A Photoblog on Siena, Italy

Siena is by far one of the most enchanting medieval cities we have ever visited.  It is spectacular and charming and is nestled in the heart of Tuscany. I know I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but the most advantageous way to explore a gem like this one is on foot for hours, over several days.  Yes, Siena can definitely be seen and enjoyed in one day.  It’s a relatively easy day trip from Florence.  Once you realize how special it is, however, I’m guessing you’ll want to spend… Read More

Exploring Florence, Italy

Florence in a day?  No way!  While you can Google many sample 1-day itineraries for a visit to Florence (really, do it now), there is NO way you would even begin to scratch the surface of this beautiful city in such a short timeframe! I first visited Florence while backpacking through Europe over 20 years ago with one of my best friends.  I had no idea how special Florence was, as I was not into art and architecture.  I had no appreciation for it at that time.  What a missed opportunity!  I… Read More

A Snapshot of Venice, Italy

Venice. It’s such an extraordinary city. I’ve always thought of it as a romantic destination – so much so that when my best friend from college and I backpacked through Europe, I declined taking a gondola ride with her. I wanted my first ride to be with my husband.  Isn’t that crazy? And yet…almost 20 years later, it finally happened!  I got that first gondola ride, and it was indeed with my husband! Of course, this many years later, we also had our four kids with us, but it was still romantic…. Read More

Danny in Capri, Italy

Capri is one of the most beautiful place I have seen!  Capri is very very small, and it is an island near Naples, Italy.  Capri has great views, everywhere!  If you climb up the mountain, there is an amazing hike you can take, and when you are at the top, you can look down on the ocean!  It is so beautiful! Capri also has lots of alleys that have tons of houses lined up.  Most of the houses are in the wall actually, well a lot where I was, that is what… Read More

The Italian Riviera and Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, translated “Five Lands”, is located on the Italian Riviera, just west of La Spezia and an easy train ride away from Florence.  It is made up of five beautiful seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. Colorful homes cling to steep terraces, fishing boats float in azure water, and brave villagers dive from rocky cliffs into the cold sea water. While you could definitely spend a few days here, we chose to visit Cinque Terre in one day, and it was definitely doable, given the fantastic transportation system, a… Read More

Pompeii Photoblog

Pompeii is a popular day trip from Rome, though we prefer to visit Pompeii as we leave Rome and wind our way to the Amalfi Coast.  It’s a perfect stopover spot between the Eternal City and the Amalfi Coast and/or Capri and takes about two hours to visit. According to History.com, Pompeii was a flourishing resort town five miles south of Vesuvius, where the wealthy would escape the bustling city life and enjoy soaking in the sun.  Elegant villas dotted the paved streets of Pompeii and even today, you can envision what the… Read More

The Amalfi Coast and Capri, Italy

The “Amalfi Coast” and “Capri”.  I’m curious to know what images and thoughts are conjured up when you hear these words.  Please take a moment to share that with me. My relationship with Italy grew when I first set eyes on the Amalfi Coast.  The stunning beauty of the coastline, the azure blue water, the houses clinging to the edge of the cliffs, took my breath away.  Try as I might, I could not capture the beauty in a photo. The love deepened when I met Capri, a picturesque island off the coast… Read More

Danny in Rome

ROME Rome is quite a beautiful place with lots of history, pizza, and pasta!  🙂  One reason I love Rome, is that everything there is very old and historical. When we flew into Rome, we arrived at a beautiful hotel that had a great view.  The Colosseum wasn’t too far either! One day, we decided to walk to the Colosseum and my sister and I ran over to the massive building.  But…we discovered that the Colosseum was closed!  wa wa wa wa…  So the next day we decided to walk over again.  This… Read More

Gladiators and the Colosseum

Imagine…it’s the first century.  The hungry crowds are clamoring to catch a glimpse of the gladiators, sometimes slaves, more often criminals, or even prisoners of war!  Occasionally there were free men (and even women), who longed for the glory, the praise, the spotlight.  Wedged in tightly between 50,000 of their closest friends, the crowd erupts as the first animals and/or gladiators appear out of nowhere, emerging from hidden trap doors and a complex set of lifts, ropes, and pulleys.  The excitement is palpable! The Colosseum, completed in 80 AD, was used mainly for gladiator… Read More

Hidden Intrigues of Piazza Navona, Rome

Meandering through the narrow, cobbled streets of Rome late one evening, we stumbled upon this masterpiece of a location… Piazza Navona!  It is a spectacular piazza, filled with gorgeous architecture, open air restaurants, musicians, vendors, and “starving” artists.  It also boasts a beautiful fountain designed by the renowned Bernini, and named Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (aka the Fountain of the Four Rivers). The story of Bernini and his Fountain of the Four Rivers alone is quite fascinating, though there are several versions.  Bernini was one of the most talented artists of his… Read More