Thursday, January 1, 2009

Rome and Cinque Terre

This past week has been full of traveling.  Casey and I went to Italy's capital to spend Christmas.  We saw the sights, indulged in delicious food, relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.  

Christmas photo in front of the Trevi Fountain.  All we need is a sweeping banner across the bottom in red and green that says "Happy Holidays!" in festive, italic font.   

Christmas Eve was spent at Vatican City.  We saw St. Peter's Basilica, the piazza, the Vatican Museums and again it was a Michelangelo filled day.  After all the sight seeing we got a nice lunch of stuffed gnocchi, a giant pizza with artichoke, prosciutto,  olives and egg, and a couple of beers.  And for dinner...CAKE.   We used the "It's Christmas, we're allowed to indulge" card.  

On Christmas we went back to the Vatican for...
Pope Benedict XVI's Christmas mass.  This picture is cool but kind of creepy.  It just looks like he's watching...  Anyway, it was a cool service.  He addressed world issues and wished everyone a Merry Christmas in over 20 languages.  

Like I said, it was packed. 

The next day we saw as much as we could before heading back to Firenze.  

The Pantheon being held up by Super Casey.  Last time I was in Rome I didn't get a chance to go inside, but I did this time!  It was pretty amazing.  When you enter you are just in this circular space with paintings, statues and altar pieces everywhere.  Then you look up to see an intricately designed dome ceiling with light flooding in from the center.  Italian's really perfected the dome.   

The last stop of the day was the Roman Forum and Colosseo.  The Forum was amazing.  It is the remnants of antiquity and displays how great ancient Rome was.  

It amazes me how they built these great columns that are still standing today, not to mention knowing that the marble probably came from up north.  We walked around the Forum for a while, stopped over to see the inside of the Colosseo and, with about 3 minutes to spare, hopped on a train back to Firenze.  

A couple days later we went to Cinque Terre, an area on the northwestern coast of Italy.  Cinque Terre or "Five Lands" gets it name from the five towns connected by walking paths.  Here are a few words to describe the experience: colors, beauty, kindness, fresh, delicious an the ridiculousness of nature's spectacular incredibleness.  There's just something about being by water that makes me happy.  

We ended our day with an ocean sunset next to a group of old men that you could tell have been friends their entire life.  

Italian of the day: Questo settimana passata era grandissima.  É stato un buon natale e buon anno!  A tutti hanno un grande 2009!   -   This past week was great.  It was a good Christmas and new years.  To all have a great 2009!


green-peas said...

happy holidays, jon.

Celia said...

I think your travel experiences are terrific!!!

I also like your creative pic of Casey holding up the Pantheon.

Happy 2009 :>)

andrew fisher said...

Hello everybody, just want to invite you and your readers to our site about the cinque terre
and to the blog where you can also vote the nicest of the 5 Terre.
Also a new section is online: virtual tours of the Cinque Terre, a beautiful point of view..

Dennis said...

Wow! What can I say! Terrific pictures and travel log. I feel like I'm with you on your excellent adventure. Have a great New Year and take care

Love you.......Dad

Erin M. said...

AWESOME photos! :) I want to go there! :)