Alright, here’s my last post about Italy, including our time in Lucca, Pisa, Milan, Bellagio / Como, and Venice. This will be more like a travelogue post, so brace yourself for short captions and lots of pictures.
On our way to Lucca, we drove through several Tuscan towns, including Montefioralle, which is a cute little (very little) mountain town with almost no parking.
We passed through some lovely sunflower fields on our drive.
In Lucca, we rode bikes around the town, although it was sometimes tricky through the crowds.
We also spent a night in Pisa. Many people said the only thing of interest in Pisa is the leaning tower, and it’s pointless to spend the night. But we thought it was a nice little town, with a lovely river and some cute buildings. They also have several Indian restaurants! Yum! The leaning tower itself is pretty cool, too, and the buildings surrounding it. Unlike other famous landmarks in Italy, this plaza had grass, which gave it a different feeling.
Here are Emily and Marie straightening the leaning tower of Pisa.
What do you know? It worked!
We also stopped in Vinci, which is the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci (that’s where his name comes from). There was a small museum there within a castle, although most of it was in Italian.
Then we drove to Milan, through some lovely green mountains. Milan is a larger city with a nice combination of both new and old. We did some shopping there, and visited an outlet mall. The cathedral is also quite spectacular.
Nearby, we found a Magnum ice cream store where you can get all sorts of toppings on your magnum bar. Yum!
From there we went north to Bellagio near Como, a beautiful town on a lake.
We visited an interesting navigation museum where we saw the instruments sailors have used throughout history to chart their courses and know where they’re at. The kids also had fun at a playground in Como. Here’s a street that was near our apartment in Bellagio.
On the other side of the lake was the villa where Star Wars: Episode 2 was filmed. Beautiful place…
Now we come to the last leg of our journey: Venice. It was quite unique to the rest of Italy, with boats instead of cars, and being very walkable. I thought it looked a little worn down, though (probably because of the water), and was surprised at the amount of graffiti, the smell of sewage and cigarette smoke, and the higher prices on food.
We found lots of beautiful masks in Venice. Here’s Emily trying on a mask.
We also enjoyed a lovely gondola ride through the town, passing one of the places Vivaldi may have lived.
More pictures and videos below.
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Tuscan Countryside and Mountain Towns
12 Aug 2013
10 Aug 2013
Impressions of Italy
30 Jul 2013
Such wonderful pictures! Those masks are very beautiful- and I love the pictures of the girls trying them on :) All of the girls have grown so much, and they are all so beautiful! I am VERY excited to see all of you tonight!!
Jen looks amazing. You posted some really nice pictures of the two of you together. I am so glad you have been able to tour all over Italy. You have seen some incredible places! I love looking at all of the pictures and reading your commentary. :)
I’m so glad to have been able to experience Italy in such great company. Those mosaics were amazing. I really enjoyed visiting the stunning location of the villa and gardens in Bellagio. The gondola ride was so nice, and truly the best way to relax and see Venice. It was so much fun trying on the Venetian masks with the girls. I will remember the trip for its beauty and many magical moments together with you and our amazing daughters. Thank you for your loving presence along the way. :)
i love the pictures if the family and the beautiful country. Thanks
Wow! Seeing your pictures of Milan and Lago di Como triggers lots of memories! I lived in Varese for a year when I was 18 (and celebrated my 18th birthday in Venice with my italian boyfriend at the time). Wow! Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I am glad you enjoyed your time there. I also found Pisa quite lovely!
Beautiful photos. I’m looking forward to visiting with my family someday!
Sooo… Kristin and I will be heading to Europe for a couple of weeks next year (end of May) for the doTERRA convention, and will be flying in and out of Venice. We’re trying to decide how much time to spend there before hopping on the train to Bavarian country, and towards Prague.
Knowing your mom, what are the must sees in Venice? How much time do we need to allow ourselves before moving on? 1 full day? 2 days? 1 1/2 days? ???
You know, you might be fine with just one day. Walk around, check out the beautiful bridge(s), take a gondola ride (if you can stand high price tag), wander around the streets and shops, etc. There is a glass blowing factory there as well (a little out of town, I think), but I know you’ve got some Chihuly already in Seattle so you not find that as alluring.