Italy
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Our second trip together in Europe took us to Italy, home of the ancient Roman Empire and birthplace of the Renaissance.

Locator Map for Italy

Click on any picture to enlarge it.

This is an approximate map outline of our travels through Italy. We began in Rome and traveled clock-wise, eventually ending back in Rome. Map Overview of Our Tour of Italy

Detail of Michelangelo's Fresco "The Creation of Adam" on the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

It is difficult to consider Italy without thinking of the great art it has brought to the world. This is a detail of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's masterpiece, "The Creation of Adam".
  tourist attraction

One of the major attractions in Italy is the lovely city of Venice where there are islands and canals. The canals date back to the 5th century when regional inhabitants built nascent Venice in a swampy, sparsely settled lagoon in order to escape the swords of the invading Barbarians. This is on the Grand Canal with a view of St. Mark's Cathedral peeking from the back.  Right, St Mark's Square.
   tourist attraction

The Grand Canal in Venice, Italy St Mark's Square, Venice, Italy

Jerrold Patz & Naimah Zakaria Riding in a Gondola in Venice

Here we are in a gondola, riding from the Grand Canal to one of the over 150 smaller canals that serve as city streets.
 picture Jerrold Patz tourist attraction Naimah "Jerrold Patz"  

The "Bridge of Sighs" in Venice connects the court house to the prison. The name comes
from the usual one-way trip from one to the other; those convicted
 in the court house seldom returned from the prison.
  tourist attraction
"The Bridge of Sighs", Venice

Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer residence. The presence of the guard indicates that the Pope is in residence.

Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's official summer residence. As he was not in Rome when we were there, we decided to visit him at his other residence. The guards are the famed Swiss Guards, clothed in uniforms originally designed in 1548 by Michelangelo.

We are in Verona standing with a bronze of Juliet [Giulietta in Italian], from Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" (left). A view of Juliet's famous Verona balcony.
Juliet's balcony juliet's balcony   "balcony romeo and juliet"   picture Jerrold Patz Naimah
"Jerrold Patz"  

Jerrold Patz & Naimah Zakaria at a bronze of Juliete in Verona Juliet's (of Romeo and Juliet) Balcony in Verona

Jerrold Patz & Naimah Zakaria Standing in St. Peter's Square, Rome

We are standing in St. Peter's Square in Rome, in front of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. This is where thousands gather to see and hear the Pope.
picture Jerrold Patz Naimah tourist attraction
 "Jerrold Patz"

This is the Colosseum of Ancient Rome (more info here), still a major feature in the modern city.  Started by Emperor Vespasian in 72 CE, it was completed by his son Titus in 80 CE. The massive structure could seat more than 50,000 people. This was the site of the gladiator games and wild beast shows of ancient Rome.
picture Jerrold Patz Naimah
 
"Jerrold Patz" tourist attraction Roman Coliseum 
The Colosseum of Rome Jerrold Patz & Naimah Zakaria in the Ancient Colosseum of Rome
Milan park dedicated to Columbus's three ships used in the 1492 voyages to America; the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria Christopher Columbus was born in Milan. This park commemorates his 1492 voyage to America by depicting his three ships: the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria.
 columbus's three ships  columbus ships   
No trip to Italy could be complete without a visit to Pisa, home of the Leaning Tower, a major engineering mistake. The Tower of Pisa is actually the bell tower of the Cathedral. Its construction began in August of 1173 and continued (with two long interruptions) for about two hundred years. It began to lean almost immediately upon the installation of very heavy bells. An attempt to 'right' the tower was halted as a straight tower  would  cease to be a tourist attraction.
picture Jerrold Patz Naimah "leaning tower of pisa" 
"Jerrold Patz"  
The Leaning Tower of Pisa Jerrold Patz Supporting the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Jerrold Patz & Naimah Zakaria at Pisa

Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy   Portrait, Duke of Urbino, Hanging in the Uffizi Galery, Florence This is a picture of the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) in Florence taken from the 2nd Floor of Uffizi Gallery. Originally the home to the Doge, this covered bridge allowed transit to his palace without using the city streets.

A classic Renaissance picture hanging in the Uffizi Gallery: Federigo da Montefeltro, the 2nd Duke of Urbino, painted by Piero della Francesca in  1470.

A view of Pompeii with Mt Vesuvius in the background. In a catastrophic volcanic eruption of 79 CE, Pompeii was completely buried in ash, and preserved for modern archeologists.
picture Jerrold Patz Naimah tourist attraction
Mt Vesuvius volcano        

Mount Vesuvius from Pompeii   Jerrold Patz & Naimah Zakaria in Pompeii

   The Abbey of Monte Cassino as Seen From the Polish Cemetery   Closeup of the Abbey of Monte Cassino Door to the Basilica
Statue of Charlemagne, a Patron of the Abbey at Monte Cassino
The Abbey of Monte Cassino, sitting high on a hilltop about 50 km south of Rome, was built in 529. The first picture, taken from the World War II Polish Cemetery, shows the Abbey. The second shows details of the door to the basilica, and the third, a statue of Charlemagne, ("Carolo Magno") who visited the abbey in 787 (13 years before he became the Holy Roman Emperor) and granted it vast privileges.
 statue of charlemagne   
We are on Capri, overlooking the cliffs and the bay. Although it was a warm day, it was very hazy.
 picture Jerrold Patz Naimah
"Jerrold Patz"  
Jerrold Patz & Naimah Zakaria On the Cliffs in Capri
The Spanish Steps, Rome The Spanish Steps in Rome, a well-known gathering place for travelers.  The piazza was named after the Spanish Embassy, once located here. The steps, built with French money in 1725, now lead to the French church Trinita dei Monti.
  tourist attraction
Our trip ended in Rome at the Trevi Fountain, one of Rome's most famous monuments. It was the subject of the 1954 movie "Three Coins in the Fountain" and the 1960 movie, "La Dolce Vita" . It was designed by Nicola Salvi  in 1732. The water is supplied by an ancient aqueduct. Legend has it that if you throw a coin into the fountain - you will return to Rome. We both threw coins.
 tourist attraction
Trevi Fountain, Rome

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  Italy tourist attraction "romeo and juliet" "romeo & juliet"