Jeff had just decided to end a contract for the hospital he was currently working for. He was super frustrated and just needed a break and some self-care. He wasn’t going to take another job unless it was exactly what he wanted and hopefully in NYC. You already know he did find one in NYC, but while he was looking for that job we decided to see if we could rent another short term apartment in Washington, D.C.. We found one but we couldn’t move in until the beginning of the month. That left us without an apartment for roughly a week. This sounded like a good time to just fly to Italy. Why not?
Day One - We flew into Rome. We got some food. Then we took a quick walk to see the Coliseum, and then took a long train ride to Venice. We arrived there late in the evening. It looked like a dream and I knew Venice would not disappoint. Our hotel was beautiful. We were both excited to start exploring the next day.
Day Two - Waking up in Venice was even more amazing than arriving the night before. We heard lines can get long at St. Mark’s so we went straight over to St. Mark’s Campanile bell tower. From the top we got to see some amazing views of Venice.
After that we went to the Doge’s Palace. They had an awesome Tintoretto exhibit. It took some time but we finally found the view of the Bridge of Sighs. Almost missed it. Coming out, we saw it was high tide and the streets of St. Mark’s Square were filled with water. We went to a little cafe and tried an aperol spritz. Yum.
After that we visited the antiquities museum and then got in line to see St. Mark’s Basilica. You could not take pictures inside this church (boo), but we got some from the balcony. We visited a lot of churches in Venice but you could not take pictures inside most of them.
Day Three - We took a gondola ride! It’s so touristy but we so didn’t care. The views were amazing. We also visited a good handful of churches and museums but still had time to sit outside at a cafe, enjoy the sunshine, each other, have pizza, and drink more aperol spritzes! This was one of the things I loved most about this trip. I felt super relaxed. When I go on a trip I always want to try and see as much as I possibly can, but at the same time I just want to chill and pretend like I live there.
Day Four - For this day I had planned for us to go to the Jewish ghetto (ghetto is the historic Venetian word for the area where Jews living in Venice were restricted to) for a synagogue tour! I was super excited about it. It was a great last day in Venice. We got some souvenirs, some hamantaschen, and had lunch at a kosher restaurant.
Our next destination took us out of Italy and into San Marino. San Marino is the 3rd smallest country in Europe. The train again was long, and we arrived late in the evening.
Day Five- We had planned a two day stay in San Marino. We thought not many people in the States visit San Marino and we wanted plenty of time to see it all. Well, one day would have been enough. We left our hotel early in the morning to make it to the Palazzo Pubblico where the government house stands. This is where they have a changing of the guard. We get there only to realize they were not quite ready and had decided to skip it. We were told to come back later around noon. We went inside the government house and had a quick look around. That was all that was needed. After that we hiked Mount Titano to see the three fortresses. The country is super proud of these three towers. We got some nice pictures from the top.
It was almost noon. Jeff had seen some very deceptive pictures of the changing of the guard so he was quite insistent that we see this. We hurried back and got a seat. Three soldiers came out. They made some clicks and turns with their boots and guns and then went back inside. It was over. After a quick pause, I said, “That was so sad.” We both had a good laugh.
Next we went to the National Museum, the Basilica, and the San Francisco Convent. We didn’t have anything else to do after that so we went to the Torture Museum which we had planned for the next day. After that we went back to the hotel. We wondered, what exactly were we going to do tomorrow?
Day 6 - We had a very relaxed day today. We sat outside at a cafe. We had some Viennese coffee and did some reading. Then took a train back to Italy.
Day 7 - Today we visited the Vatican. We went to the top of St. Peter’s basilica, took an audio tour of the inside, and took lots and lots of pictures. Finally! I swooned over Michelangelo’s Pieta! Amazing.
And visiting the basilica we went to the Vatican Museum and I got to see the Sistine Chapel (no pictures of that). Was feeling super spoiled that day.
Day 8 - Our last day we went all over Rome to see as many of the big sites as we could before catching our flight back home. It was another great day. I think we did a pretty amazing job. Italy, I could visit you again and again!
Thanks for reading!