Our first destination in Italy was an old walled Etruscan town, Orvieto. It sits high above the Umbrian plains and offers beautiful views of the countryside surrounding it. This was another stop that made you feel as though you travelled back in time; not much has changed here from ancient times. The roads are narrow, stone, and there is very little vehicle traffic. One of the most beautiful buildings here is the cathedral.
From Orvieto we made a day trip to Rome. This far exceeded my expectations. The scale of the ancient buildings is massive. It is hard to imagine how these buildings were created and so elaborately sculpted and decorated. There are runes and sculpture everywhere you look. There were statues and columns lying in the street gutters - it's as if there is just too much to even know where to put it. In Rome we stuck to the traditional tourist sites, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, and the Roman Forum. I probably spent the day with my jaw dropped open, it was just amazing to see. While in Rome we also visited Vatican City and ventured into the Vatican. There was actually a funeral taking place in a section of the Vatican when we were there. It felt so odd to me to be wandering around inside with that happening. It felt so disrespectful, we didn't spend much time there.
Our next destination was Siena, in Tuscany. We wandered around the piazza Il Campo and I was fascinated by the fact they ran horse races there in the summer. The city is very picturesque. The Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia were the buildings that were most memorable for me here.
Our last destination in Italy was the Cinque Terre area on the Italian Rivieria. This region consists of five villages; Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The land of the these villages is all terraced and you are able to walk trails (Azure Trail) along the coastline from one village to the next. The views along the coast are beautiful. As you hike between villages you are traversing through gardens and vineyards; I think you need to be half Billy goat to live here. We only had time to hike one of the trails - I wish we could have done them all. We spent a day on the beach while here. The beaches, particularly where sand meets water, are more pebbles than sand and is a bit hard on the feet.
All in all Italy was fabulous and I would love to get back and spend so much more time here.
I love to travel. For me it is an escape, sometimes a reawakening, often enlightening and inspiring. I hope you enjoy the stories of "my adventures." If I inspire you to have some of your own - all the better. Bon voyage!
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