Italy Vacation recap

Why didn't anyone ever tell me how amazing Italy is? We spent the first two weeks of April in Italy and had such an incredible time. I was leery about going on this trip for a few reasons-- first of all, G had already been there with his family years ago. I really wanted us to go someplace neither of us had been before. Secondly, this trip was part of a church tour. I was a little (okay, VERY) apprehensive about being stuck on a tour bus. I'm more of a loner (or very small group) traveler. I like being able to go along at my own pace and stop when I want to stop. I was worried that we'd spend all day on a tour bus and that we wouldn't have enough time for me to take photographs (because you know, trips and adventures are all about the photos!)

The trip far exceeded my expectations. It was, if I had to sum it up in one word- AMAZING. Really and truly life altering amazing. We spent at least one day in almost every place we visited--which made the time on the tour bus bearable. We saw some pretty incredible things-- incorruptible saints and relics, a Eucharistic miracle, and the most amazing art ever! Bernini and Michelangelo statues and sculptures are just hanging around EVERYWHERE! Also, because we were with a church group, we had a lot of older folks who were a little on the slow side so I had plenty of time to stop or step away and take photos and catch up with the group again!

Rome, Assisi, and Venice were my favorite cities. Rome was so modern and lively. The locals were so fashionable and beautiful. We couldn't believe how there was no road rage (the traffic in Rome was nuts!) No honking, no cursing, no flipping the bird. And the history! Ancient ruins are EVERYWHERE! Rome does an amazing job of keeping the old and blending it with the new.

Ruins in Rome
St. Peter's Square and the Vatican
Navona Square
Day 3- Rome. Basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva

Assisi was gorgeous with it's super steep hills and quaint little shops. I wish we could have spent more time there (we were there for two days only) So many cute little stores and streets to photograph!

Assisi, Italy
Street Scene in Assisi
Street Scene in Assisi
Basicilia of St. Francis of Assisi

Now Venice was a photographers dream (at least, it was this photographer's dream!) It was so vibrant and fun! The gondola ride was awesome, the architecture was so gorgeous, the history was really cool! We took a boat ride across the lagoon to the island of Burano which had to be, hands down, my most favorite place to photograph! I LOVED LOVED LOVED all the brightly color buildings and the laundry hanging from clotheslines! How FUN!  

Venice Canal
Venice Shop

here are a few of the highlights from our whirlwind, action packed 10 day trip:


  • Trevi Fountain and the Forum & Senate at night.
  • Audience with the Pope
  • Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls
  • Basilica of St. John Latern and the weeping stairs
  • Basilica of Mary Major
  • Sistine Chapel
  • St. Pete's Basilica
  • Colosseum
  • Arch of Titus
  • Piazza Navona
  • The Pantheon
  • Basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva
  • the Jewish Ghetto
  • Mass at St. Peters Tomb inside the grottos of St. Pete's Basilica


  • St. Rita's Basilica


  • St. Mary of the Angels Basilica and the Portiuncola
  • Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
  • Basicila of St. Claire of Assisi
  • Carceri Hermatige
  • Monastery of St. Damian
  • Spello (and the most amazing dinner at Il Molino)



  • Piazza Del Campo, theater of the biannual Palio, Siena’s spectacular medieval-style horse race
  • Sanctuary or St. Catherine
  • Basilica of St. Dominic



  • Santa Maria Novella Basilica
  • Checked out the exterior of the Duomo, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,”
  • Signoria Square
  • Santa Croce Basilica with the tombs of Michelangelo, Dante, Rossini, and others
  • San Gimignano



  • Carthusian Monastery



  • Church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie
  • Last Supper Painting



  • Basilica of St. Anthony



  • St. Mark's Square and it's Basilica
  • lavish Doges' Palace and the Bridge of Sighs
  • Venetian Master Glassblowers
  • Gondola Serenade
  • The island of Burano


I have approximately 2500 photos to sort through (I know, only 2500!)  I'll be adding some to flickr everyday. If you'd like to check out more photos from my amazing trip to Italy, check out my flickr:  Italy Adventure Photos


Have you been to Italy? I'd love if you commented below and let me know what your favorite part of the country is and what your favorite moments were!!!


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