The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. — St. Augustine
Realizing that it took me a post per city (and we traveled to six) to chronicle our adventures, I decided to purchase a ticket for the fast train (metaphorically nor literally something my brother and I ever did), and conclude our experience of the remaining four cities in one post.
I apologize for the added length. Actually: you’re welcome.
- Arrived late, but found we had a room with two beds a king and a double (we all know who got which), a view of the city, and easy access to the man bridge into town
- Saw the original statue of David by Michelangelo where my journal notes: “A cut in God’s vein poured
this art into Michelangelo’s hands. Never before have I experienced such a material manifestation of power and courage.”
- Watched the sunrise from Florence’s best panoramic
- Visited the tombs of Dante, Machiavelli, Galileo, and Michelangelo
- Had a splendid dinner where Zach stuttered while ordering, unintentionally requesting an additional appetizer…which turned out to be our favorite meal in Italy
- Witnessed oodles of art in the Uffuzi, toured “The Old Palace,” and climbed two 500-stair towers
- Sat outside in the nipple-poky cold to watch the Pope deliver his famous Christmas Eve mass
- Toured the city on Christmas day, eating salami, cheese, and bread in front of relics such as the Coliseum and the Pantheon
- Traveled into the underground catacombs (30 meters beneath the concrete), haggled with street vendors for an umbrella in the rain, nearly got robbed as we unintentionally ended up in an unsavory section of Rome [there’s a reason, Mom, I’m brushing over this]
- Arrived at the Vatican museum an hour before it opened to find over 200 people already in line ahead of us
- Saw Raphael’s famous “School of Athens” and Michelangelo “Sistine Chapel.” Yeah, no big deal
- Snuck past the quarter mile line into the Basilica (thanks to Zach’s audaciousness) and witnessed the most architecturally grand structure of my life
- Found two dinner knives in our backpack that we had accidentally stolen from the previous hostel…and then realized we had slipped them through the x-ray
machine into the Vatican
- Stayed in a beautiful room with a garden terrace that also provided a free, home-cooked breakfast every morning
- Went biking up and down hills and through the small neighborhoods of this quiet town
- Ate at a restaurant in the catacombs of a cathedral where the food was so good that our first bite of the appetizer sent us into riotous laughter of pure happiness
- …What’d do you think? It’s Venice…
- Toured the city, strolling alongside the canals, window shopping, people watching
- Witnessed a couple take a “selfie” on Venice’s most famous bridge (the Rialto) as they kissed and a gondola passed behind them…I proceeded to retch uncontrollably
- Ate salami, asiago cheese, and crackers as we watched the sun set on the water between the main land and Murano (an island famous for its blown glass)
- Washed just enough underwear and socks in our hostel’s shower (drying them on the radiator) to get through the rest of the trip
- Barely made it into Venice for the New Years—after learning at 10:30pm that the bus system wasn’t running on New Year’s Eve, there happened to be an Italian couple at the bus stop who spoke enough English to split a cab with us into the city (yet another instance of my insatiable good fortune)
- Watched the weakest fireworks display I’ve ever seen but was pleasantly drunk enough to find it magnificent
- Woke up to the New Year in my own bed–maybe the luckiest accomplishment of them all
- Took a late train from Venice to Milan, spending the night in the Milan airport before our early morning flights
- Said goodbye to my brother—realizing I would miss him more than I would the end of our trip
- Flew into New York, where the whole cabin began applauding when we landed because the weather was so terrible
- Contemplated the existential dread of having to spend another night in the airport as nearly all flights from New York to Ohio were cancelled due to the blizzard
- Caught the last flight out of New York, four hours past my originally scheduled departure with a cabin crew that wasn’t even supposed to land in New York
- Arrived safely in Columbus, Ohio
And there you have it folks. Two fantastic weeks of touring Italy with the best brother a guy could ask for. Now, the only question remaining: what’s my next adventure going to be?
Motorcycle trip across the US this summer? You didn’t hear that from me…
If your brother can’t make it on the next adventure, I just want you to know that I will make the ultimate sacrifice and volunteer my services. I know, I know it is magnanimous of me, it is something most would not venture to do, but only for the love of my oldest son would I surrender to such anguish.
If I really thought you’d come with me (and not make up some excuse at the last minute why you couldn’t), I would love to go an adventure with you, Dad.
I’d just be worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up with you 🙂
Sounds like you two had a great time. Brings a big smile to my face to see your smiling faces. Im glad you took the selfie 🙂
I’m looking forward to hearing about your next adventures.
And it brings a big smile to my face every time I hear from you 😀 I hope you’re doing well yourself and look forward to my next adventure, too
I envy you two your experiences and am guessing there will be more. Thank you for sharing them!!
Of course! And I sure hope there are more to come. Preferably with Zach but I’ll make do without
Jealous x 1000. Great post, great pics, and sounds like you had an amazing time!
Thank you, Sir! We did in fact have an amazing time 🙂