Vacation is over :(

Our Italian holiday has come and gone in the blink of an eye. It seems like just yesterday I was procrastinating packing and trying to get everything ready for our departure. And now it’s over and I’m left waiting for the inevitable crash that always follows a jam-packed vacation. We saw and did so much that it’s impossible for me to include everything. Okay not impossible, but it would take a really, really long time to write about it all and I know you don’t have time for that!

So I’ve decided this blog post will be more like a Photostory, highlighting some of my favorite moments of the trip. Enjoy 🙂

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Dodge’s Palace in Venice:  Do you notice the 2 different colored columns? That is where the town crier would stand to share the town’s news and gossip!
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St. Mark’s Basilica; We did a guided tour of the Basilica and the Dodge’s Palace.
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The colorful buildings of Burano, a tiny island about 1.5 hours (by Vaporetto) from Venice
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Another shot of Burano because it’s just so pretty!
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Yum 🙂
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Murano – They produce the most beautiful glass in the world – I’m convinced!!!
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Gondola in Venice
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Ponte di Sospiri; This is the famous “Bridge of Sighs” that connects the Dodge’s Palace to the prison. The bridge got its name because the prisoners would “sigh” upon crossing over it as they caught their last glimpse of Venice before entering the prison.
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Water taxis everywhere! No cars or paved streets in Venice!
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Pathway to our apartment
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Positano is known as the “Vertical City” (I didn’t know this before I got there!) because it is literally built into the side of the mountain. Everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING!) is either up a massive amount of stairs or uphill!
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There are orange and lemon trees everywhere along the Amalfi coast! One of their staples is Limocello (an Italian licqueur – it’s way too strong for me!) but we had fresh orange juice every morning 🙂
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We sampled a variety of cheeses from this café and had a glass of wine. Highly recommend 🙂
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I ❤ this pic…Sunset over Positano
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La Collina, Positano: The best gelato I’ve ever had
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Dinner Day 1: Caprese Salad
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Dinner Day 2: Homenade Gnochhi al pomodoro
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Positano at night
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Pompeii – We had a little over 2.5 hours to tour Pompeii. We decided to forgo a guided tour and purchase audio guides (it’s way cheaper!) Big mistake! Pompeii is HUGE and very difficult to navigate. Half of the time we didn’t know where we were or what we were looking at! Nevertheless it was really breathtaking to see, especially with Mt. Vesuvius in the background. One of the coolest (or eeriest) things are the plaster molds of victims created by the archeologists upon excavation of the site.
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Statue in Pompeii
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Ruins of the Roman Baths at Pompeii – The Romans had to have been the cleanest people ever because the baths were so complex and huge!
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Pizza that I devoured after touring the ruins
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The Vatican – Catholic or not the Vatican is a definite must see! The attention to detail, the paintings, the sculptures are incredible! We did a guided tour of the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Our tour guide was awesome and I’ve developed a slight obsession in learning about Michelangelo and Rafael.
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St. Peter’s Basilica
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Amalfi Coast
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Sorrento
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Ravello
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Vineyard Tenuta San Francesco – this grape vine is more than 500 years old and is one of the oldest in the region surviving a diseased bug (Filoxera) that was brought back to Europe from the New World.
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It doesn’t look like much but this was one of the BEST things that I ate in Italy. Twice baked bread with olive oil, fresh mozzarella, and homemade ricotta (made that very morning!) I didn’t want it to end and Mr. M wouldn’t share any of his with me 🙂
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When in Rome…you eat gelato! Lots of it 🙂
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Fontana di Trevi – I really wanted to see this fountain so that I could make a wish! Mr. M and I each tossed a coin into the fountain over our shoulders, just like legend says to 🙂  I read online that city officials collect more than 3,000€ a day from the fountain!
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The Pantheon – Amazing! Another must see! What’s so interesting is how Italians “recycled” Pagan Roman temples/buildings and converted them to Christian places of worship by placing crucifixes and holy statues in them. They did this all over the city, even in the Colosseum!
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Great pic of the oculus in the Pantheon – it never closes, so if it’s raining outside, it’s raining inside the Pantheon
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The Palatine (Ruins of ancient Rome)
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The Colosseum was by far my favorite place to tour. It was amazing! I have to admit that my knowledge was very limited about the use of the Colosseum before this trip. I knew the gladiators fought here but didn’t know much about the process, who the gladiators were, etc. We did a special guided tour that allowed us to walk on the stage and see the underground “basement” where the workers (slaves) and animals were kept.
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Inside view of the colosseum; This massive structure made mostly of travertine (it’s like limestone) only took 8 years to complete! Very impressive considering the Vatican took over 100 years to complete 😳
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Fun fact: After Rome was converted to a Christian city the games at the colosseum were deemed “inhumane” and stopped. The Colosseum was used a quarry yard for hundreds of years. This is why almost none of the original marble sculptures and/or decorations remain.

 

As you can tell, we were on the move A LOT! And now that I’m home, I’m thinking I need a vacation from my vacation 🙂

Comment below and let me know if you’ve been to any of these (or any other cool) places around the world.

I’m off to bed!

xoxo,

CJ

 

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