Sunday, August 2, 2015

Italian Vacation--Part I

We're still here. Everyone is alive and well.  We lost one tooth but grew three.  We've driven over 6,000 miles in 4 weeks, climbed mountains, played at the beach, seen grandmas and grandpas and great friends too.  It has been a busy summer for us and it's not over yet. 

Updates will be forth coming, I hope. 

Here's the first one.  Let's go back in time to May. 

Hyrum had a conference in Florence, Italy and after a lot of hemming and hawing, pondering and debating, I decided I would go with him a week early and enjoy Florence.  Life has been really crazy around here since about October so we hadn't really sat down and figured out what we were going to do.  Until April we were planning on taking Ben with us and then decided it would be better to leave him here.  That turned out to be a really great decision. 

Colosseum just outside the Subway stop

It turns out it is hard to fly into Florence.  So we flew into Rome and spent the first couple days of our trip in Rome.  I wish we had spent at least one more day there.  It was really neat.  We walked out of a subways station and there was the Colosseum.  Larger than I had ever imagined, in all of it's ancient glory.  It was really amazing.  We walked around the ruins there and the Palantine hill with a tour guide we'd picked up.  It was crazy because there were all sorts of people offering tours and we were just going to wait in line because we didn't want to be scammed.  Then, we saw the line.  We would have been there for hours.  We paid our fee, hoping we hadn't just made a terrible mistake.  The tour guide was ok but I think it was well worth the price since we were able to skip the line and see what we wanted to that day. 

Inside, looking at the room and compartments that would have been below the floor.

The other amazing thing to think about was the people that walked in these places.  To think of the Roman Emperors, early Christian apostles, it was amazing.   These buildings are thousands of years old.  Crazy!!

Looking from an upper level.  The floor is a reconstruction of what would have covered the lower compartments and comprised of the floor of the Colosseum.

Palantine Hill, the place where the powerful and wealthy lived.

We visited the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish steps, walked to Vatican City and enjoyed our first of many gelatos.  Rome was fabulous.  A word of warning though, if you go to the Spanish steps don't take the roses from the guy.   He'll give you some, walk away and then follow you and hound you for a few Euros. 

Dome and oculus in the Pantheon

St. Peter's Basilica

View from the top of the Spanish steps at sunset.

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