Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Trip to Italy - Part 1

Well, things have been very busy for me and my family, but I have a few spare minutes and thought that I would update the blog on our biggest event this year so far - our trip to Italy. We went with our extended family, and everyone had a great time.

Several months before leaving, I decided to try and pick up as much of the Italian language as possible. I purchased a few books, and even gave the (very boring) Rosetta Stone program a try. However, the best tool I found for picking up conversational Italian is Pimsleur's Speak and Read Italian.

There are three courses in the series, each consisting of 30 lessons. Each lesson is just under 30 minutes, which just so happens to perfectly coincide with my commute time. Thus, I would often listen to a lesson on the way to work, and then repeat it on the way home or advance to the next one. I made good progress through the lessons, and made it half way through the Italian II course before we headed off to Italy.

We left for Italy on the Saturday before Easter, and actually arrived in Rome Easter morning. We spent that day checking into our hotel, relaxing, and trying to get a feel for the new surroundings.

View from Our Room

There are a lot of sights to see in Rome, as one might expect of a city with over 2,700 years of history. We took a bus tour around The Eternal City to get a feel for it, and stopped off at Piazza Navona to walk around a bit.

Piazza Navona

A short walk from there, and you'll find yourself at the Pantheon.


There are many fountains throughout Rome, built to bring water to the people. The water is fresh and we drank it often during our walks through Rome.

Trevi Fountain

My youngest son thought that the Colosseum was extremely impressive, and I would have to agree. Although parts of it were cannibalized for construction later on in Rome's history, a good portion of it still stands today. Perhaps most impressive were the storage areas underneath the main "floor", where the gladiators and animals they fought were kept. You can see today where elevators raised new and exciting beasts to the arena floor.


Exploring the forum and the ruins around it are definitely worth your time. Don't miss out on hiking up Palatine Hill to get a breathtaking view of Rome, and stroll through the Emperor's palace.


My next post will cover two of our days trips from Rome...

1 comment:

  1. Awesome pictures from Italy... Italy trip is always memorable. I loved reading your blog... Thanks for sharing