: Various sites during the walking tour.
78: Fountain in front of Spanish Steps | The Spanish steps | It was a nice rainy day
79: On the train to go see the largest obelisk outside of KMT
80: This was a nice walk in the park. But I had to sit down for a while and rest my dogs
82: The Arch of Constantine
83: At the Tribunal. | By due trial and strict examination...
84: View from the Colosseum.
85: The other side of the Arch of Constantine | On the way to the Palatino
88: Inside the Palatino
89: With some new great friends. In the Palatino with the Colosseum behind us. They kicked us out shortly after.
91: Palatino | Dr. Tim giving us a nice history lesson on this place. He been here too many times.
93: On our way out the Palatino, they kept telling us to leave and about 5 different language, none of those languages was love though!
94: Okay, Okay, we are leaving, just one more picture! | Looks like I took a few more...
95: Snapshot on the way back to the hotel.
97: Hotel rooftop! The breakfast was just okay, but the juice that had was diabeties sweet, like that house party koolaid back in the day!
98: Hotel rooftop
100: I was walking with one of my group members working on our luxury goods project!
101: Obelisk at the Spanish steps. Looks like everybody was resting their feet.
102: At one of the 8 obelisks in Piazza del Popolo. There were too many hidden symbols here...
104: Watch the throne. Both pages are full of mysteries!
107: We had to stop and eat here before we got to the Tribunal. Its a long story...
108: In San Giovanni, looking for the largest obelisk outside of KMT
110: First nun I ever met. She was Cuban so could only speak to us in Spanish
111: The Family Crest
113: At the Tribunal again, I have to ask for a retrial!!
114: Castle up close with the history lesson.
115: Saint Angelo Castle
117: These are some big churches. But why is their history so cruel???