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travel: italy day 8

wowsa. 1 week already. it’s flown by on one hand… but on the other, we’ve definitely seen and done a lot.
we’re currently on the coach bus heading from Venice to Assisi.

Venice was kinda mind blowing. it was picture perfect and indeed I think I took about 500 pictures in 2 days. we stayed on Lido, and managed to visit 4 islands of Venice during our stay. Venice, Lido, Burano and Murano.

Burano was possibly the most gorgeous and incredible place I’ve seen yet. its a little fisherman’s village and we had it on our radar from our old pal anthony bourdain. so when we had the opportunity to see it for ourselves and enjoy a seafood lunch there, obviously we leaped on it.

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the boat ride through the lagoon was about 45 minutes and we got to see the construction of the locks (sp?) that they are putting in to control the water flow from the Adriatic Sea in an effort to stem the erosion of Venice. pretty cool stuff.

anyways… Burano is famous for seafood and lace. and my fancy pants husband got himself a handmade linen shirt and an embroidered handkerchief.
basically we were sold by the lady there in her amazing accent… “my mama. she made-a this shirt by hand”
so basically he had to have it. 100 euros later, it is a damn fine shirt.

in Venice we walked from St Marks Square through the winding streets… stopping for my husband to get a haircut…

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and then over to the rialto bridge and to the fish market. pictures of that are on my good camera… to be posted later.

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travel: rome day 4

well, I have a bit of downtime in the hotel right now while my husband takes a little snooze, so I figured I may as well update you all from the ground.
I’ve been posting pictures here and there on instagram (vancityrockgirl) and on this blog’s Facebook page, but only when I’ve snapped an iPhone pic for the purposes of uploading.
The bulk of the pictures are on my good camera, which will be waiting until I return home. I also don’t wanna blow my load on my most epic food pictures, since I’m hoarding them for quality blog posts. so as a fun alternative, I’ve adopted the hash tag #mealsihaveslayed in order to convey something kickass that I ate that will later be blogged about. I hope you’re as amused by this as I am.

Rome is pretty incredible and I’m sad to leave here tomorrow. But I think we’ve done pretty well with trying to hit the highlights and also eat some food off the beaten path.
In terms of the sights, we’ve at least seen about everything (thank you hop on hop off bus 48 hour pass) and we’ve made it into the big ones.
The first day we really just ate and saw the bus tour loop and got drunk on red wine close to our hotel…
Day 2 started with our food tour, which deserves its own post (and it will get one) and then we took a cruise down the Tiber, again rode the sightseeing loop and ate until I almost exploded before passing out.

Day 3 was more productive with a visit to the capuchian crypts in the morning and touring the city on foot… Trevi Fountain and others were visited on the way to Roma Spartina – aka Anthony Bourdain’s infamous “restaurant x” for what was probably the most perfect and incredible bowl of pasta I’ve ever consumed. Also, this place is getting its own post.
We then headed back to the hotel to meet with our tour group for a welcome reception that included oodles of food & wine before calling it a night.

Day 4 started bright & early with a visit to St Peter’s but because of Sunday mass, we have to head back tomorrow to see the basilica.
After St Peters we took the optional excursion “ancient & christian rome” because it included a visit to the catacombs which were absolutely unreal. we also saw the appian way and visited st pauls cathedral.
Then we met back up with the group for a visit to the coliseum. bummer was that it started raining after we’d been there for about half an hour, but we had umbrellas and gear, so it was okay.
The coliseum… Goes without saying that it was an amazing and awe inspiring place. I could have spent hours there taking photos.

And here we are… back at the hotel. I’m listening to the rain fall in the courtyard contemplating where to dine tonight for our last evening in Rome.
Most of our group took an evening tour, but we felt like we’d already seen a lot of the night sights and hope to check out another restaurant on our food tour’s recommended list.

Our tour is pretty cool so far. We’re definitely the youngest by about 25 years, but I expected that and we’re totally okay with that. We’ve made some friends already… There’s some real characters, it’s pretty cool. about 40 % of the group is Canadian. But we’re the only ones from BC and the rest are Americans & Aussies. Funnily enough, lots of smokers.

I gotta say, definitely no regrets so far about going the tour route. We’ve seen way more today than we ever could have by doing this ourselves… In fact, we’ve seen way more in the last 24 hours than in the first 2.5 days on our own. Having the coach bus on hand to navigate the city directly is awesome. Plus the bus has air conditioning and let me tell you, the first 48 hours without it were killing me. 97% humidity and 30+ degrees in a busy city is exhausting.

Alright! Gotta figure out where my next meal is coming from (priorities)… Tomorrow we’re off to Florence! Ciao!

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