We reached Venice early afternoon yesterday and quickly headed out to see the city of water. We visited Venice’s Saint Mark’s Square and the inside of the cathedral. We all had the afternoon and evening to ourselves, many of the group headed to 6 PM mass.
Our early morning start had us heading out to meet our local guide, Katarina, who took us all over to show us much of Venice. Many of us took this time to also see where the good shopping stops would be when we had some free time after the tour. Venice is a special place to end our tour together, there is no where like it in the world.
Tonight we have our farewell dinner and thank our wonderful guide, Enrica, for her tremendous help, guidance, humor and drive to get us all through the 17-day tour. It has been an amazing journey with alumnae, friends of the College and some new friends to the College. We can’t wait to tell you all about our experiences.
We had a day jam-packed in Florence with a visit to see the statue of David, Florence Cathedral, political center, Uffizi Gallery (for some) and plenty of time for shopping. As soon as we stepped foot in Florence you could smell the leather.
Our first stop was to see the statue of David, it was spectacular. When I walked into the room my eyes were quickly drawn to the enormous statue of David and its complete perfection. It was incredible to think that it was completely sculpted out of one, 6 ton piece of marble.
We soon headed over to the Florence Cathedral, where we turned the corner and it appeared in all it’s beauty. The marble was white, gray and pink hues, each color accenting the other. Due to the incredible detail on the outside of the cathedral, the inside was very modest, but still beautiful.
Almost 1/2 the group met after a quick lunch break to see the Uffizi Gallery. The building itself was a masterpiece, but numerous masterpieces here hung on the walls and placed on pedestals. Even the views for the windows to see the Ponte Vecchio were special. It took most of us a while to get through the museum but when we headed out, we shopped and enjoyed a special gelato called the ‘cream coffee’, basically it is vanilla gelato with espresso put over top of it. It was worth ever bite…one alum said it was worth the trip to taste it.
Tonight is our last night in Tuscany and we head to Venice for two nights.
We have spent two wonderful days in Tuscany with visits to Perugia & Siena. Visits to cathedrals, chocolate shops, museums & delicious trattorias. Here are some wonderful photos from the visits.
And an little Ursuline in our Villa Lecchi
Day One: Orvieto was about a 2 hour delightful drive from Rome. The weather was perfect and the town is perched on a hill like a fortress. The medieval town is full of charm. When we arrived, we quickly checked in and went for a quick walk to see the cathedral as the sun was setting. It is the perfect time to see it, the sun shines directly on the face of the building with the beautiful stone, frescos and gold trims.
We then headed to Zeppelin where we met Chef Lorenzo who taught us all how to make pasta and eat the Etruscan way. The 6 course meal was delicious and I think we all rolled back to the hotel.
Day Two: Chef Lorenzo and my husband had a wonderful time during dinner and we were invited to his farm. We did not see the inside of the cathedral with the tour (everyone said it was beautiful and Sunday mass was truly special), but we headed out with Lorenzo to his farm to see how he cultivates grapes for wine & olives. He also put us to work – we planted 6 bay leaf trees with him. It was an experience we will never forget.
We met back with the group to see the caves under Orvieto. Each home had a cave for a particular use, whether it be for water, olive oil or safety during World War II. There are over 1,000 caves under the city and they believe more are to be found.
We headed out for dinner where we soon realized that this small medieval village comes alive at night, even Sunday night. The streets were busy with travelers, locals and lots of families.
Off to Assisi tomorrow!
It was an early start for the group this morning so we could get to Pompeii in enough time to see the historic landmark, visit Sorrento and stop off at Positano to see the views. Nic was our guide for Pompeii and new every inch of the site. He took us all over the area to see all Pompeii had to offer.
Unfortunately, it rained most of the time we were there. Nic warned us that when it rains in Pompeii, a canoe is needed… if we had one it would have made portions of the maneuvering easier. Even though it rained, the tour was incredible and the sites were one of a kind. By the end of the tour, the sky parted and we could see the massive and once destructive Mount Vesuvius in the back-drop… what a moment to take in!
We soon loaded the bus to Sorrento to see the beautiful small city, where the specialties are inlaid wood and Lemoncello…delicisio!
I would have to say the most spectacular part of the day was taking the ‘true’ Amalfi drive from Sorrento to Amalfi with Positano in-between. Each turn and curve was more breath-taking and nerve-wracking. The driver Enrico was truly amazing and took each turn and curve with perscision. He stopped at each site for us to see and while our tour guide, Enrica, taught us about about each town on the way and who owned each villa. The most beautiful one being Italian actress Sophia Loren’s.
We are off to Rome tomorrow, but will miss the Amalfi Coast. Ciao!!!
-Tiffany Mushrush Mentzer’03, Director of Alumnae Relations and Development Specialist