Sunday, July 29, 2012

rome due (that's "2" in italian)

one of the highlights of our trip was going to this museum. i found it on trip advisor, just a few weeks before our trip i decided to actually look up attractions, it was number one! check out the website, it is a ruin that was found underneath a federal building that was excavated out. they built glass floors over the top of the house, some places you walk over the inside and also the roof in some places. then they put together a slide show, movie type thing that walks you through the place highlighting certain areas. there are all kinds of special effects and neat modern technology along with the archeological information. near the end they show a movie about trajans column which explains the entire story written around from bottom to top. it feels like the best pbs show you've ever seen and at the conclusion you are sent down a long hall that opens up on to the REAL trajan's column! it is so unexpected too. the premise is that the unearthed house is at the level of the column and was most likely built during that time (other columns have been found during the excavation too). it leaves you with the excitement the archeologist are feeling with this remarkable discovery. IMG_1011_2
another place we stumbled on (after passing it several times on the hop on and off bus) was the castel sant angelo IMG_1111
(the girls had their orthodontist's t shirts on for a photo contest they participated in) IMG_1132_2

this is the view from our rome hotel, i loved listening to the swallows as they swooshed in circles around this open area. ciao!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


we started our adventure in rome, i chose to do a week here because renting an apartment would be the cheapest way (i found out fast that a hotel room to accomodate 4 is very tricky, most hotels have doubles or triples but for 4 you need to get a "family room" which at a cheapy place can still be 3 or 400 dollars a night). i love to travel slow, really take my time and settle in to a place and a week in rome is very doable. i was surprised at how small rome is and how quickly we could walk from one place to the next.


our first day, checking out the coliseum. i wasn't sure what i would think of the coliseum but i was blown away. it was so ancient looking and well preserved and clean. worries about long lines were alleviated (thanks rick steves) with the purchase of a roma pass and the crowds weren't really that bad.



we enjoyed the hop on hop off bus, there were mixed reviews on trip advisor (we took the green line) which we got lucky to catch without many long waits but they decided to change up their route a couple times which left us stranded. oh well! we learned a lot about where everything was located between the ride and the walking which i love to do on the first couple days in a new place. if you only have two or three days in rome, this bus might not be worth the price. if you have a week? it can help get you around while you get over jet lag and that overwhelmed feeling.


the typewriter or wedding cake


with churches everywhere you look, we stumbled on more than a few weddings. how cool to be married in rome! i love how chris is just walking by and everyone is cheering the couple


out and about, palm trees were a surprise to me


romans built buildings and walls on top and connected to other buildings and walls, it was described to me as one big lasagna. layer upon layer of buildings were built and everything is recycled, nothing wasted. walking around is a architectural feast, even better than i imagined.


i went a little overboard on the shrine photos



i wasn't sure how we would manage eating in rome, with kids and being a vegetarian... just wasn't sure. i bought elizabeth minchilli's eat rome app and this one too. honestly, i wish i used them more but we were so dang jacked up from jet lag and the "american" meal times we never failed to arrive at a place when it was closed. i totally blame myself for being slow to check the days and times the place operated, duh, but once i got hip to checking we wouldn't find a (not to expensive) place anywhere near us when we were all beyond starving. luckily gelato filled in for many a lunch! what was our routine? here goes: breakfast of eggs, leftovers from dinner, cereal and lots and lots of expresso (we bought our own giant one). having ate a huge breakfast, we wouldn't even bother with lunch and instead snack on fruit, cliff bars and stuff like that. we drank about 10 huge bottles of water a day (it was close to 100 degrees in june, whew!) so food wasn't as big a deal as water, water, water. sometime around 4 or 5 we would try and track down a restaurant or pizzeria (here's where i would drag everyone around town to all the closed places on the app) and usually settle for whatever we found was open. guess what? everything STILL tasted great, never had a bad meal in rome, ever. sometimes we had to pay too much, but we always ate well and a lot and it was yummy!


our neighborhood... we stayed down the street from the coliseum a great place to stay as there was two metro stops nearby


shrine love


hanging out... more to come on our rome week, puglia, basilicata and tuscany!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

italian adventure

so we are BACK! what a long long long and amazing trip. i could stay forever, but i have to admit it gets hard to really hoof it like you mean it every single day after 25 days. i became somewhat of a zombie by the time we got to istanbul (although the culture shock was exactly what i needed to give me a second wind) i plan on giving out more details of our itinery, in case my huge following is interested so stay tuned. for now, here are a few highlights:

Photo-3 copy

emily at the harem in topkapi palace, istanbul


finding frances mayes house, cortona Photo-6 copy
pompeii (!!!!!) Photo-9
trulli's!!! Photo-14
the kids loved to take their own photos, lecce Photo-19
recycled art, ostuni Photo-28
our pad in puglia (dreamy) Photo-29
so along with the many other things i've got going on, i'll try to get some organized posts together in case you are interested in taking a tour of southern italy. i spent so much time on the research (which i find is half the fun) i couldn't believe how well executed this trip went, there was seriously zero glitches and our expectations were often exceeded. ciao for now!