The Nagasawa family trip to Italy and France:  June 12 - 30, 2008




June 12    Fly to Rome June 21 Fly to Marseilles
June 13 Arrive in Rome June 22 Drive to Les Barcares
June 14 Rome June 23 Sigean Animal Reserve
June 15 Assisi, drive to Venice June 24 Priory of Serrabona
June 16 Venice June 25 Collioure
June 17 Drive to Florence June 26 Relax in Claira
June 18 Florence, drive to Siena & Orvieto June 27 Drive to Barcelona
June 19 Orvieto, drive to Rome June 28 Relax in Claira
June 20 Rome June 29 Drive to Marseilles
    June 30 Fly back to Boston

(the links are the days in purple; click on them to see pictures)


June 14, 2008:


We set out for Rome by train from the campgrounds "Camping Tiber" right on the Tiber River about 30 minutes outside of Rome.  The Tiber River is a muddy gray-brown - not too pretty.  But the campgrounds are cool.  Just bring mosquito spray and earplugs.


First we saw ancient Rome:  the Palatine Hills, the Coliseum, and the Pantheon.  The Palatine Hills were awesome.  The ruins of the old Roman forum are there, with the various Arches.  Here we are standing near the ruins of the old Senate building (background), some temples, and the houses of some high officials, including Caesar (on the left).  At the top of the hill near Caesar's house are now ruins in green fields covered with wild flowers.


Heading towards the Coliseum.  Quite amazing that it stands in the middle of the current city, still.


Then we went to see the Pantheon building, originally built by Emperor Hadrian in around 130 AD. 


This building was amazing:  beautiful sculptures and mosaic work. 


It also had an open dome that let in natural sunlight - architecturally very challenging (left).  Rain drained into holes like this in the floor (right).


Then we headed over to have gelato, Italy's renowned ice-cream.  We wound up having gelato pretty much every day we were in Italy.  We bribed the kids with it to walk around all these historical sites they had no interest in.


After walking around a large park-garden area called the Villa Borghese, we finished with dinner we had some good pizzas:  margherita (tomato, basil, garlic, mozzarella) and pescatora (tomato, seafood).  Mmmm...  (note: these are not the original pictures due to Barcelona's THEFT problem...grrr!)  Pizzas are cheaper and perhaps better further away from tourist sites.  The same might be true on a larger scale, so we decided to eat less in Rome, Venice, and Florence.  Sometimes we bought bread, ham, cheese, and fruit at markets and ate sandwiches at our tent.  We ate better in areas that were less touristy: Siena and Orvieto.


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