A Travellerspoint blog

return info

I dont have enough time to update but we booked our return flights

we get back on Thursday the 5th at around 7pm .. who wants to pick us up at the airport? also, if no one can, can someone ask erika? we get in at jfk...

okay i love you all.. were in venice and leaving tonight for barcelona!!!!

Posted by mcsteener 03:13 Comments (3)

Bologna!

sunny

So yesterday we spent an extra day in Florence... heres what we did:

1. we switched hotels because we didnt love ours... our new one was right in the center of the city.. it was perfect! we were able to go back when we got cold or needed anything
2. our first stop was the Cuppola del Duomo - we climbed the stairs to the top of the dome in the Duomo.. we met more people from Rochester (did i say we met people the other day?) so that was really cool... the view was spectacular and we've been trying to get a high view in every city
3. Next was the Palazzo Uffizi - it was a lot of art and I felt bad because Andrew was totally bored. It housed the birth of Venus and La Primavera... I had studied La primavera in not only my italian renaissance class, but my art history class so I was absolutely astounded... I was in awe and he kind of just sat down and let me be amazed haha...
4. Then we went to lunch at the same place we went the day before.. which was this little sandwich and pizza place (they have them everywhere) and there were these 2 guys in there.. one was behind the counter and heated up what we chose.. the other literally stood by the door the entire time and talked to everyone coming by telling them to come in.. he was adorable and we loved him...
5. We next stopped at the market... there wasnt a lot there... everyone kind of had the same stuff and neither of us are good at haggling so we didnt get anything.. there just wasnt anything worth it really
6. At sunset, we went to Ponte Vecchio, which is a bridge with all these little jewelry shops that line it.. selling legit gold.. so we kind of walked along it and then in the middle watched the sunset while listening to this guy play guitar and sing.. it was really cute
7. We left because we wanted to make it in time to a restaurant Andrews guide recommended... It was this little 35 seat place that was so cute and probably the best sauce weve ever tasted on pasta... it was a nice atmosphere and really fast service.. when i commented on the speed, the waiter even said how they had to be so fast because of the size of their place... the worst part was right before we ate I had to pee so i asked for the bathroom... the guy told me to follow him after grabbing a set of keys and led me out the door, down the street and around a corner... into a building (i was sure this was the end of my life).... then he unlocks this little door and lets me in... and god I hope blaire is reading this because it was exactly like the bathrooms in china.. prettymuch a hole in the ground that flushes... it smelled terrible so i quickly peed and literally RAN out the door, down the street and back into the restaurant...
8. after dinner we went to the piazza della signoria to listen to a guy play guitar and sing while we drank wine.. another great end to a night

Today we woke up and on our way to the train station, we stopped at a little sandwich and pizza shop and I got the BEST tomato and artichoke pizza ever.. it was incredible... Once we got to the train station, the problem was finding a train that went to Bologna... we had bought our tickets yesterday and they were open ended tickets so we just had to find a time - problem is, we bought regular tickets and the only trains that stopped in bologna were the ones going to venice and milan, both which required the more expensive tickets... after stopping at a couple desks.. we found out that we could get to bologna but half way through we'd have to stop at a city and switch trains.. fine by us... We werent settled in our hotel until about 5pm so we didnt have much time to sightsee since were leaving tomorrow morning for Venice.. so we went and walked around. Andrew was excited because this is where his fraternity has a lot of history (it was started here maybe?) so he knew a ton about the city so we got to see all the buildings he had learned about... Finding dinner was a huge problem.. everyone here must eat so early and then they go out for drinks and tapas at the time we were looking for dinner... we ended up just stopping at a sandwich shop (literally one of 2 we found open in our 30 minutes walk) and getting mediocre sandwiches.. then we stopped on some pretty stairs and ate gelato before coming back to the hotel... an easy, relaxing nice day

Tomorrow were off early in the morning to Venice.. we're going to stay there all day and stay the night.. and then spend the next day there.. and then that night we're flying to Spain... I feel like we've been Italy forever.. and we have.. about a week... I'm sad its coming to an end but im really excited for spain... Venice should be interesting.. we want to do a gondola ride but hear its expensive

A couple things of note:

1. Today when we were walking from our hotel into town, we saw a cop car stopped with its lights on and saw a woman hysterically screaming and pointing, holding her child and pouring water on his peepee... From what we saw, we deduced that the kid got hit by a car and it was a hit and run type of incident.. of course, we're not sure but thats what it seemed like
2. Id say at least 20% of women here carry Louis Vuitton bags.. and I'm just curious.. are they cheaper here or do they just have incredible fakes because they don't look like knockoffs.... anyone have the answer to that? because thyere EVERYWHERE

okay im off to shower.. i want to get sleep since we're waking up at like 8.. ugh

goodnight i miss you and love you all!!!

p.s.... Jojo.. the other day I swear I saw someone who looked just like you... AND here in Bologna, they have 3 museums I think youd be interested in: Ducati, Ferrari & Lamborghini... I wish we had time to visit one, I wanted to bring you back something... love you.

Posted by mcsteener 13:33 Archived in Italy Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Florence!

rain

This is amazing! Last night before I updated, Andrew had the idea to email the hotel. Well after about a half hour or hour.. someone showed up because she saw our email!! So we were let in and got a good nights rest (actually even overslept until 10am.. ugh)

anyway.. today we did a lot for waking up so late... we went to the Duomo, saw the gorgeous doors on the Baptistery, went to the museo dell'academia (i think thats what its called... something academia.. i have it written down) and saw David there (it was amazing how incredible that statue is in person... I must have forgotten how huge it is... just breathtaking)... then we got lunch at a random sandwich shop.. we went to the place where all the famous artists bodies are.. Michaelangelo, Rafaello, etc etc.. that was pretty cool to see... we went to dinner at our favorite place yet. we both got pasta dishes but they were delicious -the best food weve had yet. after, we went to this little pub with 2 guys we met on the line for the academia building... theyre really cool and have been travelign around europe for 6 weeks and still have 3 to go.. theyre actually going to be in barcelona when we will be so we might meet up with them

the best part of today was that it rained all day.. sounds like it would ruin it, but it made it so quirky... it was uncomfortable but we had an amazing time... also, it rained so weird... usually at home, it will either drizzle all day or pour for a couple minutes and stop.... it poured for about an hour, then was sunny, then poured for another one... probably 4 or 5 times... it was so uncomfortable!

anyways... we decided to stay an extra night in florence so we can spend the day here tomorrow... so im off to footrubs and sleep (2 things i need really badly right now)

tomorrow were doing a couple more things in florence but mostly trying to sit back with a bottle of wine and enjoy the piazzas and markets... then the next morning were off to our daytrip to bologna!

arrividerci belli!

ps the internet isnt working on andrews computer so still no pictures but hopefully itll work at the hotel were staying at tomorrow night (were switching hotels b-c this place screwed us we felt) miss you all!

Posted by mcsteener 16:36 Archived in Italy Tagged tourist_sites Comments (4)

so heres a fun story...

we just got to florence... its 1:30 in the morning. got here at 12:30am... took us about a half hour to walk to our hotel.. and then we're buzzing and buzzing and no answer... for about 20 minutes... until finally someone opens the door from the outside.. and lets us in. and they just go to their room.. so we go downstairs to reception and its closed.. so were downstairs in the bed and breakfast on the computer... and cant check in... but were inside the bed and breakfast... so it looks like were sleeping on the couch tonight!

Today we hit pisa... it was easy because everything is in one little square... we went to the cathedral first, which was beautiful... and then we went to the baptistery... which was a huge dome.. and once every half hour, the security guard sings to let you hear the echo in the building, which was INCREDIBLE! it was surprisingly one of my favorite parts of the trip so far... next was the leaning tower of pisa which was so cool to go walk up. there were 310 steps (we know because a little french boy counted all the way down in french.. so cute)... the view was spectacular... we ate dinner after in a place on the way to the train station.. then hopped on the train and thats how we got to the predicament were in

goodnight! wish us well since we dont really know how were sleeping tomorrow and it will prob be our busiest day yet.. were doing an insane amount of sights but i know itll be beautiful!

Posted by mcsteener 16:06 Archived in Italy Tagged lodging Comments (4)

Italia update

sunny

heeeelllooo everyone!!

sorry we havent been able to update. its been so busy here.

sunday when i got here, i met up with andrew at the hotel and we explored around rome a little bit. we've been heavily relying on his guidebook because its really helpful with finding good food. that night we found one of the restaurants in the book and it was AMAZING. then we went to a piazza and listened to the music, danced, watched performers and painters. it was romantic/cute. i loved every minute of it. We got lost on the way home (something we're gonna get used to fast b/c our map sucks and we get lost prettymuch everywhere we go)

monday we did the vatican city. we did a guided tour of the museum and sistine chapel (and even though we're not allowed to take pics of the sistine we did hehe) then we did st peters (wow. forgot how incredible that was)... then we went to this sicilian restaurant (again, amazing. and the people seemed like they hated us at first... but by the end, it was clear that they were just as intrigued by us as we were by them... they even gave us a free reusable cork to use on the wine we bought at their sister store after they opened it for us.. and our favorite guy who we assumed to be the owner or maitre de kissed my hand hehe... since we left there at midnight, the metro wasnt working to get us home, so we had about an hour and a half walk home.. getting lost all along the way trying to find the trevi fountain... on the way, we encountered our first scammer. this is interesting. they tell you theyre giving you a rose and as soon as its in your hand, they go "could you give me some change?... just a little more?"... In retrospect, i should have never taken the rose, but this guy came up to us and we were alone in a piazza and i just watned him to go away. eventually we found the trevi fountain, drank a little wine while sitting in front of it, and left, just to get lost again (obviously.)

tuesday, we started at the copelini (i dont really remember if this is even the name) museum.. which was packed with stuff about the ancient ruins... SO interesting. There was this hugeee statue of Constantine that I remember learning about in school... all they had was the head, a hand and a foot, but they were each massive so I cant even imagine what the whole thing looked like. wish i could see it. Then we went to the roman forum... we couldnt find the entrance and the guidebook told us it was free so we decided to sneak in an exit and just work our way backwards. well after getting caught and yelled at, we were forced to find the entrance and were greeted with a huge line and the realization that they must have recently started charging. since we had seen everything from above and taken our pictures, we decided it wouldnt be wise to see them up close since we still had much to do and the afternoon was flying by. we went to the colesseum next, which, of course, was just amazing. it was so incredible to walk around a building with so much history. the only sad part, and this goes for most of rome, is how poorly they are with security and in keeping up cleanliness. Not that the city isnt clean... it is.... but there is graffiti EVERYWHERE and there is soooo much important stuff that is either disregarded or thrown to the side... there were pieces of the colesseum just thrown off to the side that people were sitting on... in the vatican, people had carved their name into some important pieces... im just shocked that anyone could have the balls to do that. Its so sad for this city because they have so much to see and a lot of it is ruined... after the colesseum we got lunch and then took the metro over to the Castel di Santangelo (spelling?).... we had such a fun time just messing around and I even designed a whole layout for my castle... dont worry I drew it up so youll all get to see it... then we went to the pantheon and spanish steps before going home to freshen up... we had a late dinner at about 10:30 and walked around a really expensive part of rome... i have a lot more detail but im running out of time on the computer

sorry about the lack of pictures. im on a computer in an internet cafe. the next hotel has internet so ill upload them off andrews computer there.

heres our plan for the next couple days:

we're buying a train pass and doing the rest of italy. its 9am here... were going to eat breakfast and then get on a train to pisa.. were spending the day in pisa and then hopping on a train to florence where we will stay the night... spend the 29th in florence and the night then too. (so 2 nights in florence)... then that morning were going to travel to bologna... spend the day there and that night travel to venice and spend the next night or two there... the only thing we have booked is the 2 nights in florence right now

then we havent decided if were doing greece yet since it would be expensive and there is only about a day or 2 of stuff to see.. so taking a flight there would kind of be a little steep.. well see though... last stop is spain.. but were not sure of any dates and what were doing yet.. just kinda seeing where we end up

i love and miss you all... ill update as soon as i can with more info... ciao!!!!

Posted by mcsteener 23:43 Archived in Italy Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

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