Italian Vacation (UPDATED)

Over the winter holiday break, Esme and I decided to visit a country that may be more or less an open book in the world of travel – a cliché destination with few subtleties or secrets guarded in the heart of its cities – but which makes up for any lack of surprises with an attictive kind of honest and endearing flamboyance.

Our itinerary was as follows: Pisa-> Florence-> Siena-> Venice-> Verona. I can´t say that these places weren´t how we expected them to  be, but what impressed me was just how exactly, almost to exaggeration, they were as we had read and heard. Pisa really is just one plaza, but beholding that plaza is undeniably spectacular. Florence really is as ornate and colorful as they said it would be. (The line to get into the Ufizzi was also as long as they said it would be.) But walking the streets of Florence is such a visual feast that no matter how much you hear about its wonders; seeing it first-hand will unfailingly have you telling people the same things everyone had already told you, not because you can´t formulate your own opinion, but beacuse there just isn´t anything also you can say about it. If there are clichés about Florence, it is that this city leaves everybody with the same impression of amazement.

That being said, what am I to say of Siena, Venice,  and Verona? I could tell you what is there, but who hasn´t already? I could tell you that on New Year´s Eve in San Marco Square, it began snowing furiously just at the stroke of midnight, but the image you would conjure up in your head with is really no better than a 30-cent postcard. It seemed too perefect in a way, and that is something impossible to convey. Italy, in general, is difficult to convey because it is ultimately in the profound enjoyment of the simple and the obvious where you find the most meaningful satisfaction.

Which reminds me – the pasta really is as amazing as they say it is, too.

 

PISA

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The incredible leaning people of Pisa

 

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Pisa on the river

 

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Colorful houses in Pisa

 

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Fog in Pisa

 

FLOERNCE

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Ponte Vecchio

 

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Kind of like Pisa, huh

 

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Façade of Florence´s cathedral

 

SIENA

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We were welcomed to Siena by a Tuscan snowstorm

 

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The center of town

 

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The baptistry

 

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The library in the cathedral

 

VENICE

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Shop window in Venice´s historical ghetto distict

 

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Typical Venice

 

VERONA

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Love notes near the entrance to Juliette´s house

 

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Cathedral tower

 

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View of Verona from tower in the first photo

 

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In the bell tower

 

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Bell tower

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~ by lincolnbrody on January 14, 2009.

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