Saturday, June 1, 2013

My Great and Powerful Trip to Italy!

Wow! Can I just say that being in Italy for 9 days wears you out?! I am finally home, and I can just say there really is no place like home! That said, I am grateful to have gotten to go to Italy, so let me take you through my adventure.

First, we left on May 25th for New York. The plan was to stay the night in New York to look around and see things. While that is what happened, it happened in a way I didn't expect. First, we have standby tickets because my boyfriend's mother works for American Airlines, so we missed our first TWO flights out of Tulsa. The plan had been to take a plane from Tulsa to Chicago. It was changed to taking a plane from Chicago to Dallas and then to Newark. That happened. By the time we got to our hotel, all I wanted to do was sleep! But the hotel only had a one bedroom room even though we'd called ahead and asked if they still had our two bedroom on reservation! So...there was some sleeping on the floor.

The next day, it was so rainy, which was fine, except we didn't have an umbrella. Luckily, you can buy those on the street. lol. Here are some highlights from the outing!

Simon & Schuster!! I saw so many publishing companies!

Central Park! Beautiful!

Central Park

Artists Gate - Central Park



Time Square
So, after our outing in New York, we hurried to the airport and waited to head off to Italy. They had plenty of seats on the plane, so getting there was easy. I sat next to a really cool guy who traveled to Italy several times and told me where I should go and how to find really awesome food. The guy who sat on my other side was reading Dan Brown's Inferno which I thought was funny for some reason.

We landed in Milan, Italy around 9 or so. This is what the outside of the airport looks like:


We found a taxi to our hotel. This is the view outside of it:


We slept for an hour before taking a train to Milan Central and checked out Milan (I should mention that we got where we were going most of the time because my boyfriend knew more Italian than me, lol).

Here are highlights from Milan:

Sforza Castle

Sforza Castle

Sforza Castle


Sforza Castle

Milan Cathedral - Il Duomo
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Dinner for that night:

Yummy Pizza!


We stayed in Milan for a day and then moved on to Venice by train. Here are the highlights from that train ride:


Train tracks! 


Wine Country!

Aladdin and me

Venice was a source of so much inspiration for me. Let me tell you that the water is not brown (or it wasn't when I was there), and it didn't smell...until they started to sell seafood the next morning. Here are some highlights from Venice:

What it looks like when you get out of the train station


View outside our window

View out of the front of our hotel








What we had for dinner: 

Red wine


Penne

We stayed in Venice for a day and then headed by train to Florence!


The view outside our hotel in Florence:


When we got to Florence, we left to head to Pisa, which is only about an hour away. Here are some highlights from Pisa:

Heading to the leaning tower of Pisa


This is what it looks like from a distance!
It wasn't as huge as I thought it would be.

Beautiful!


Duomo of Pisa



Dinner that night:


The next day we took a look at Florence. Florence and Pisa are located in what's called Tuscany, and you can tell just by the colors! Here are highlights!

You can't tell, but this was green and white marble. 

This also had green marble - Il Duomo


Disney is everywhere!!


Ponte Vecchio

From afar - Ponte Vecchio

Dante!
Sky from a shopping area

That evening, we took a train to Rome, our final stop where we spent three days!

Waiting on the train...


Our first stop: The Colosseum and the Roman Forum.

...I think this was the temple of Hercules...but I might be wrong.

Colosseum

Colosseum

Inside the Colosseum

Inside the Colosseum

Entrance to the Colosseum
These were shopping areas.

A couple of doorways

Shopping areas

Wildflowers

Arch of Titus

Roman Forum

Roman Forum

Roman Forum

Roman Forum

Roman Forum
Standing in the Colosseum and the Roman Forum was the most awesome experience I have ever had. Just knowing what happened there years ago gives me chills. I thought of all the history I had learned--of Caesar, Marc Anthony, Hannibal, Hasdrubal and Scipio.

You all probably know that the Roman Forum is where Caesar was stabbed by his friends twenty three times. On the day of his funeral, Marc Anthony pointed out everyone who had participated in Caesar's death, demonstrating that, if these men truly loved Caesar, why had they murdered him so violently. This lead to riots and the Roman's built a great pyre and burned Caesar's body, casting personal belonging into the fire with him.

I thought of how I was walking where Romans once walked, where blood had been shed, where a great empire once ruled. It was absolutely breathtaking. I wish there hadn't been so many people around...I would have sat in silence and just watched everything.



Next we went to the Piazza Venezia:



Then the Pantheon:

Panorama of the Pantheon
 The latin on the top of the columns reads "Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, made this building when consul for the third time," though, I read that the pantheon was rebuilt several times and probably rebuilt the last time by Hadrian.

Inside looking out.

The dome
The Pantheon is the most preserved Cathedral from Roman times. The Dome is the largest unreinforced concrete Dome in the world.


Then we saw the Trevi Fountain:

The Trevi Fountain

For dinner we ate at this place: 

This place was awesome!


On day two, we saw the Vatican:

The Vatican 

The Vatican




The Pieta




This is the Dome on top of the Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica,
we climbed more than 300 steps to see the next views.  

From the top of the Basilica

From the top of the Basilica

From the top of the Basilica

Heading to the Sistine Chapel 




Hercules

And sorry, no images of the Sistine Chapel because you're not allowed...and I didn't take any secretly because I believe in respecting sacred places. However, you should know that it is amazing and the images look 3-D.

For dinner on this night, we ate at a place we didn't like, so there was no picture, but we did have gelato!!:


On our last day, we shopped and saw some pretty sites:

Rose Garden in Rome

Rose Garden in Rome

Rose Garden in Rome


Tiber River
Shopping in Rome


I think this is the temple of Hadrian

Piazza Navona


Our last meal in Italy: 

Pizza! don't remember what it was called, but it had zucchini on it!


Now, the next day would have been Monday the 27th, and the day we were supposed to depart from Rome, however...remember how I said we were on standby? The plane was full this day. It was also full on the 28th. After having to stay two days, I just wanted to click my heels and be home. Despite my disappointment that I couldn't go home, we had some good days...here are some images from our two extra days in Italy:

View outside our Hotel
The Ocean
Alright, I am done with my trip to Italy. I am now home in Oklahoma. Before I leave you, and though I know this was a terribly long post...I must tell you--the day I got to Italy, terrible storms ravaged Oklahoma. More closely, they destroyed parts of Moore, Oklahoma. I live a total of 17 minutes away from Moore and drove past the devastation on my way home. It was both devastating and frightening. Yesterday, I sat at a friends house while Tornados broke out all around us. If you live in Oklahoma or any place prone to Tornadoes, please, please have a safety plan.

This link will give you information on how to help Moore if you are interested.

Thanks everyone!

Ashley 

10 comments:

  1. This is beautiful! Thanks for sharing! :D

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  2. At first, I was disappointed for you when standbys took longer than expected. Then, when I read you're 17 miles from Moore, I sighed with relief. It was all for the best! My heart really goes out to the good people of Oklahoma. What a horrible, horrible time it's been. I hope your family and friends are safe!

    My husband and I lived in Rome for six months. We got out and about a lot. But, I must say, for such a quick trip, you really covered some ground, girl. Your photos were super! (If you want to visit Rome again, there's a place called "Rome Sweet Rome" on a side street not far from the Spanish Steps. It's a studio flat and very reasonably priced.)

    We're off to Lido de Jesolo on the 28th for a month. It's across the bay from Venice. In the evenings, Jesolo becomes a pedestrian town and very nice to stroll with a gelato. The local ferry takes one to Venice (also Burano, Murano and so on). I can't recommend Burano enough! Especially early in the a.m. when the island wakes up. It's more homespun than Venice (and not as hot).

    Anyway, I'm very happy you had a fabulous trip but even happier that you weren't in the tornadoes path.

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  3. It looks like you had an amazing time in Italy! Italy is one of the places I most want to visit, and your pictures made me want to go even more.

    That's so scary (and lucky for you!) that you just missed the tornado in Moore. Stay safe!

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  4. Amazing pictures, I especially like the ones of the Colosseum. Glad you are home safe, but so sorry to hear about Moore and the devistation that hit Oklahoma. Stay safe.

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  5. Thanks for sharing so many pictures! They brought back great memories for me from my trip about ten years ago. I'd love to go back again. You saw quite a bit in a short time!

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  6. Love the photos! They are stunning.

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  7. Looks like an absolutely amazing trip! How fun that you ate at a Turkish restaurant! Thanks for sharing your photos with us :-)

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  8. Those pictures are so beautiful! It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. So jealous!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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