Tag Archives: Italy

What was I thinking?

Laughing Men, sculpture by Yue Minjun, Today Art Museum, Beijing

Laughing Men sculpture by Yue Minjun, Today Art Museum, Beijing

When The Husband and I were in Italy, we did a walking tour of Florence that included the major churches and museums. It was a jam-packed day with only a short break for lunch.

The tour ended with us at the Uffizi and, after being shown the “must-sees”, we still had some time before closing. Even though our feet were throbbing and our brains were mush, we decided to stick around to quickly go through the areas that weren’t part of the tour itinerary.

When I reach a certain point of extreme fatigue, I start to look like the guys in the sculpture above. I get silly. I think it’s a survival instinct that kicks in to delay the next stage of my fatigue, which is a rage that might result in me looking for a place to dispose of a body. (FYI, I would have dumped it in the Arno.) Continue reading

Roman Holiday

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday (1953)

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck
in Roman Holiday (1953)

It’s been a while since we returned from Italy but I have yet to tell you about our last stop. As with Venice and Florence, this Rome experience was very different from my original trip in 2000. Thirteen years ago was very rushed and I was exhausted by the thought of all the things that needed to be seen. For this trip, we planned to spend the largest chunk of our time in Rome and we had only pre-booked a few excursions.

I won’t get into all of the details, because there are just too many details. Instead, I want to tell you about two specific tours that we did. They were fantastic! Continue reading

Ephemeral and eternal

Frescos, ceilings, tapestries, mosaics, sculptures… there are just too many beautiful things in Rome to name.

One image, however, has stayed with me the strongest. Petals and stone.

poppies in ruins
Continue reading

1st to 3rd – Florence’s ranking plummets!

You already know that I travelled through Italy thirteen years ago. On that trip, the order in which we visited the major cities was Venice, Rome and finally Florence. Back then, Florence was my favourite city by a landslide. This year it took a huge hit in the ratings and landed squarely in third.

Looking back, I can clearly see why Florence2000 scored so high with the judge (me) and yet faired so poorly on this trip. As with Venice, time and circumstance have altered my perspective. Continue reading

Venice after the flood (of tourists)

The majority of travel guides recommend that you stay in a hotel outside of Venice and only travel in for day trips. This is because Venice is very expensive.

Venice is expensive, no question, but that’s because it is a group of islands where all services and deliveries are via boats and tourism is the main source of income. However, it is due to these very reasons that I’m giving you the exact opposite advice. Stay in Venice.

You see, I finally discovered the thing that makes the city so special – people love Venice because of its Venice-ness. Continue reading

Italy in a previous life

In May of 2000, I had finished some work in Paris and had a couple of weeks off before I was due in London for my next assignment. Looking for an easy way to fill the time, I booked a European bus tour that went through 8 countries in 12 days. It was a whirlwind meant to give you a “taste” of each city.

It was a Contiki tour for ages 18-35. This is a stock photo from their site…

contiki Eur

At 27 years old, I was the eldest participant by 7 years. Continue reading

Essential services in Venice

This picture we took for the boys…

Ambulance in Venice

This one we took for you…

Essential Services in Venice

Are you able to read the side of the boat? Allow me to zoom in for you. Continue reading