Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Travel Series: ITALY

Last time in my Globetrotters series, I talked about my travels through Switzerland in 1998. This time I'll talk about the next stop, Italy, in which we spent little time but saw quite a lot. Italy isn't a huge country, particularly when you're coming from a place like Australia, but it's still got a heck of a lot of detail to it. During my time in Italy I saw:

Suburban roadside ruins.
  • gondolas
  • a Dali exhibit
  • a replica of the statue of David (sadly didn't see the real deal, but with only an hour or two to spare the lines were just too long)
  • real Italian pizza
  • real greasy Italian dudes trying to seduce me on the street
  • the Coliseum (from the outside, anyway)
  • ancient ruins just sitting in the middle of suburban Roman streets
  • the leaning tower of Pisa (a.k.a. "the tower of Pizza" according to Dad)
  • tiny Italian towns you weren't meant to drive in - which we, of course, drove in.

Me outside the Coliseum in Roma - we didn't go in.

We crossed into Italy from Switzerland in a hire car, and drove through Milan (not stopping) to Venice. Venice was kind of smelly (algae), and I was grumpy (we didn't go on a gondola). From Venice we drove on to Florence, where I saw a Dali exhibition. Dad wasn't as impressed with Florence as he had been with Venice, but in my book at least it smelled better (and there was Dali!).

Venezia, 1998.

Also in Florence, I saw a procession of Beetles (no, really, look:

Italian beetles!

) going through the streets honking. I tried to visit the real statue of David but settled for a still-pretty-massive replica. And plus, Daaaali:

Some Dali magic in Firenze.

Rome was next, and there I saw ruins, including the Coliseum. We got a coffee from McDonald's one day, and were surprised to receive a tiny "shot" cup with about an inch of strong black coffee in the bottom. After we left Rome, we headed north via numerous towns, including Pisa with its famous leaning tower - we didn't go closer than this, I think because it was closed to the public:

The leaning tower, on a definite slant.

We also drove through Livorno, a little Italian town my uncle had lived in and taught in for 8 years.

Well, folks, that about sums up the Italian leg - and almost the entire 1998 trip too. Next time I'll cover the very last part of the trip, and then it'll be time to move onto other travels I've done. :)


  1. SOOOO jealous. We have a friend who works in Italy, and I'm dying to get out there. One of my future characters is from that area, and for "research," I'm going to have to do it. I am. Beautiful!

  2. Funny, I was in Switzerland and Italy (and Greece, and France . . . a lot of places, actually) in 1998 as well. Spent the summer bumming around with, of all things, a troupe of Australians!

  3. My hubs calls it the leaning tower of pizza too. Must be a man thing.

    Awesome how much you've seen. (And it sounds like Italy is the place for the single gals ;)

  4. Aww, now I'm really jealous! I want to go to Italy!
    I saw a replica of David in London :-)

  5. Really amazing pics. I think it's cool what Italy gives you for coffee. Glad you had a fun trip. It looks like it was awesome.

  6. Nothing like a travel post to get me jumping up and down! Your little picture of Italy in a hurry is pretty true. I've spent quite a bit of time there (in winter) so walked straight up to the real statue of David and strolled through the Boboli Gardens unharrassed. Love the place!

    Am heading off for another Grand Tour in December. That way you miss the smelly part of Venice and just see the crispness. Still busy though! Gondola rides are so expensive!

  7. Fun! I've never been to Italy. My parents went last fall. Sigh... Someday.

  8. Italy is such a nice place! I'm glad that you got to go.

  9. Dali in Firenze? Surreal!

    (Haha. Geddit?)

    (Yeah. I'm so clever.)

    Dig the pics, Trisha! Funny, I never thought about how Venice would *smell*. Euw. :-)
    Some Dark Romantic

  10. Lucky you! How amazing to get to go there and see first hand all those amazing things!! Thank you for sharing your travels and adventures here!


  11. Thanks everyone - it was amazing, though I don't think I appreciated it as much as I might have if I hadn't been so riddled with teenaged angst - and teenaged exhaustion / homesickness for that matter. ;)

  12. Italy was one of my favourite places when I did my Contiki Tour many, many, many years ago... I loved the Colosseum too, and the Sistine Chapel was simply amazing!
    Writer In Transit

  13. Hi Trisha .. I've been a few times .. once many decades ago .. then to Milan and to Rome .. but I'd love to do a proper tour not in a group! I did see the proper David and I did get to walk up the leaning tower and it does lean ... but I didn't see Dali!

    Cheers - good to have jotted down some of the memories - Milan is a great city to travel in .. and I'd love to go back there .. Rome I visited twice, but really haven't explored - one day I hope .. Hilary


Thanks for your words, me hearties! and don't forget to leave a link to your blog somewhere I can find it!