Tuesday, November 25, 2008

On Sunday, November 9 we took a "Water Taxi" to the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. They are about 40 minutes away from Venice. Murano is famous for it's glass factories. Unfortunately because we were there on a Sunday the factories were closed but we enjoyed walking along the canals looking at shops and ate a wonderful meal. The it was off to the island of Burano which is famous for it's lace and very brightly painted houses. It is an amazing sight even in the waning light of the late afternoon when we arrived. After watching the sunset we took the boat again to go to Torcello. This is a tiny island that is inhabited by only 20 people. It was very eerie to get there after dark and walk around a completely desolate island. We didn't see a soul! The old church has some ruins in front of it that date back to Roman times. After walking around we hurried back to catch the boat. Christine who was always walking ahead of us made it on board but the rest of us got left behind. So we had to wait about a half hour for the next one and hope Christine was not "lost in Italy"! We didn't want to get stuck there since there was an transportation strike scheduled for the next morning =) Needless to say we made it safely back to Venice. Click here to see all the pics!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Visions of Venice Our next stop on the trip... beautiful Venice. We had a relaxing train ride through the countryside. There nothing like this city surrounded by water. The first thing you notice is that there is no noise coming from cars or motorcycles. It is a little more laid back. After a grueling long walk from the train station dragging our heavy luggage up and down many steps and little bridges we made it to our lodging place, B&B Corte Campana. Our wonderful amazing friendly host Riccardo was there to welcome us with a big smile. The place is beautiful and is 600 (?) years old and very close to Saint Mark's Square. After settling in we walked over to the square and and enjoyed a nice walk along the water. So many things to see this week... from the Basilica and bell tower to Doge's Palace, San Zaccaria Church to the Naval Museum our days were full of great history and awesome sights...and of course gondolas around every where. I'm hoping to get more pictures up soon. In the meantime you can enjoy some picture albums here: http://chiarapics.spaces.live.com/ Pictures of our day trips to Verona, Murano, Burano and Torcello coming soon!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Rain, rain, go away... please come back some other day. Today we spent the day all about Florence in the rain. Sometimes it was hard and other times just a drizzle. Navigating through a sea of colorful umbrellas we went early to the Duomo Museum and saw the Pieta (Michelangelo's final sculpture) along with other pieces that used to adorn the facade of the church and baptistery. It was very interesting to see some of the art pieces and columns that date back to early 800 B.C. I kept thinking how insignificant that makes our own country's 232 years seem! We caught a bite to eat on the go near the Accademia where a group of little Italian ragazzi were lining up for their field trip. Can you imagine going on a field trip to some of the major art museums when you are in kindergarden?! They were too cute in their little raincoats hlolding hands two by two. After lunch the girls went shopping while Jon did the laundry and tried to catch up on some school work. It's been another long full day in Florence... I can't believe we have been here a week already!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Today we spent the day in Siena. It was a nice ride through the countryside. Siena is unique and has a more medieval feel to it. Of course we saw the main piazza where they hold the Palio (horse racing at neck braking speed) every August. The city is divided into seventeen districts all of whom become "mortal enemies" come palio time. We visited the Duomo, baptistery and crypt. It's late and tomorrow we have lots more to see... I'll try to post some more pics soon!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

In and around Firenze...
After a day in the Tuscan country side and a visit to San Miniato last night we began today by visiting Pitti Palace. It is huge and reminds me a lot of visiting the chateaus in France. Very large and ornate it is also surrounded by the Boboli Gardens. The weather has gotten warmer and the rain seems to have passed. By the time we got out it was so warm we had to go change into something cooler. After lunch we went to Santa Maria Novella and then to Santa Croce (my favorite). The leather school is adjacent to the church. It has been a good day! We are going to go out to dinner this evening to a restaurant right on the Arno River near Ponte Vecchio. Ciao!
Click here for pics

Saturday, November 01, 2008

A Day in Beautiful Tuscany

I've posted some pics on Facebook. I will try to get them all up on Flicker soon!