I'm finally getting around to posting our trip from Italy this past February. It seems like ever since we got back it's been a non-stop crazy schedule for us. Anyway, Italy has always been a dream of mine to visit. I remember being a little girl and wanting to visit/live in Italy. Growing up with a big family international trips were never an option. After we got married we knew we wanted to travel as much as we could and God has blessed us to be able to do so.
Italy was the most crazy, adrenaline-filled, confusing, fun, adventurous trip we've ever taken. This was our first international flight, we had been out of the country a few times before but never by flight, so it was a learning experience. We had sinus' on the flight over but once we landed the adrenaline kicked in and we felt much better.
Day One: Starting out was a little rocky. The taxi at the airport we used to take us to our hotel in Rome said they took credit card (because we hadn't exchanged our money yet). Well, come to find out they actually didn't, so he had to take us to the nearest ATM (oh, while it was raining), which ended up not working the first few times we tried it, meanwhile trying to carry our luggage around until we could find one that worked. Finally, we got to one work and later found out the Taxi charged us double what they normal taxis charged (because he knew we were American so he took advantage of us.) That was the last/only time we let that happen for the remainder of the trip haha.
Despite the bumpy start we made it to the hotel and got settled in. We were both tired because it was actually the middle of the night back home and late morning in Italy, so we missed a night's sleep. Once we got out and headed to the Colosseum we forgot how sleepy we were and couldn't believe where we were. They gave us a map of Rome with all the main attractions on it. Reed was my tour guide. He lead us all over Italy just by using the map. He was the bomb! I would've died without him haha (literally, I wouldn't have gotten anywhere.). So, back to the Colosseum, we had a tour planned for Noon. We made it there and the tour was incredible. It was surreal how much history was in those walls. "IS THIS HAPPENING? Are we really in the Colosseum in Rome?!" It was, well, nothing short of amazing! Completely overwhelming. After the Colosseum we visited the Roman Forums to see the thousands of year old ruins.
Obviously, we are not catholic and we don't put the Pope as one in high authority or anything along those lines and we don't worship anyone but God, but seeing the Vatican was very neat, along with Saint Peter's Basilica. All the architecture and art was beautiful.
On top of the Vatican heading to go up in the Dome. The view of Rome was incredible.
Shooting between the bars on top of the Dome in the Vatican (which is why this picture is so crooked) .
The Sistine Chapel (this was the only pictures I got because you are not allowed to photograph the art work). We sat in here for about an hour looking at all the art work. Artwork that was older than our own country (more than 500 years old) and it did not disappoint. The guards yelling "NO PICTURE" *in an Italian accent* to all the anxious tourists wanting to photograph it was a bit annoying though :P
Once it got dark we wanted to see some of the sights with all the pretty lights. First, we headed over to the Castle of Angels and the bridge to see it at night along with the Parthenon and Trevi Fountain.
...and yes, I did throw a coin (well two actually) into the fountain. They say if you do you will come back to Rome someday. We had walked all day (plus having lost a nights sleep) so we were ready for bed. The most sound I've ever slept haha.
Day Three: We saw the Castle of Angels in the day (and went inside). The Castle was built between 123 AD - 139 AD. Reed loved this. It was a bit rainy and chilly in the morning of this day but the sun came out later and was a gorgeous day. Oh did I mention the breakfast at the hotel was amazing. They always gave us a huge spread and served us latte art . The breakfast lady always took good care of us and made sure she made our morning bright. She had the cutest Italian accent when she spoke English.
From the top of the Castle (amazing!)
There was this awesome Italian man painting the castle by the Tiber river.
The Pantheon was amazing. Built in 27-25 BC.
Trevi Fountain again.
Day Four: This day we were supposed to be going to Venice. I had bought rail tickets prior to our trip and we had it all set up. Well, the previous night we both set our alarms for 6:00am because the train left early. We both woke up at 8:30am (when the train was leaving) so we missed our train. We were both super bummed because we both really wanted to see Venice plus the money we spent on tickets were wasted. We went to the trail station to see how much new tickets would be for a day later in the week, they were super $$$ since it was such short notice, so instead of Venice we bought tickets to go to Naples to get to Capri (which you'll see down further) and for Florence which both together were cheaper than tickets to Venice. So we adjusted our plans and continued :)
Below we are standing in what use to be the Circus Maximus.
The Baths of Caracalla
Reed's sad little umbrella that gave up against the wind.
I totally called this rainbow. It started raining while the sun was still out and I told Reed there would be a rainbow and BAM! The best rainbow I've ever seen in my life. It was actually a double rainbow but didn't show up in the picture.
Day Five: We took the train through the country side (which was so beautiful, mountains and vineyards everywhere) to get to Naples. Which in return got onto a ferry to take us to Capri. CAPRI WAS OUR FAVORITE! It's the most beautiful place we've ever been to. We walked up the mountain to get to the main area (which only took about an hour). It was so lovely. The heart and soul of Italy's beauty. There were lots of older people that lived on this island with tiny houses stacked on top of each other with either a vineyard or orchid in their backyard with every house a different shade. Beautiful views of the Mediterranean as well. The water was freezing but we did stick our hands in a bit just so we could say touched the Mediterranean (hehe).
Since the roads are so narrow in Italy period, all the cars are itty bitty and adorable, like this one.
If you look close you can see the port where we came into on the ferry. I originally wanted to take the taxi up the mountain to save time but Reed talked me into just hiking it with him and I'm so glad we did. Such beautiful sights.
He gave us a "Thumbs Up!"
Right before we almost got hit by a bus...long story :p
We saw SO MANY cats on the island. Reed doesn't like cats at all, so he kept trying to terrorize them. Luckily he didn't get attacked by any of them due to his shenanigans. He's a fun guy to travel with.
Day Six: We spent this whole day in Florence. We took the train again into Florence (which was Valentine's Day). This was our last day in Italy and thankfully it was very relaxing. It was a very simple and sweet day. We just kinda walked around Florence hand-in-hand. This first place we stopped at was the Florence Cathedral.
Florence is much different than Rome. Much more relaxed and has more of a "small town" feel even though it's still huge. Lot's of outdoor food markets and food stands. Shopping galore! Later in the day they had a chocolate festival in one of the big squares (BTW: they have squares everywhere in Florence, everrrywhere) with music which made for a fun, final evening.
I definitely recommend visiting Italy. Our flight home was great and we couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate two years of marriage.