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Venice

    Rome, Italy – The Eternal City

    Florence stole my heart many, many moons ago, Venice has my soulTivoli my artisticly history drenched imagination. They were everything I thought they would be. Rome surprised me.

    Italy, to my antipodean viewpoint, is sun-drenched vineyards, ruins as far as the eye can see and thin crust Pizza cooked with few gourmet ingredients bursting with flavour.

    The view from a top St Peters, quite possibly the best viewpoint of the city.

    I still loved aspects of it though. We did the usual touristy stuff; the Coliseum, the Trevi fountain (which was incredible, what a feat of sculpture), the Spanish Steps… they were everything I thought it would be.

    Rome was known as the Eternal City even among the ancient Romans themselves. It was so called because the Roman people thought that no matter what happened to the world, no matter how many other empires might rise and fall, Rome would go on forever. 

     

      The Pantheon. I could have stood in this empty epic place for hours, musing the history.

    I’m not going to share our travels of the normal, touristy Rome, but the snapshots and dinky corners of Rome that I loved and delighted in.

    I found the city itself to be pretty busy, smelly, noisy and full of rude impatient people. I don’t expect much of a city, but after all the delights of more rural Italy, Rome was a rude shock back into the real world.

    The art blew me away. To finally see the Laocoon, the Sistine chapel and the Stanza della Segnatura tucked amongst so many other art gems it almost becomes too much to process.



    We also hung out with a few locals.


    My best tips?

    • Go out of School holiday season – we went mind-end of September and the weather was still gorgeous
    • Find somewhere cute for dinner that doesn’t have an English menu, and spend the night laughing at attempts to communicate
    • Line up super early or later in the afternoon for the Vatican
    • Set aside at least 20 minutes in St Peters to marvel at the Pieta and child that Michaelangelo carved when he was only 24.
    • Get lost in the gardens and churches of Rome’s foothills
    • Don’t be tricked into agreeing with your hubby to only see the Protestant churches 
    • If going to the Pantheon (which you aren’t allowed to miss) check out the S. Maria Sopra Minevra it’s breathtaking
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    Venice, Italy – #travelthursdays

    Six years ago, I fell in love.

    As with most love affairs it was brief but torrid. I fell hook line and sinker for Italy. We spent two weeks in total in the most gorgeous country I’ve ever been to yet; 4 days in Venice, 3 days in Pisa (finding a surprisingly good beach tucked away), 3 days in Florence, and 4 days in Rome.

    Rome left me a little cool, it was busy and crazy. Florence was fantastic, a very laid back artsy city. Pisa we thought was going to be a one trick pony, but Venice, oh how I loved it.

    Venice, how I love thee (especially on a late-summer’s day). The jewel-box churches, the history and the uniqueness of a floating city, combined with some of the best food in the world.

    

    My best tips;

    • Take the water taxi out around to the outlying islands & plan to come back around twilight. Watching the sun set as Venice appears on the horizon is astonishing.
    • Don’t be taken in by the tourist trap restaurants, and try the house wine. It’s normally delicious.
    • Try not to go at the height of summer, apparently it doesn’t smell very good and swarms with tourists.
    • Prepare to get lost in Venices’ wandering streets. It’s the best way to stumble upon something beautiful. 

     

    Florence stole my heart many, many moons ago, Venice has my soul, Rome my thirst and hunger, Tivoli my artisticly history drenched imagination.

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