After sixteen days of touring Italy, it took hours to choose sixteen photos to highlight this magical trip. From the ancient walled city of Siena, Pisa, and a night’s stay in an old castle in Parma to the romantic city of Verona, the magical island of Venice, and the superb art and architecture of Florence.
That’s me, hanging out in the garden of our Airbnb outside the walled city of Siena, Italy. Yes, I wore tennis shoes the entire trip.
We stopped in The Chigian Art Café and were blown away by the multimedia exhibit of moving photographs.
A view of the walled city of Siena.
After eating very well and walking eight to ten miles per day, my husband, Danny, and daughter, Courtney, headed west to Pisa for an obligatory photo.
My black tennis shoes helped me push that heavy monolith.
We stayed in an old castle in Parma and visited the Parma Cathedral. I studied some of the same frescos at the University of Wisconsin. They look like statues, don’t they?
We stopped for a drink, and the waiter greeted us with a tiered aperitivo. No extra charge. That’s how they chill out in Parma. Nice!
After exploring Parma, we drove north to Lake Garda and glimpsed a hint of the architecture found in Verona.
The setting of Verona in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette makes this thriving city a hotspot for weddings and honeymooners. This is the fictitious balcony built in 1935 as part of a movie set.
Shhh! Don’t spoil it for the tourists.
I didn’t take a picture of a couple in wedding attire—the bride fuming while hitching up her dress and storming ahead of an angry groom. Both of them dragged carry-on bags, which jumped across the cobblestones of the Piazza Della Erbe. Did he show up late? Forget to contract a limo? Was he caught with a bridesmaid? Here’s a photo of a piazza at night.
The Verona Arena is a Roman Amphitheatre used for concerts, operas, and other entertainment. Ancient but still rocking!
Danny, Courtney, and I took a bike tour of the city. The cool and rainy day didn’t stop us from enjoying the views on top of the Castel del Pietro.
After savoring fabulous pastries, pasta, and desserts, we drove to the magical island of Venice.
Click on the video below for an indescribable view of Venice. Our frescoed and terrazzo-tiled Airbnb could have been in a photo shoot.
This picture was taken right after our gondola rides.
After a few days of shopping, eating and eating and eating, and touring the city, we drove to Florence, where we stayed in a 13th-century tower. Incredible!
Kelly took a cat nap while I snuck a picture. All three stories of this ancient building were incredible.
Here’s a video of our neighborhood goat. LOL!
Since our Airbnb was situated on the hill above Calenzano, thirty minutes from Florence, we took the train into town to explore. On the last day, I drove into the heart of the city for our cooking class. OMG. Not only did it rain, but the roads are so narrow in Italy every turn is a nail-biter. By the way, despite their reputation, I found Italian drivers to be very courteous. No lie!
The art was amazing everywhere in Italy, but we made sure to see Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery. It’s so hard to depict the magnitude of this seventeen-foot piece, which towered over my head, so I took a closeup. At one point, I lost everyone in the crowd and texted Courtney.
“I’m looking at David’s butt,” she said. Found her!
What’s your dream vacation? Have you been to Italy? Are you a Shakespeare fan?