Saturday, December 12, 2009

Quick Trip to Pisa

This Saturday, Alli, Doty, and I made a quick trip to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower. We caught the 9am train to Pisa, its only an hour, on the way there I read Kant, not a fun way to spend an hour. From the train station it was a short bus ride to the Pisa complex. Pisa's only real attraction is the complex, it contains the Leaning Tower, the cathedral, and the baptistery. The complex, being the only attraction, overcharges its patrons. It was 15 euro to climb the Tower and see the cathedral. The tower was worth it, I enjoyed the climb, and it had great views.

View of the entire complex

View of the Leaning Tower

View of the Cathedral from the tower

Alli and I at the top of the tower

Shoving match

Christmas Dinner

Last Monday the entire program got together to celebrate Christmas, the end of the semester, and the fact that some of us are leaving. We ate at a nice restaurant in town with the school covering a over half of the bill. Dr. Burke gave a short speech, "Santa" made a brief appearance, there was a silent auction, and a raffle. I won 4 euro worth of gelato from Gelateria Carabe, it is close by and quite delicious.

Emily Pyne and I, she is staying for another semester

Tim and I, (he is wearing my shirt and tie)

Kepfer and I with Santa (played by Spencer)

Dr. Burke and I

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gift for my Mom

I looking for a gift to get my mom from Italy, so I took some pictures of some scarfs that she might like. Mom, if you see something that you like, cast your vote, everyone else can vote as well.

Dutch booth at the Christmas Market

Cashmere-silk scarfs

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day trip to Venice and inside the Duomo

This is my last free weekend before finals, so this Friday I went to Venice on a day trip to see the last city on my list of places to see. It was an early start, up at 7:30 and started to walk by 8, the train left at 8:40. It was a 2:40 train ride to Venice, we arrived around 11:30, right on time. It was raining in Venice, but I didn't care, I had been wanting to go to Venice ever sense I got to Italy. Venice was beautiful, as we arrived the ocean was right next to the train tracks. The Grand Canal runs right out side the train station and we got to see that right away. It was a fun walk from the train station to the Rialto and San Marco. The Rialto bridge is one of the world's most famous bridges, it spans the Grand Canal in a single arch, it supports a number of shops as well as those who are crossing. From the Rialto, we walked to San Marco, which was flooded. They had walkways set up to allow visitors still see the sights. San Marco is the square and church that can be seen in The Italian Job. It houses the San Marco's Basilica and the Doge's Palace. We were still able to see both of these sights by way of the raised walkways. The basilica combines different styles, eastern and western. The Doge was the duke of Venice, the palace is full of art, weapons, and is where the Bridge of Sighs is found. After we left the Doge's Palace, we went to find lunch at a restaurant that Rick Steves recomended, it was tasty. I had bean soup and grilled prawns. After dinner we split a bottle of white wine to pass the time while we were drying off and waiting for the train. We took a Vaporetto, or water bus, from the Rialto to the train station bought our tickets and waited for our train, we were back by 8pm.

Grand Canal


Inside San Marco

As close as I could aford to get to a Gondola

Two pillars in Piazza San Marco

Largest oil painting in the world

On the Vaporetto

From the Vaporetto

Saturday was a lazy day but Doty decided that we couldn't just sit around all day so we went and grabbed lunch and headed for the Duomo. I had not gone inside of the Duomo yet and Doty is a tour guide so he took me through it and we climed Giotto's Tower, the bell tower next to the Duomo.

Inside the Duomo

The dome

Doty on the way up

Ring my bell

View from the top

Doty and I made it to the top

Me and the Duomo

Ben and Jerry's for everyone who made it to the top