a college student's five month quest to see europe and soak in la vie française

a college student's five month quest to see europe and soak in la vie française

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


venice and florence set the bar high... and unfortunately i think rome fell short. don't get me wrong — i think rome is absolutely someplace you have to see in your lifetime, to see all the touristy things like the vatican and the colosseum, but it's much more of a city than the other two and felt a lot less like vacation. thankfully we were able to cross everything off our list — rome wasn't built in a day, but it can definitely be seen in one!
the piazza della repubblica.

entering the vatican.
the ceiling of the sistine chapel. while it was lovely, the process of getting to the chapel was miserable! thousands of people and multiple kilometers of museum hallways lined with what i'm sure were beautiful and important tapestries and the like for those who are into that sort of thing but i was very frustrated that there's no way to cut to the chase... er, chapel. it took more than an hour of being herded through the museum, only to arrive to a sign that said "no photography." i don't think so!
another illegal shot of the hand of god giving life to adam. the sistine chapel was worth seeing (especially for this art history student!) but truthfully not an experience i'd like to repeat ever again. been there, done that!
gardens at the vatican. finally some fresh air!
more of the vatican.
the trevi fountain. now this i loved! the fountain is huge and trés impressionante... the perfect place to buy some gelato and escape the heat.
the spanish steps. what a mob scene!
the view from the top of the spanish steps.
besides the trevi fountain, the colosseum was my favorite part of rome. while i can't argue that it looks to be particularly well-kept (lots of crumbling stone and stagnant reconstruction efforts), it felt cool to be in a place with so much history.
looking a little worse for the wear after our first week of travel. at least i've got a flower in my hair!
a view of the colosseum from the exterior. note mr. map in the corner!
the gardens just outside the colosseum were spectacular. finally a chance to unwind from our hectic day of sightseeing!
orange trees — my favorite!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


new city, new love affair. i loved the market (a bracelet for me and a bike jersey for michael!), the food (homemade pesto, yum!), and the panoramic views from the duomo and the piazzale michelangelo (check them out below!).
the basilica di santa maria del fiore, better known as the duomo.
the dome from the interior.
the bell tower of the duomo.
michael and i at the top of the duomo.
the basilica of santa maria novella from the duomo.
piazza della repubblica.
surveying the view from piazzale michelangelo. the hike was worth it!
ponte vecchio as seen from piazzale michelangelo.
the duomo from piazzale michelangelo.


to make a long story short, i fell in love with venice. it was the perfect way to start a vacation: not much to see as far as monuments go but plenty of little streets to wander, canals to discover, and gelato to be had. i would go back in a heartbeat.
the ponte di rialto.
hustle and bustle on the grand canal.
the roofline of st. mark's basilica.
the bell tower of st. mark's basilica.
my favorite building in san marco square.
bonding with the locals.
pretty little flower market.
restaurant/gondola/canal... i have dozens of very similar pictures but i couldn't help myself!
this would be one of my favorite pictures if it weren't for the wind in my hair!
michael scaring me by climbing off the sidewalk onto some floating post.
we asked an italian woman to take our photo with me standing on a cement post so i could be as tall as michael... it took her about ten minutes of wild gesturing for me to come over and realize that she had zoomed in so far that the image stabilization had turned itself off and she could therefore not focus on anything... all for her to cut off the post i was balancing on!
the basilica di santa maria della salute, which we stumbled upon by accident!
battling bedhead at the basilica. (say that three times fast!)
pretty statue.
on our gondola!
action shot of our evening gondola ride.
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