We went to Italy back in 2003, but I didn't have leetonium up and running at the time. I'm catching up...

Lorin's Aunt and Uncle were livng there for a semester while Phyllis (Aunt) taught class. They were in Florence. We spent five nights in Florence and two in Venice. Here are some of the pics.

Getting the house ready before we leave. I think Lorin is back there washing a ziploc bag.

Can you spot the cat in this picture?

Ahhhhh, coach.

At least I got to sit next to a cute girl on this trip. Usually it's an armrest-hogging business traveller.

We flew 'merican!

On the bus, switching terminals at Gatwick.

Here's the southern coast of England, and the English Channel off to the upper left.

The Alps.

We flew into Verona and took the train to Florence. Somehow we missed the direct train by seconds. The doors closed as we ran to the platform. We then caught the indirect train. We got in later than planned.

This was the view of the Duomo from our hotel room balcony.

The door leading out to the balcony the next morning.

In the morning we headed out to look around, and went straight for the Duomo. It was very close to our hotel.

Being there in Autumn was really nice. The air wasn't too warm, and there were very few tourists. Traveling in the off-season is the way to go.

The red dome in the back is of course, the Duomo. The church itself comes out towards us. The hexagonal shaped building is the Baptistry. St. John the Baptist is buried here.

This is the front of the Duomo. The carvings and paintings on the front of the building were staggering. It's funny, after three or four days here, we'd just walk right by this building on the way to some other place. It's amazing how easy it is to take it for granted.

Here's the bell tower at the Duomo. We didn't climb up inside. (We did climb up inside the Duomo - coming up!)

This guy fooled me. I thought he was looking at something, but he is just gazing off. I was hoping a crowd would gather around us and do the same thing, but alas, they did not.

Looking across the Arno River. We're headed that way to see a couple more churches and find a nice bucco for lunch.

Phyllis and Paul led the way. They were amazing tour guides. By this time they had been living there for over two months, so they knew the city well. They also like good food, so spending time with them guarrantees a good meal.

The light is poor, and I was still learing to use the camera, so these shots did not capture how cool this place was. See the brick arches? The bucco is a little restaurant in the basement of the building. It's like a converted wine cellar. The atmosphere is gorgeous, and the food was great.


Everything seemed to look like this.

This place is famous for its frescoes. These are carbonated beverages that taste like fake grapefruit. No wait, that's Fresca. These are painted plaster artwork. They are amazing to see.

Ok, there are a lot more photos, so I'm breaking this up into smaller page loads for everyone. See Page Two Here