For the majority of my spring break my family took a series of day trips around Italy. I have to thank my dad again, his daily posts cataloging our activities really helped when trying to remember in exactly what order we visited each city.
The day after the Roma Ostia Half Marathon we took the high speed train to Venice. It’s everything you dream it would be and then some. Architecture, Murano glass and a gondola ride through the Grand Canal. We also happened to be visiting Venice during the final week of Carnival which also meant we got to experience a wide array of colorful masks and confetti flooding the streets.
The next day we took a much shorter train ride to the city of Pompeii. We were were able to walk around the a city covered in ash and preserved for over two thousand years. It all happened August 24, 79 AD. I think the Realtor may have steered them wrong on the location. A thousand plus bodies recovered and artifacts galore. The government is slowing the digs in order to allow the next generation the same opportunity. This place had everything. Running water, plumbing, stables… They had to have had a Bank, right? I would dig till I found the Bank, just say’in. Unfortunately we weren’t able to climb Mount Vesuvius due to the fact that there was still snow on the summit, looks like we will just have to go back! : )
Our next stop was Cinque Terre (five towns) in Northern Italy. We took the “Fast Train” for a day visit to Cinque Terre and it is just that, 5 towns that require a 3-4 minute train ride to each. The weather was beautiful while we were visiting, but prior landslides had damaged the hiking trails that connected each town. The Northern part of Italy is known for their white wines, which is why we decided to do our own version of a wine crawl; new town, new bottle of wine! In Vernazza we stopped in a sardine shop for a local wine tasting and to hear the locals chatter. Dinner was reeled in that day and couldn’t have been better!
We spent our last day in Italy exploring Rome. Finally a day that didn’t require a train! Don’t get me wrong the train is an excellent way to get around Italy, but getting up at 6am every day during spring break isn’t ideal. We tried to fit everything there is to do in Rome into the one day we had before we set off to France. We started at the Sistine Chapel and then made our way to the Coliseum and Pantheon.
The Colosseum is 2000 plus years and still standing, even after undergoing a major overhaul in 420 AD in-order to install a removable platform/stage. Complete with trapdoors and unexpected surprises for the battling Gladiators and sideshow slaves that were consumed by the imported wildlife. Throw in an occasional chariot race, fight to the death one on one- you have an exciting Sunday afternoon. This place is huge beyond imagination! The surrounding structures and Roman forum are equally astounding and visually shocking.
For the last three days of spring break we relaxed in Nice, France alongside the French Rivera. We enjoyed the food, the beach, and the incredible view from our apartment! Ending the trip on a relaxing note was definitely the way to go and was the perfect way to conclude an awesome vacation!