Shane and I (and some friends) had the opportunity to go to Italy on vacation recently. It was so wonderful. The cities we visited were beyond description. It was truly incredible to stand in places that have existed for hundreds, even thousands of years.
We started our vacation a little bumpy, after our original flight was cancelled due to mechanical issues and we had to scramble to get on another flight that same day. We did it and were only delayed by about 7 hours. We arrived in Italy only to find that they had misplaced our luggage somewhere between SLC, Chicago and Frankfurt. At that point, the airline had no idea where it even was. Long story short, it did catch up to us on our fourth travel day. Note that we were in the same clothes for several cities. Washing our "duds" in the hotel sinks was an interesting story.
All worked out and we soon found ourselves immersed in cities of culture, beauty and amazing history. Some of the places we visited were:
Rome: The Colleseum and Palatine Hill,
Vatican City viewing Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel and the center of the Catholic Church,
Pisa to see the Leaning Tower,
Verona which is the city of Romeo and Juliet,
Florence to see Michaelangelo's tomb and his famous statue of David,
Tuscany Hill Towns which included Montepulciano, San Giagminano, Pienza, San Quirico, Siena among others,
Lake Garda and Sirmione, for a little R&R,
Venice where we toured the Grande Canal by Gondola,
Murano where we saw amazing glass blowing techniques and
Burano where they are famous for their intricate lace construction.
Highlights for me were seeing Michaelangelo's David which was a truly amazing work of art. I was in awe of his detail. Tuscany is truly a wonder of magnificent hills and vineyards. It's beauty is indescribable....like few places I've been, and Venice, where there is no auto traffic, only foot traffic and canals that provide transportation from building to building. To borrow a phrase from my brother, Venice is almost other-worldly. I think Shane's favorite city was Rome. He was so taken by the Colleseum and the sites that existed nearly 2000 years ago.
Italy is delightful. I find the people to be kind and friendly. They are interesting and willing to assist, although many of them do not speak English well. The food was really amazing. However, Shane had to break to McDonald's on a few occasions to get something other than Pasta and Pizza. The Gelato was delicious and we sampled one in nearly every city, sometimes 2 and 3 times daily.
We had an amazing trip and I feel truly blessed to learn about other cultures and see how other people share this amazing world of ours.