Naples is a beautiful historical city on the west coast of Italy about 140 miles/225 kilometers south of Rome. When most people think of Naples, they think of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii, the beautiful churches and museums, and of course the mafia. Matt and I will go back for those things, but today our visit was all about pizza.
Rome stole my heart when I was about four years old and it has never let go. There is a comfort that I feel each time I go to Rome, as if when I arrive, I will grab my suitcase off the baggage carousel and head directly to my home instead of a hotel. I sometimes wonder if the Romans aren’t just a little bit spoiled living in a city with such incredible history, architecture, food, and art. Even the weather is just about perfect most of the year. But when you visit Rome, you realize that the Romans are not spoiled. On the contrary, Romans are very willing to share their home with the world and it is most evident during the Christmas season.
It’s well known that Italians are fiercely proud of their history, food, and culture and a visit to Florence will help you to understand why. Florence is a city blessed with many masterpieces of art, architecture, and literature. You can find Michelangelo’s statue of David, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, Brunelleschi’s Dome on the Duomo, Florence’s cathedral, and you can visit the home of Dante Aleghieri, author of The Divine Comedy, which is considered the greatest work of literature in the Italian language. You could also visit Florence without seeing any of these things and still understand the pride of the Italians. We spent ten days in Florence wandering the medieval streets, eating delicious food, and viewing some of the greatest art of the Renaissance.
Continue reading All Roads Lead to Rome: But First, Florence
We’ve been on the road for fourteen months, yet it seems like we just left last week.
Neeley and I are still on the road, and still taking pictures, but a little behind with updates on our blog. We are back in the USA for a bit to visit family and friends, and spend some time planning out a few last minute adventures.
If you haven’t checked out our instagram feed, or our facebook page, please check them out for a snapshot into our travel, and a preview while we work on getting our trips through Italy, Sri Lanka, Bali, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Ireland online.
-Matt (27 Jul 2016)
On this trip, Matt and I have been able to visit some of the places that we have long wanted to see. For me, Brugues and Salzburg were two of those places. I have been to Austria before, but never to Salzburg. I will admit that I grew up watching The Sound of Music and as a young girl, dreamed of waltzing in the Van Trapp Family’s gazebo singing “I am Sixteen Going on Seventeen”. Well, I didn’t do that as the house in the movie is not the house in real life. So you are spared that detail that Matt would have made into an embarrassing video. But we did see some of the sights and a hefty amount of delicious beer.
One of the best reasons to visit Northern Europe from mid-November through December is the Christmas markets. As we were planning our trip through Europe, I wanted to be sure that we would be in a place that had a Christmas market so Matt could finally see what I have been going on about for all the years that we have been together. I loved them when I was a little girl living in Germany and I wanted to see them again. After some research, we figured that Vienna would be the perfect choice because it has more than one Christmas Market.
I know the history. I have seen Schindler’s List. When I was a girl, I visited Dachau. None of that prepared me for visiting Auschwitz. Being there felt like all of the historical tragedies of the past few hundred years were smothering me. There isn’t much left of the camp, but what remains sucked the oxygen from the air and from my lungs. I searched for open space, an escape, a moment to catch my breath, but it was impossible. Everywhere I looked, I was bound by brick, barbed wire, or electrified fences. Escape would not have been possible.
Krakow doesn’t show up as a common destination for Americans, but I wanted to go. My mother’s side of the family is Polish and live in the large Polish community in South Chicago. I grew up learning about that heritage through the foods that my mother and grandmother cooked, holiday traditions, and family visits to Chicago in the summertime. Neeley and I wanted to fit a trip into Poland after Prague, so off we went to Krakow.
Neeley and I are in Perth this week, experiencing Australian friendliness for the first time. We haven’t seen a movie in a theater since our time in Berlin back in November, so it was a great experience catching Tarantino’s ‘Hateful Eight’ at an outdoor rooftop theater. It was like a drivein movie theater, except with beanbag chairs everywhere, and beer! You can check it out if you are here in Perth over the summertime.
-Matt (watching movies on the 9th of March 2016)