198 Photos - Sep 6, 2014
Photo: Playing Magic on the train from Milan to VeronaPhoto: VeronaPhoto: Verona colosseumPhoto: Photo: Castelvecchio Museum in VeronaPhoto: Okay, the juxtaposition is a little odd...Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Okay, I admit, I have no idea where this is in Verona. Anyone else know?Photo: Photo: Uh oh - Julia is starting to look like she thinks I am taking too many picturesPhoto: Photo: Photo: "Juliet's balcony" - umm...they do know it was fiction, right?Photo: Photo: Bust of ShakespearePhoto: Then we made it to Venice and took a water taxi to our apartmentPhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: It was a narrow but very short path from the canal to our piazzaPhoto: Our apartment...Photo: Photo: Kids roomPhoto: View from our apartmentPhoto: More views from our windowsPhoto: Our piazza!Photo: Our first full day in Venice we went to the Doge palace for the Secret Itineraries tour that Vlad recommendedPhoto: Photo: Photo: A clock that shows 24 hours!Photo: Photo: Chastity belt anyone?Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: View from the Bridge of SighsPhoto: View of the Bridge of SighsPhoto: Photo: Photo: Leo wishes his hat was as cool as the Doge's hatPhoto: The kids pretending to be LionsPhoto: Photo: Wandering around Venice we found some neat things for sale like these knights of the round tablePhoto: Photo: Photo: And these cute and funny figurinesPhoto: Photo: And of course, the masks!Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Entering Piazza San MarcoPhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Gregory re-creates his first steps in Piazza San Marco!Photo: Julia didn't think she should look too happy next to thisPhoto: Chiesa San MoisePhoto: Photo: Ice cream cone unicorn!Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: The railings in our apartment buildingPhoto: Next day we took the Traghetto (public gondola) across the grand canalPhoto: Gregory was navigatingPhoto: Santa Maria della SalutePhoto: The Peggy Guggenheim museum exceeded expectationsPhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: See the man's face?Photo: If you know this statue, Gregory's head is well placedPhoto: Photo: Photo: Hitting the streets again - loving the fact that there are no carsPhoto: Random lunch place where we hid while it rainedPhoto: Photo: Free museum of music was funPhoto: Photo: Cool glass waresPhoto: Rialto bridgePhoto: Random person getting their feet fed on by fish. Gregory wanted to try it but we had more to see.Photo: Mask shopPhoto: Frari CathedralPhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Right after this we almost lost Baba in the twisty little streets but we were reunited after about 10 minutes of wanderingPhoto: Photo: We bought some pastries to take home for dessertPhoto: But first we wanted to go up St Mark's Campanile (bell tower) at sunsetPhoto: View from the top - the bells went off while we were up there and they were LOUD!!Photo: Photo: Finally time to eat the pastries!Photo: Julia found a few nuts in hers so she conducted some precision surgey to remove the nutsPhoto: We took the Vaporetto to the train station in the morningPhoto: Photo: We headed to Florence and had lunch. Gregory's working on a math problem while he waits for food.Photo: Our interesting bathroomPhoto: Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, or basically just "The Duomo" when you're in FlorencePhoto: We found this adorable store with cute stuff everywhere. Julia loved these owls and the next day she went back and bought a blue one.Photo: Chiesa di OrsanmichelePhoto: We thought the conveniently placed pigeon was funnyPhoto: Two leosPhoto: Ponte Veccio in the background right - all the stores on top make it hard to even tell it's a bridge from this angle!Photo: We stumbled upon the Boboli Gardens and Palazzo Pitti basically by accident but it turned out to be a fun stop - first we went to the costume museumPhoto: In the courtyardPhoto: Then the "Silver Museum" which had a lot more than silverPhoto: There were a ton of reliqueries with all sorts of bones and teeth and bits of cross - note the three bones in this onePhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: The Boboli Gardens were very prettyPhoto: There was time for a little romance!Photo: And there was a nice view from the topPhoto: We liked this giant face statue in the gardenPhoto: Photo: Photo: Our final stop in the gardens was the grottoPhoto: We were wandering in search of dinner and ran across this interesting sculpture on a buildingPhoto: The restaurant we found was tasty and different than usual. They would periodically publicly chop off big hunks of meat whenever someone ordered their special Florentine steak!Photo: The next morning it was a bit of a mob scene at the Duomo - on the left of this picture you can sort of see part of the line that we ended up waiting in for 2 hours to go up to the top. It was a long wait but we really did enjoy the climb.Photo: Here's Julia with her blue owl and Gregoy plotting to steal itPhoto: The dome up closePhoto: Climbing up the domePhoto: Made it to the top!Photo: Photo: Even closer to the domePhoto: You were right at the bottom of the pictures in the dome and there were some interesting depictions of hell right therePhoto: Photo: Then we took the train to Cinque Terre - we were staying in ManarolaPhoto: If you look carefully in the water and see 3 heads, those are Galina, Katya, and Julia who went for a swim!Photo: It's kind of ridiculously pretty therePhoto: In the evening too...Photo: Photo: The next morning we decided to take it easy generally and just hike to RiomaggiorePhoto: The easy trail by the sea was closed due to earlier rockslides so we hiked up further inlandPhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: We made it!Photo: Photo: Beautiful Riomaggiore. This is the Cinque Terre town where Leo and I stayed during our honeymoonPhoto: The kids liked to make weird poses when I tried to take picturesPhoto: Photo: Photo: ButI  finally got a normal onePhoto: Photo: Oh no, not again!Photo: We took the train back to Manarola for dinnerPhoto: The next morning Julia was intense on our way to explore the other three towns wiht our first stop being Monterosso al MarePhoto: The clouds gave way to sun just as we got therePhoto: Photo: We briefly explored MonterossoPhoto: Chapel of the Brotherhood of Death and PrayerPhoto: We started our hike to VernazzaPhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Vernazza here we come!Photo: Once we made it, the first thing to do was take a swim (Gregory and Julia are walking into the water on the right)Photo: Photo: There were big waves that day so only the inner harbor was open to swimmingPhoto: Why are you taking my picture?Photo: Photo: Hiking out of Vernazza on the way to the next destination: CornigliaPhoto: Photo: Unlike the other towns Corniglia is set up high on the cliffsPhoto: We ate some wild blackberries along the wayPhoto: And then got ice cream when we arrived in the town - we ate a LOT of ice cream while in Italy because it was ubiquitous and so good!Photo: The shorter path between Corniglia and Manarola was also closed so we took the long trail again - this turned out to be the toughest leg of the trip but also very beautifulPhoto: We were often walking right along the vineyardsPhoto: We made it to Volastra which is a smaller village between the two towns and Julia found a little friendPhoto: Home (Manarola) was finally in sight!Photo: The way we came fromPhoto: In the background you can see the trail that looks like it's going straight up which is the one we took on our earlier hike to RiomaggiorePhoto: Next morning we were heading to Pisa and then Paris - Gregory was our elevator operator at the train stationPhoto: The leaning tower is in sight!Photo: Romeo and Juliet costumes! Wait a minute, that doesn't even make sense since we're in Pisa now?Photo: Yup, it leans alrightPhoto: Photo: We brought fans to beat the heat - this was pretty much the only time the entire trip when it was hotPhoto: We stopped by a nice playground in Giardino ScottoPhoto: Final goodbye to the garden at Giardino Scotto and then we were off to fly to Paris