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sfenn1117
August 27th, 2006, 10:40 PM
Summer is winding down, I promised pics of my 2+ week June adventure in Italy, and over the course of the next week I will post pics of the trip.

I went with my mom, sister (age 22), cousin/boyfriend (age 24), and my uncle/girlfriend. It truly was an experience I will never forget; as not only did I hit the tourist spots of Rome, Florence, and Pisa, but I also spent a week in a small town called Mondragone, on the coast near Naples, visiting family I never knew existed.

So, let's start with Rome, a city not at all unlike New York, substituting skyscrapers for ancient ruins. Different ethnic neighborhoods gave the city a vibrant feel; outside the touristy areas, it becomes much more working class, and the infrastructure is not as pristine. We had a very nice hotel, but it was on the cusp of an Indian and an Asian neighborhood.

Day 1 - After an exhausting overnight flight from JFK, one in which I got no sleep, the first thing I did upon arrival was take a nap. It sounds bad, but I was up for 48 straight hours...it was necessary. At around 5 (11 am in my body clock), we decided to check things out and grab some dinner. We hopped on the subway, conveniently located one block from the hotel. This was the first landmark I saw:

http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/1949/italy008se8.th.jpg (http://img208.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy008se8.jpg)

Needless to say, it is breathtaking in person. To see something that historic, recalling what took place inside centuries ago, it's just incredible.

http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/222/italy009lk8.th.jpg (http://img247.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy009lk8.jpg)

Uhh....Translation??

http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/7142/italy017lr3.th.jpg (http://img209.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy017lr3.jpg)

Imagine living in one of these hillside buildings, waking up daily to one of the marvels of Earth....just breathtaking:

http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/3408/italy019nw0.th.jpg (http://img242.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy019nw0.jpg)

My favorite photo:

http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/8251/italy020gk7.th.jpg (http://img209.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy020gk7.jpg)

Walking away from it.....modern things like streetlights impede the view...much the same way as NY.

http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/3497/italy023jx3.th.jpg (http://img242.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy023jx3.jpg)

Newlyweds! What a setting for a wedding, and what a glorious weather day they had as well. Note the graffiti: it will be a recurring thing, surprisingly, and unfortunately.

http://img154.imageshack.us/img154/8499/italy027vl1.th.jpg (http://img154.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy027vl1.jpg)

I loved the trees.

http://img179.imageshack.us/img179/8901/italy035bc4.th.jpg (http://img179.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy035bc4.jpg)

A gas station! My uncle was smoking right near it without even realizing it...lol. It was right near the restaurant where we ate dinner. If I recall, my first Italian meal was a pizza margarita, which was mediocre.

http://img154.imageshack.us/img154/2568/italy036kq2.th.jpg (http://img154.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy036kq2.jpg)

On our way back to the subway stop, we were able to see the building at nightfall. Majestic.

http://img179.imageshack.us/img179/959/italy038gx5.th.jpg (http://img179.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy038gx5.jpg)

Plenty more to come.....17 days worth! I'll post them in installments whenever I scrap up some time this week.

sfenn1117
August 27th, 2006, 11:43 PM
Day 2 - On the second day we started early, and we crammed about 3 days worth of Rome into one. I've never walked so much in one day my whole life; including many steps and steep inclines. Rome is the city of seven hills, after all.

We decided to start with the Spanish Steps. This is what you see when you exit the Metro Stop (well, after the McDonalds ad on a sidewall).

http://img181.imageshack.us/img181/3276/italy041vj0.th.jpg (http://img181.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy041vj0.jpg)

This is the Rome I imagined! Clearly this is a hot tourist spot. Rome is dominated by these lovely low rise buildings.

http://img245.imageshack.us/img245/2305/italy045ju0.th.jpg (http://img245.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy045ju0.jpg)

Just look at how Spanish they are. The church at the top was amassed in scaffolding, unfortunately.

http://img181.imageshack.us/img181/7832/italy043wd4.th.jpg (http://img181.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy043wd4.jpg)

The fountain, as well as the entire plaza really, is a gathering spot.

http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/920/italy046iy3.th.jpg (http://img204.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy046iy3.jpg)

The view from halfway up the top. The street in the middle is the home of Rome's swankiest shopping....Dior, Gucci, Versace, etc.

http://img181.imageshack.us/img181/5687/italy047fc5.th.jpg (http://img181.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy047fc5.jpg)

Lush landscaping

http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/645/italy049ic8.th.jpg (http://img204.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy049ic8.jpg)

View from the very top....easily peaking over the low rise city.

http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/4108/italy050br3.th.jpg (http://img204.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy050br3.jpg)

Streets at the top...construction on the church, and also note the crane. I saw many, many cranes all over the country. Much like the rest of the world, Italy is also in a building boom of its own.

http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8763/italy052hb8.th.jpg (http://img204.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy052hb8.jpg)

Inside the church at the top....a nun was at the front door collecting money...as well as many beggars that were at all the major tourist areas.

http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/671/italy055sx3.th.jpg (http://img204.imageshack.us/my.php?image=italy055sx3.jpg)

And then we made our way down the steps. We didn't stay for too long.