Living it up Venetian Style

Venice, Italy

Venice, ItalyMy time in Venice came quickly to an end before I could ever be ready for it to end. After taking the “People Mover” (yes, the multi million dollar raised train system is really called that) from the mainland into Venice, my day in Venice began in St. Mark’s square, the center of Venice. For some reason, the pigeons in the square are considered sacred and it is illegal to feed or touch them. In times past, the pigeons were all captured and taken away, but they flew back. I guess they are there to stay now. It is also said that different coloured pigeons can be found flying around because some were captured, dyed, and then released (I can’t ever imagine why!). From St. Mark’s Square, the immaculate St. Mark’s Basilica can be seen–the most famous church in Venice of Byzantine architecture. Although I wanted to climb the windy St. Mark’s Campanile bell tower for the best (windy) views of the Venetian islands, I just didn’t have the time. Continue reading

Exploring the Canals of Venice in a Gondola

Venice, ItalyVenice, ItalyWhen people think of Venice they automatically think of canals and gondolas, as did I. I couldn’t visit Venice without taking a ride in a gondola to explore the city via the many 150 narrow canals.  It’s a wonder how the gondolier navigates his was through the maze of canals in the city. They all look so similar. Although the water wasn’t as turquoise as I imagined (or had seen on T.V.– darn editing!), it was still beautiful to explore Venice by water. The main forms of transportation in Venice are by foot and boats (no cars allowed in the city of Venice), including water taxis and the popular vaporetto. Floating by one of the 4 main bridges which cross over the grand canal is the most Venetian experience you can get. Continue reading

Overnight Ferry to Greece

Ancona, Italy to Plateria ,Greece

When I was told I would be taking an 18 hour overnight ferry journey from Italy to Greece I never expected to be sleeping on a floating city:

Greece

The Mighty Mighty Colosseum and Roman Ruins

RomeWhere do I even begin when writing about Rome’s Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum? These ancient archeological sites are world famous and extraordinary. The massive sites take hours to explore (if not days and days), yet it’s an experience hard to put into words. My exploration of the ancient Roman ruins was a dream come true and something I waited my whole life to see (and I wasn’t even sure if I would ever get the chance to see it). From the Arco di Tito, Piazza di Veneree Rome, Foro di Casare, and Foro di Augusto, I walked the grounds of ancient Rome surrounded by ancient temples and pillars. Now, I am left with goose bumps and no words when trying to express all that I saw. Continue reading

Rome, the Greatest City in the World

Rome, Italy

Rome, ItalyRome is probably my favorite European city (so far) because it’s a mighty city that has everything from culture, food, nature, architecture, art, history, and charisma. Rome captured my heart from the moment I laid eyes on the grand Trevi Fountain (even though it was under construction). The Trevi fountain is 25.9 metres high and 18.9 metres wide; the fountain is huge and is one of the ancient aqueducts that supplied water to ancient Rome. Rome was bigger and better than I ever expected and I couldn’t believe that I had the opportunity to visit the world famous historical city and landmark. Continue reading

Walking Florence, the Home of Michelangelo’s David

Florence, Italy

After driving further into Italy, I could see more of the country’s endless lush green houses, farms, flower fields, wine groves, and colourful yellow roofs standing out in the cliffs, valleys, and hillside. After stopping in Pisa, Italy for a quick snap of the Leaning Tower, I headed straight for Florence. Florence was my first city to explore and real cultural  experience in Italy. With each place I visit in Italy it gets better and better.  Florence is one of Italy’s most traditional and recognized cities. Continue reading

Touching the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Pisa, Italy

Pisa is popular for its leaning tower, yet there is nothing else in the small town but its famous leaning tower. Pisa is pretty much in the middle of nowhere in Italy surrounded by farmland and wine groves,  yet millions flock to see the leaning tower in person. It is one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions after Paris’ Eiffel Tower. I was lucky enough to stop in Pisa to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa on my way to Florence. After a short detour, I was able to see it in person myself. Continue reading