Message to my Rick Steves friends!!!! Only you will truly appreciate all the nuances of these photos if you hear the words of our incredible guides - in whispers of course- as we travel from Rome to Volterra to Lucca to Cinque Terre to Florence. Images load backwards ( unfortunately) so begin each "visual tour" at the bottom of each section. Many many thanks to our guide Andrea and Miles!!! You were the best.
Day 1 walking around Rome......Piazza Navona...the Pantheon...Monumento Vittorio Emanuele...Fontana di Treve...and so much more.......magical at night even in the rain.....
Day 2 Musei Vaticani
Yes, I did take this image in the Sistine Chapel ( sorry to my Catholic friends!).
afternoon off.......exploring the streets of roma.....and a piazza crawl......now which piazza is this??? Doesn't matter......they have gelato....and wine!!
Day 3 the Colosseo and the Roman ruins ( area di tito)
Day 3-4 - drive to the 3,000 year old Tuscany hill town of Volterra. Settling in at the Hotel Locanda... touring the streets of Volterra and delving into the ancient Etruscan history of the area with expat Annie... local dinner at Carbaccia ( wild boar!!).... alabaster workshop and wine tasting with Francesca ( Annie's husband!) how much was that Brunello??....museum of Etruscan artifacts. Amazing........
Quick but really fascinating stop at Lucca and a history walk of this walled Medieval city....
Day 5-6 Sesti Levante and Cinque Terre........the beautiful Hotel due Mar ( two seas )......first view from the roof of the hotel - stunning.... pesto demo at the hotel and a fabulous dinner.....hiking the Cinque Terre trail from Monterroso to Vernazza to Corniglia ( amazing and much easier without crutches!) and then trains to Manarola and Riomaggiore ( took longer than the hikes to wait at the train station!) Lots of tourists but spectacular beauty along the way.
Florence.......a walk around Florence and a little Medici Renaissance history from Andrea....the Galleria dell Accademia (David!!!) ....views from the tower of the Guelfi Hotel of the Duomo and the Medici Tower .... the Galleria degli Uffuzi....afternoon on our own - the Bargello Sculpture Museum and Piazzale Michelangelo ( great views of the city!) and a liter of wine on the way home.......preceso on the roof and fond fairwells!!! The Pont deVecchio at night and the Museo Galileo in the morning...a few more shots of the Arno River ( sorry for my overload of river pics - couldn't get enough!)...a little more gelato and one last stop at the bridge for a little bling before the train departs for Roma ( thanks Andy!!) Wow!!!! Best trip ever!!!!! Loved Italy and all of you ever so much!!!! Chiao!!! Hope we meet again on another Rick Steve's trip!