We began in Rome. The highlight of Rome was seeing all the ancient ruins. We had a nice tour. It was so early in the tourist season that we had the guide all to ourselves! Bill surprised me on how much he knew already about the history behind the ruins. Right after we visited the Colosseum our camera broke. So then we were stuck in the stone ages using disposable cameras. In case you've forgotten what it was like back then, we were very limited to the number of pictures we could take and we could not see the picture right after we took it. Initially it was a little frustrating, but by the end of the trip it actually made picture-taking a lot more simple. Thanks to Ant who took some great pictures when we were in Prato on her high-tech digital camera!
Just behind Bill's shoulder is a little tower that marked a road for us. Just down the road was an ice cream shop and a little restaurant that was tucked away on a little side street. Yum!
We had an interesting time going from place to place while in Italy that I wasn't familiar with before. In Rome we learned how to manage the trains and subways. I didn't get a picture, but in Florence we learned how to get around using the bus system.
Bill took this picture from atop the Duomo, one of the most recognizable landmarks in downtown Florence. He, not me, climbed over 470 steps for this view!
In the far right of this picture is probably a structure that most people can recognize - the leaning tower of Pisa. Something that I learned here was that the tower was actually the bell tower for the church - the bigger building in the picture. Not shown here, on the other side of the church is a separate building that was originally used just for the baptistry. I thought it was interesting that there were 3 separate buildings (the baptistry, the church and the bell tower) for what is usually in one building.
Our last day in Florence, we travelled a little out of Florence to Prato. Josie, who is sitting beside me here, is on an AIM mission there. We knew her and her mom Ant from our time in Wasilla. It was neat spending time with all of them and learning what all they are doing in the name of God there in that little town.
We ended our trip in Venice, and what a great ending it was! Rome was a lot of hustle and bustle, Florence was a little better, but Venice was much more relaxing in comparision. Mainly because there are no roadways to get around. What a nice change! Here we are standing on a bridge over the Grand Canal.
In Venice you get around on foot or boat. Venice is where the famous gondola boats are. They were very expensive to ride on so we passed on that. One day we opted for a *cheap* ride on a gondola just to get across the Grand Canal instead of walking the distance to a bridge to cross over.