Thursday, April 27, 2006

Cinque Terre, Italia (my favorite place in Europe)

Cinque Terre is a town on the north western coast of Italy with 5 villages. We stayed in the most southern village called Riomaggiore. There are amazing hiking paths along the coast of Italy that goes to each of the villages. It is a 5 hour hike from the most southern village to the most northern village. Me and Christina made it to right outside the 3rd. I definitely want to come back here after college when I backpack through Europe and do this entire hike. The views were absolutely beautiful!

The Pesto from Cinque Terre and Focaccia bread is one of the things Cinque Terre is known for and is absolutely delicious. It is such a cool little town. There are a lot of young back packers who come here. We met a girl and a guy who just graduated from College and are doing a 3 month world trip. They have been all over Europe for the past 5 months and are going to Asia in about a week. It was so cool to talk with them. I would love to do that after college and go to Australia and New Zealand as well. This is Blaire and Lexie who both go to UNC Chapel Hill!

The town, Riommagiore, that we stayed in Cinque Terre. The views, feel, people, hikes, food everything about this town was incredible. I would absolutely love to come back here. Nothing is better than the mountains and ocean combined!

Florence, Italy (2nd stop in Italy)

Michealangelo's Famous Statue of David in the Acadamia from the 1400's. The intricate detail on this statue of David was breathtaking and i stood in awe of his artwork for atleast 20 minutes. I couldn't see one thing wrong with it that didn't make it look so real. It was absolutely perfect.
Christina and I with the beautiful background of Florence. Florence is a beautiful city with a river running through it. The building to the right is the Duomo. Florence is a great place to shop and bargain in the markets. I bought some great gifts here and used by bargaining skills :o)

My 4 UNC Chapel Hill girls and 1 Clemson Tiger. We watched the sun set over the city of Florence while sipping on some Italian wine. It was such a beautiful view! Everyday while we were in Italy we had Gelato, which is the icecream there. It is absolutely delicious and i think i tried about every flavor. All of the Italian food is absolutely delicious, but it is expencive in Italy.

Italy is definitely my favorite country in Europe so far!

Rome, Italy (1st stop in Italy)

I traveled to Italy with 4 other girls who I met here in Sevilla and have been going to a Bible Study with here. They all go to UNC Chapel Hill which is so cool bc i absolutely love Chapel Hill and would have loved to go there if it wasn't out of state. The Coloseum in Rome, Italy. Rome is amazing. The history behind Rome is so old and ancient that it is hard to believe. The Coloseum is one of the best preserved monuments of ancient Rome. Ancient Rome is from the 300's. The Coloseum held more than 50,000 spectators to witness bloody contests including the slaughtering of beasts and gladiator fights. I still can't believe I was there.

This is the famous Fountain of Trevi. If you throw one coin in behind your back the theory is that you will return to Rome one day. If you throw in 2, you will fall in love in Rome and 3 the legend is that you will be married in Rome. I think I remember seeing pictures of my sister Laura in front of this when she went to Italy with Uncle Bruce and aunt BJ. It was so beautiful!! We had so many good meals in Italy. The food there is amazing!!! (although expencive)

This is the Pantheon. This was built 2000 years ago out of granite columns, bronze doors, and a domed interior. I have always heard of the Pantueon but never knew exactley where it was or what exactley it was. There are so many famous things in Rome, so it was really cool to be abel to see them. The Roman Forum was really amazing to see. This was used as a market place in 8 B.C. and was the center of ancient Rome. We toured the Palantine Hil which is the oldest Part of Rome and the ruins date back to 800 B.C. A lot of them were just discovered by archeaologists in the 1900's. It is said that there still about 60% of the ruins have still not been discovered yet. We also got to see the Circus Maximus where they use to have the huge chariot races and is the biggest stadium in history. It was constructed in 600 B.C. and held over 300,000 Romans.

We also got to see the "Scala Santa' which are the sacred steps that Jesus walked on which were brought all the way from Jerusalem to Rome. Everyone was kneeling on them, bc they all believe that if you do, all your sins will be washed away.. It was very interesting to see.

On Wednesday when we went back to Rome to catch our flight to Barcelona we went to the Vatican Country. This is where the Pope lives. He speaks every Wednesday so we got to see him speak. There were thousands of people at St. Peter to hear him. We went inside St. Peter's which is the largest church in the world. We went to the Sistine Chapel which was painted by Michealangelo.