Hearsey's report from Italy. We (Bryan and Carolyn) spent three great weeks in Italy. We traveled by train (with a couple of bus trips for short excursions). We spent most of our time in cities, Milan (3 nights with a day trip to Lake Como), Venice (3 nights), Rome (5 nights with a day trip to Pompeii), Florence (6 nights with days trips to Siena and San Gimignano). We completed the trip with 3 nights in Vernazza which is one of the Cinque Terre villages. We overloaded on Art, the Renaissance, and wonderful food. You have to work really hard to find a bad meal in Italy. Rude waiters and waitresses are more plentiful. Outstanding experiences: 1. Most striking building: The Duomo in Milan. This is as close to the definition of Gothic as possible. We took the elevator (we could have walked but saved that for Florence) to the roof where you see thousands of figures up close and personal. 2. Most striking piece of art: Michelangelo's "David". The size and detail are overwhelming. It is at the end of the hall lined with his "Prisoners", which in turn are worth the trip by themselves. 3. Favorite gallery/art: Impossible to identify. We went to quite a few of the famous ones: Milan (Santa Marie della Grazie to see Da Vinci’s last supper ), Venice (Currer Museum and Doge’s Palace), Rome (the big items at the Vatican including the Sistine Chapel, but every church in Rome is an art gallery, the Borghese ), Florence (Academia and David, Uffize, Borgello). I don’t list these to show off, but to suggest how overwhelming the supply is. 4. Most Beautiful places: It is tough to choose between the Tuscan country side and the striking landscape of the Cinque Terre. Neither should be missed. 5. Best unplanned experience: The day in Rome when within two hours we discovered the Tour of Italy (and stood within 5 feet of the bikers as they raced by), and then encountered an impromptu performance of Amazing Grace (in Italian) at the Pantheon. If you like great places to travel (language was never a problem and we speak no Italian) put Italy on your list.
A small piece of the Duomo in Milan
Here they are again. This time on the roof of the Duomo in Florence with Tuscan hills behind.
Gelato is King throughout Italy
One view of Vernazza in the Cinque Terre