July 5, 2010
Our last day in Rome.   We decided to leave Italy … and walk to Vatican City.  We crossed the Tiber river and approached the large compound.  Our visit, however, was limited to the main Piazza.  The lines to get in and visit the museum, etc, were very long, or the alternative tours, which are faster to get in, were very expensive.  No matter, the master of the house was not home anyway, having taken to his summer place where it is cooler.  I guess it’s good to be the Pope.
We spent the rest of the day with more touring (always something new to see).  In the evening we took an stroll, ala “Rick Steves Guide Book”.  The air at night is very pleasant after the heat of the day.  The walk started in Piazza Novana, a large rectangular public square, where we had dinner.  Then on to the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps.   They all take on another character at night.  The streets are filled with tourists, locals, cars, scooters and busses.  Everyone gets out to enjoy the evening.
Tomorrow we move on to Pisa via train.  We’ll be in touch if the internet is good there.
There are many bridges over the Tiber river.   On our way to the Vatican.

At the Pope's place ...

The Sistine Chapel is back there.  These nuns were taking pictures there.  I tried to offer to take their picture, but they got very scared and shunned me away.  I must be scary ....

Beth took her chances with the powers that be putting the Vespa in the scene.

Beth captured this beautiful picture of the dome between the surrounding columns, complete with a flying bird.

Lots of seating (and massive video screens) for Sunday services.

I tried to warn here that it was blasphemy, but she didn't listen.  As she took the picture above,the Vespa was smote into pieces at her feet.  A beer afterwards soothed her nerves.  No worries.  A new Vespa was obtained soon after...

A dinner at Piazza Novana.  Pasta with an appetizer of Proschiutto and melon.  The center of the Piazza, across from our table, was a circus of performers, including a Jazz quartet.

The evening ended at the Spanish Steps, a large popular stop for many.

A common site on the streets.  There is no shortage of cars or traffic here, as commonly assumed in America.  The cars are simply smaller.  These Smart cars and similar sized Fiats, are everywhere and it appears, easy to park.  The Minis are big sedans here and almost seem cumbersome in comparison.

Tomorrow, the train.

July 4, 2010
Another day in Rome.  Thought we would take it easy today, but there is too much to catch the eye, one thing leads to another and you end up walking the city.  No problem though.  We are tired and hot, but enjoying the sites.   Today we made it to the Spanish Steps, river, and more obelisks than we can count (some “acquired” directly from Egypt as conqueror’s trophys).
More good food – the thinnest pizza I’ve ever had (very good), Gnocchi, ravioli, flatbread and bruschetta.   And as always Gelato and drinks along the way.  How about G&T’s in front of the Pantheon?  We had to go back there as the main portion was closed last night.  The dome is amazing.  It’s hard to believe we are looking at structures built and used during the Roman Empire.
One more day here, then on to Pisa.  Beth is busy decoding the train system …

A beautiful city to walk around.  Many small apartments  everywhere.

The dome inside the Pantheon.

And a cool drink to refresh ourselves.  There's the Vespa again!

Hey Kara!  Foolish and Red need some funky caps!

We did a lot of walking today.  Very hot and humid.  It would feel like Baton rouge for Jess,I'm afraid.  We saw many ruins and famous buildings.  A few stops for wine or beer, a spot of pizza.  A late dinner of lasagna for me and a bacon spaghetti dish for Beth.  Prosciutto  and melon for appetizer.  A good bottle of wine (Santa Christo). It was wonderful.  An after walk down to the Pantheon.  As we were admiring that, Jess sent a text: "Let me know when you go to the Pantheon."  That was too weird!  We enjoyed, Jess. It was beautiful at night.  Now a bit of sleep.  Some pictures below...
The coliseum.  We enjoyed some beers and pizza across the street.  Beth's Vespa above.

Many amazing archways.  The brick work keeps me humble!

A Different job!




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July 2,  2010
Whew!  What a long trip.  After a seemingly endless series of customs, security checks, and checkins, through the US,  Canada, England, and Italy, we have arrived in Rome.  All the flights went well, with the exception of the last which was delayed an hour due to weather somewhere between London and Rome.  I’m not sure how long we sat on the runway at Heathrow, but I got a good nap in anyway.  No matter as it was the last leg and we had no connection to catch on the other end.   It is late evening now and we are looking forward to sleeping in a bed.  Tomorrow we’ll work on the Italian.  Wonder if they understand the eastern Texas dialect?  “Where’s y’alls Il treno station?”





Here is a quick rundown of our whereabouts.  Please give us a text, call or email.  We should have contact most of the time.  Remember, though, we will be 9 hours ahead of Pacific time :-)
July 1 -  July 2: 
     We fly from Lewiston, ID to Seattle to Vancouver BC, to London, and finally to Rome.  Quite a flight and a lost day in the process.  We leave ID about noon on the 1st (PDT) and get in at 7:00 pm (Italy) on the 2nd.

We will be in Rome until July 6.

July 6 - 8Pisa
      The plan is to take a train from Rome to Pisa.  We will spend a couple of days there.

July 8 -  12:  Vernazza
     The big Gathering with Jerry, Steve, Kari, Paul and family.  We will all have a few days in Vernazza, part of the Cinque Terra region.  This is a picturesque series of small towns along the western coast, with the local buildings morphed into the cliff sides.

July 12 - 19:  Siena
    Next we'll move on to Siena  for a week.  We want to take some time to explore the city and surroundings in the center of Tuscany.
Food is on the agenda ....

July 19 - 25:  Bologna
     Moving more northerly, we are going to Bologna, known for good food and wine.  More local exploring and relaxing for about a week.

July 25 - 27:  Milan
     Our final stop is in the city of Milan for a couple of days.  This is our time to experience a bigger modern city in Italy, as well as, one of the Fashion Capitals of the world. 

July 27:  Lewiston

     Taking the long trip back to the urban mecca of Lewiston via London, and Seattle.  Arriving about the midnight hour.

Until then ... ,

We'll try to post pictures and info here!  Things are coming up fast now!