Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Florence pictures have arrived! These are pictures taken during the aforementioned Valentine's Day weekend spent in Florence. This is the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge over the Arno River. Both sides of the bridge are bordered by jewelry shops where we oggled jewels and dreamt about what we wanted to buy some day.

These pictures are a little out of order, so you will have to forgive me. We snoozed in the Boboli Gardens for a while in the afternoon. It was delightful to sit in the sun. Below is are Wendy, Carrie, and Sam basking in the sun around a fountain.

We also found a cat in the gardens. We seem to find cats all over Italy. I am gathering a collection of photos of Italain cats which I plan on showing my dad as soon as I arrive at home. Carrie and this cat, whom we dubbed Latte (or milk), bonded as you can see. They both seem to be in a state of dreamland in this picture.

I really like this picture. It shows the reflection of the sky in the pond around a fountain. The perfect illustration of a beautiful day!

This picture is for my mom. She took so many pictures of English gardens this summer in London that I had to show her a glimpse of what gardens are like in Italy, i.e. lots of statues and oddly pruned trees, but beautiful.

We climbed to the top of the dome of the Duomo in Florence, and it was totally worth it! The view and experience were amazing. It was sunny up here too, so we hung around for a while and warmed up. This is Steph and I overlooking the city and, I believe, the Palazzo Vecchio is in the background.
And finally, a sunny view of the Duomo in Florence. It was even cooler, on the outside, than I imagined it. The inside is pretty sparse, except for the dome interior because they have moved all the artwork to the duomo museum. Once I get good at watercoloring, I might try my hand at this one.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

St. Valentine's in Florence

I spent the best Valentine's Day, ever, in Florence this year. Although in reality I really don't have any too compare it too, I imagine that this year's day will live on in my mind for years to come.
The six of us, including me, Steph, Sam, Carrie, Christie, and Wendy, took our time exploring the city in the morning. We ventured into an English bookstore where I purchased A Room With A View, which I am enjoying quite a bit. We also stopped by Zecchi's, a prolific art supply store, and Grom, the best gelateria in Florence. After lunch at an authentic Italian eatery, we toured the Boboli Gardens at the Pitti Palace. They were beautiful! We sat, read, sketched, and basked in the sun for about an hour by a beautiful fountain. We lounged in a cafe for a while, waiting for the best pizzeria in Florence to open for dinner. The night was capped off with a romantic dessert of chocolate and champagne in our hostel room. I am so thankful for great friends and opportunity to spend time with them here!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

When in Rome...

I thought it was about time for some more pictures. My fans, i.e. my mom, are eager to get a taste of what I've been experiencing here in Italy. So here is an antipasto of our recent trips to Rome.

For those of you who are architecturally inclined, or at least wish to be, here is one for you. This is the dome of a baroque church by Borromini, I believe. I was pretty pumped to go inside this one as I remembered it from history class. We have seen a lot of churches so far, but this one is my favorite, for now.

More recognizable is the remains of the Colosseum. It was pretty cool to see this one as well. The weather was great this day which contrasted our viewing of it the night before in the rain.

Steph and I in front of the Pantheon, that image of the magnificence of Roman design and engineering. Unfortunately for the Romans, this picture was quickly followed by the statement "Pantheon Shmantheon. I need a granita!" The Piazza Rotonda is also famous because of the location of another majestic invention: frozen espresso mixed with frozen whipped cream. A delight and more sugar than I've ever had in one cup!

Ahh, the Trevi Fountain. C'e bella! Sam enlightened us with the suggestion that we each through 2 coins into the fountain, one for a wish to come true and the other to wish to return to the spot again. How romantic.

And finally, a photo to prove to you that I am enjoying myself. Here are Steph, me, Carrie, and Sam on the Spanish steps. I hope that this will assuage my viewers for little while longer. Prego!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Citta di Orvieto

The city of Orvieto sits on a "precipitous tuffa craig," or for those of us who don't speak geology a cliff of volcanic rock. In the mornings and sometimes in the evenings the valley will fill with a haze and when the sun bursts out of the clouds the view is spectacular. This is a photo looking out from the battlements of the medieval city.
The icon of Orvieto is definitely this church, il duomo. I wish I could remember the name of this church as that would be more impressive, but everyone calls it "the duomo" so that will have to do. The sky was a magnificent shade of blue in the evening and the duomo begged to be photographed. That's all the pictures for today, the internet is pretty spotty in this cafe.