Italy Vacation

My husband, two children and I went on a fabulous Italian vacation from August 9th to August 26th, 2010.

 Leaving Winnipeg

Stopover in Montreal
Landing in Rome

We stayed the first four days in Rome -

View from our hotel room

St Peter's Square and the Vatican

 Vatican Museums

This 1st century Roman bronze pine cone was once a fountain

Raphael Rooms

Sistine Chapel (Shhh! I wasn't supposed to take a picture! Everyone was though)
Painted by Michelangelo in the 1500's

The beautiful staircase leading down from the museum was designed in 1932 by Giuseppe Momo

More views of Rome -

close up

Colosseum  (built in 70-80AD)
The largest amphitheater ever built by the Romans

Arch of Constantine (finished in 315 AD)

This Egyptian obelisk of Ramses II (1279 BC to 1213 BC) was brought to Rome in 10 BC, it once stood at the Circus Maximus

Twin churches

Basilica of St Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs
built in one of the largest Roman baths

close up of the doors

Tiber River
Train to Florence

 Traveling at 300kms/hour

We stayed for a week at a villa in Tuscany, in the small community of Ranza, south of San Gimignano. It was so beautiful and we spent lots of time by the pool and going for walks.
Here are some pictures of the villa - 

The owners home in front and we stayed in one of the apartments behind - originally the barn.

The villa behind on the right and the orange umbrellas at the pool on the left.

Pictures of Ranza -

The following pictures are of the surrounding countryside, full of beautiful vineyards and olive groves! It was a wonderful location!

The towers of San Gimignano in the distance

We took a day trip to Pisa

Piazza del Duomo

Capitoline Wolf

Mosaic on the way to the train station


San Gimignano

boar in the butcher's shop

San Gimignano is known for its medieval towers (built in the 12th and 13th century). At one time there were over 70 towers, today only 14 towers remain.
This one is the only one open to the public -

over 200 stairs to the top!

here are some views from the top of the tower 

No trip to Italy is complete without a visit to the town were Ferrari cars are made (according to the men in my family)! A car ride, three trains, two buses and a short walk (over 4 hrs altogether just to get there and we had to do it all in reverse to get back!) we made it to Galleria Ferrari! (Imagine the equivalent for a man to a quilt store - or so my husband tells me!)

Spent part of the day in Florence before going to Venice on the train.

Il Duomo

This 250/300 year old olive tree was planted in memory of the May 27th, 1993 bombing of the Uffizi Museum, that killed 6 people.

We thought that the boys should at least see Venice, and we all loved it so much that we spent two days there.

St Marks Square

the Campanile (1912) 

 The Bridge of Sighs (1600) It was much more beautiful in guide books. Coke and renovations seems to have taken over!

The view from out hotel room

This church was built in thanksgiving for the city's deliverance from the plague of 1630. It was completed in 1687.

inside the church

The church in the distance and the Grand Canal

view from the Rialto Bridge of the Grand Canal

Rialto Bridge (there seemed to be graffiti everywhere in Italy)

It was so hot that we decided to stay in Northern Italy and went to Milan for two days.

We spent a lot of time in train stations and this one in Milan (Milano Centrale) was the nicest

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is said to be the worlds oldest shopping center

The Cathedral doors were amazing

Como and Lake Como
We took a day trip to the lake.

Como Cathedral

It truly was a trip of a lifetime for us and we all had such a wonderful time!!
I hope you enjoyed seeing just a fraction of my over 800 pictures!

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