Excerpt from my journal:
11 April 2009
"The trip to Italy was a grand success. My ranking of the cities I saw:
Venice was very touristy, it's true--but not even the hoardes of fanny-packed, sunscreen-lathered, camera-toting foreigners could take away from the utter beauty of a city built on water. Leigh and I embraced the cliché of a gondola ride through the canals, and we're both so glad we did--it was well worth the sixty Euros to float aimlessly along the turquoise water, taking in a sea-level view of old architecture under the Venetian sun. If it's true what they say - that Venice is sinking and in fifty years there might be nothing left - then the world will experience an incredible loss. Unless something is done soon to prevent or slow it, I think the city really will slide gracefully into the water someday: at night during high tide, water was within inches of the sidewalk, sometimes sloshing over our feet as we walked along the moonlit waters. Venice is a city I want my grandchildren to see."
You can find my pictures of Venice here >>
"I found Florence just as touristy as Venice, and without the charm of the sea. It houses some of the best artwork in the world, of course, but one can't live in a museum, flinging open the shutters to a white-washed room of Da Vinci masterpieces, in the way that one could fling open the shutters and be greeted by the sunrise over a private riverway, waves lapping up against the side of a boat.
"Siena gave me a brief, refreshing taste of Tuscany that left me wanting much more of that Italian authenticity I went to Italy searching for, though I knew I wouldn't find it in the great metropolitan cities we were visiting. Maybe it was more the train ride to Siena that did this--piqued my appetite through the miniature wineries and rolling green hills. But a visit to the Tuscan countryside requires a delicacy and planning that was not present on this trip--one cannot simply barge in on the quiet life of a Tuscan farmer without proper notification.
"Naples is crowded, noisy, and dirty. It does have a magnificent view of the ocean, and I did eat the best pizza ever at Ristorante Brandi, the restaurant that boasts the invention of the Pizza Margherita. A visit to Pompeii made the horrific night train from Venice to Naples worthwhile, but without a map, guide, or booklet, I'm afraid I still know next to nothing about the remains of an ancient civilization preserved by volcanic ash.
"Rome was fascinating. I was enthralled by the Coliseum and Forum, and mildly appalled by the obvious wealth of the Catholic church at the Vatican. Two days was certainly not enough time to really experience Rome, but I'm not sure I could see everything it has to offer if I had two decades on my hands. "
Click here for photos of my Roman adventures.
Excerpt from my journal:
Day 1 in Florence is what I would describe as a classic tourist error in judgment. Don't get me wrong - it was a great day. But we probably should have put more thought into how the day was structured. Chris and I got up early and made an agenda - we knew we wanted to see the Duomo, the famous bronze doors, the Ufizzi, and the David. Clearly a full day, but with only two days in Florence, we had a lot on our plate. Logically, we started with the Duomo, because that was the closest of the sites. After a sprightly early-morning jaunt up the 463 stairs to the top of the cathedral, we were greeted with a stunning view of the city. See these photos and more at this link. We then headed to see those bronze doors (first the outdoor reproductions, then the Ghiberti originals in an otherwise unremarkable museum across the street).
The plan was to fly into Rome on a Tuesday and meet up with two of my high school friends, Wheeler Frost and Chris Graham. Leigh would be joining us on Sunday in Venice.
Hello, my name is Kaci. My parents have a hard time keeping me at home.