Italy in 42 pics

When you spend 12 days in Italy visiting seven different cities and take 2,488 pictures, it can be challenging to share such a broad experience with friends. Where do you even start? Well, I'll start with a brief description of our itinerary, some personal observations made along the way, and 42 of those 2,488 pictures that represent the experience to me.


Day 1 - 16 hours of travel; sunrise in Amsterdam; arrive Rome; gelato tour begins next to the Pantheon; share a liter of red wine; best spaghetti alla carbonara ever

Day 2 - Explore the Colosseum; lunch and Italian lessons amid 2,000-year-old ruins; tour of the Pantheon; gelato outside the Pantheon again; another delicious dinner

Day 3 - Up before dawn to tour the Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica, and Sistine Chapel; birra and a snack at Biblio Bar (books + alcohol); lunch in Piazza Navona next to the Fountain of Neptune; the very tall Column of Marcus Aurelius in the Piazza Colonna; more gelato; the Spanish Steps at dusk; tossing a coin over our shoulder into Trevi Fountain

Day 4 - Nidia's birthday! Shopping around the Pantheon; drive from Rome to Orvieto; squeeze through narrow streets in the tiny town; drinks next to Duomo di Orvieto in Piazza del Duomo; celebratory birthday dinner at Trattoria La Palomba; seated above Etruscan caves

Day 5 - Day trip to The Dying City (Civita di Bagnoregio); more cats than people live there; lunch in a 1,500-year-old olive oil mill (Bruschetteria L'Antico Frantoio); shopping ladies; one more stop in the gelato tour

Day 6 - Drive from Orvieto to San Gimignano; visit 800-year-old cathedral, Duomo di Siena; lunch in Siena's Piazza del Campo; more gelato you say; view from our hotel room is straight from a painting

Day 7 - Sunrise over the Tuscan countryside; explore San Gimignano; we all buy fancy shoes; gelato (yep); wine-thirty on our room's balcony overlooking the Tuscan countryside; dinner at Quattro Gatti (the Four Cats)

Day 8 - Tod's birthday! Drive the wrong way down a narrow one way street reserved for pedestrians (no one was hurt); drive from San Gimignano to Venice; figure out how to drop off the rental car; private water taxi to the hotel; explore the city; streets made of water; Nidia buys fancy pants; drinks in St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco); celebratory birthday dinner at Ristoranti Al Conte Pescaor

Day 9 - Halloween in Venice; lots of walking and shopping; so many bridges; tour St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace; walk across the Bridge of Sighs; gelato tour must go on; Crocs as heels for 500 Euros (true story); accidental fine dining

Day 10 - Rainy day; train ride from Venice to Florence; cheeseburger and fries; gelato tour continues; walk around the Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore); 20 minute torrential downpour

Day 11 - Galleria dell'Accademia to see Michaelangelo's David; wonderful street art; chocolate waffle sandwich (instead of gelato); jewelry shopping on Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge); bought new (extra) suitcases; "life is better in Italian lingerie" at Intimissimi

Day 12 - A bit overwhelmed at the Uffizi Gallery; covid test in a tiny doctor's office; last stop of the gelato tour

Day 13 - Up at 3am; tiny airport; layover in Paris; first class is soooo nice (thanks for the birthday present, Mutti!); rainy afternoon in Seattle; happy Dexter and Chewie


• All of the food was delicious…not a single bad meal

• Drank wine every day without the next-day headaches

• Ate dessert every evening without the guilt

• Driving on the highways…keep to the right or you'll get a prostate exam from the driver behind you

• Street art in Florence was amazingly fun

• Public toilets often didn't have seats

• Enjoyed carrying my Nutsac, way more comfortable and stylish than a backpack

• Amazing architecture and history everywhere you go

• So many interesting buildings and doors full of character

• COVID-19: Traveling felt safe because most businesses checked vaccination status and required masks

• TIP: Having temporary European SIM cards for our cell phones made it easy to use GPS maps and communicate with each other

• TIP: Learning basic Italian phrases made communicating with locals much more pleasant: ciao, per favore, grazi, prego, buon giorno, buona sera, scusi, caffè, il conto


Keep scrolling to see the 42 pics. Why 42? Because it's the answer to the "ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything."

Full albums by city:

Rome (360)

Orvieto (45)

Civita (106)

Siena (53)

San Gimignano (79)

Venice (242)

Florence (118)


Buildings of Italy (69)

Doors of Italy (113)

Streets of Italy (52)

Street art of Italy (19)

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