Way back when Barrett was a sophomore in high school, her dad asked her where she would want to go as a graduation gift when she was a senior. She has always wanted to go to Italy and so I was not surprised when she told him that that was the place she would choose to go. There were of course some stipulations like grades, studying, clean driving record and keeping the good attitude that she has always had.
She was diligent, but I know there were a lot of times she was day dreaming about Italy in class instead of listening.
For example, I am sure the day she texted me this picture during class, she definitely was not paying attention!
Well, she is a senior this year and duruing Barrett's spring break we finally took our trip to Italy!
Land in Rome, but head straight to Florence stopping in Orvieto for lunch
Four nights/three days in Florence
Day 1: Florence
Day 2: Day trip through Chianti stopping in San Gimignano, Greve and a few other places
Day 3: Day trip to Venice
Three nights/three days in Cinque Terre stopping in Lucca on the way there.
One day/one night in Rome
first picture in Italy
I have been to Florence three times and have taken this same picture each time.
It is so beautiful how the Duomo overtakes this side street.
Picture definitely does not do it justice.
headed to dinner
(You think we were hungry?)
our first gelato of the trip
We used Tuscan Sunshine Tours for our day excursions. Several years ago, Art and I used them and were so happy and comfortable with the two men that run/own the company, we decided we needed to use them again this trip. One night, we ate dinner at one of their homes in the hillside of Florence.
Dinner at Stefano and Simonetta's home...
was a wonderful authentic Italian experience.
No trip to Venice is complete unless you visit the fish market!
Cinque Terre is part of the Italian Riveria on the northwestern coast.
It is a part of a national park and all five villages are connected with steep hiking trails and paths.
Thankgoodness most of them were closed while we were there because of some mudslides that happened over a year ago! We had a built in excuse not to partake in the hiking and had to take the ferry and train from village to village. Just climbing the steep steps throughout the villages was plenty!
They make you work for your dinner here! We had to go down and up several sets of steps to our restaurant one night.
View of the restaurant from the water:
Plenty of seafood!
There are lemon and orange trees all over the Cinque Terre.
Barrett and I were in heaven!
Headed to our room with a fresh baguette and a jar of fresh pesto.
(pesto is originally from this area)
the view from our balcony
Our hotel also had a terrace up above the hotel itself. Art and I would go and sit while Barrett was getting ready for dinner.
We didn't plan on spending much time in Rome. In fact the only reason we spent any time there was because we had to leave out of the Rome airport to get home and so that we weren't rushed, we spent one day/one night there.
Rome is so crowded, full of tour groups and congested with tour buses. It isn't as enjoyable as the other places in Italy.
We just spent our few hours there walking around to see a few sights before going to bed early.
Before we knew it,
we were sitting on some random steps in Rome watching the sun set on the last day of
our wonderful trip.
Happy Graduation Barrett!