Italia

I’ve been delinquent in my blogging, I know! It has been such a whirlwind lately, I’ve been lagging. No more, promise!
We arrived in Vienna yesterday, finally finishing our gorgeous tour of Italy. Florence. Cinque Terra. Venice. Rome. We are exhausted but sooo happy! The food has been amazing- we’ve tried every kind of seafood imaginable. Shrimp, cod, mackerel, shark, squid, squid ink, (didn’t even know that was possible), octopus, and mussels. YUM.
Rather than do all our stops in blog posts, ill recap Italy here: ( in the order we traveled)

Florence.Three words for you. Florence. Leather. Market. Soooo much fun. You can smell the leather before you even turn the corner- Florence is know for their leather goods. Packed along the tiny cobblestone streets are stalls crammed with leather jackets, handbags, wallets, luggage and a million other things. Lets just say we did some damage. All three of us had to buy an extra bag for souvenirs (oops!). But our bartering skills are now excellent, and we got some pretty good deals.
A highlight was watching the sunset from the top of Piazza Michelangelo, a huge plaza that looks our over Florence. Stunning.

Cinque Terra. MY FAVORITE. Did I emphasize that enough? Cinque Terra (pronounced chin-que terra), is actually considered a national park, and has 5 tiny fishing villages stacked in the ocean bluffs. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, straight out of a storybook. And such a workout too. Because everything is built upwards into the cliffs, it’s a hike anytime you want to go somewhere. The “walk” to our apartment left me huffing and puffing.
Every village is tiny, you could walk in in about 15 min. The best part is, you can hike in between the towns, through gorgeous terraced vineyards along the ocean.
As far as food is concerned, pesto sauce and focaccia bread were both invented in the region, so along with our daily fresh seafood, gelato, and wine consumption, we were blissfully happy. Of all the places, this is one I would go back to again in a heartbeat.

Venice. The city built on islands. One hundred seventeen islands to be exact. Venice is one of those cities that everyone has seen pictures of (or the imitation if you’ve been to the Venetian in Vegas). The canals, the gondolas, houses teetering so close to the water you wonder where the ground is- they are iconic sites. Seeing it in person was surreal- it seemed like a Disneyland ride. My favorite was taking a cruise down the Grand Canal at night. Of course, we got lost everywhere we went, but that’s half the fun of traveling, isn’t it? 🙂

Rome. We only spent a short amount of time here. Overall, it was my least favorite city to stay in (gross hostel) but favorite attractions and history I’ve gotten to see. The ruins are just so darn cool. The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Palatine Hill; it’s one thing to see a painting or artifacts in a museum, but it’s another thing entirely to actually see the structures still standing. To see where Caesar ruled, where the gladiators fought, was awesome. Fun fact- the marble that built the Trevi Fountain was actually taken from the Colosseum!

We arrived in Vienna yesterday. We’re slowing down for a couple days, and spending the week here. Ill keep you all updated!

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