Days 31-42: Genoa, Venice, Florence and Rome

It’s been a little while, but I’m back! My Uncle Wayne died suddenly last weekend, and as much as my heart is hurting and I want to be home, I know he’d want nothing more than for me to finish my trip and do it big! ❤️
Since Marseille, we’ve stopped in Genoa, Venice, Florence and now Rome. We spent two nights in Genoa at a beautiful new hostel with really great people. During our short time there we just did a lot of wandering and exploring. 

Venice was unique and beautiful. We spent our time there in a hostel on an island named Giudecca. Not many places have standard hours, and it was hard to find restaurants that were consistently open. We found one cafe that was a few bridges away that served reasonably prices coffee, pizza and the best tiramisu I’ve had yet. We bought a multi day pass to the ferry, which is the only way to see the other islands, and did a “poor girls gondola ride” one night and rode the ferry as far as it would take us.

Trying out her new eye mask while also shielding her eyes from the freezing wind.
Sunset during our “poor girls gondola ride”.
Double fisting gelato and hot wine.

Señor Grumpy Orange. One of many cats we met on Giudecca.

 
After chatting with Natalie on the phone in Venice, she convinced us we needed to visit Florence. If you don’t know Natalie, she is my beautiful friend I met in high school during her exchange program to the US, and we’ll be visiting her in her home country of Romania soon. We stayed at an AirBNB in Florence that was some kind of mix between a hotel and a hostel. It was four bedrooms that shared a kitchen and two bathrooms. It was in a great central area with lots to explore. On our first day, we visited Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David. On day two, I got to meet my cousin’s cousin Claire who is studying in Florence, and finally got some great Mexican food. On our last day, we visited the Ai Weiwei exhibit at Palazzo Strozzi. It was pretty amazing and although I had never heard of Weiwei before, I can’t wait to learn more. We also got to enjoy an incredible sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo, and the best gelato we’ve had yet at a place Nat recommended. 

Mannequin challenge.
The booty.
The man, himself (we think).
Does no one else think this piece is prophesying Trump? Tell me that baby isn’t wearing a toupee.
Piazzale Michelangelo brings quite the crowd!
View from Piazzale Michelangelo.
This guy played American folk songs on the banjo while the sun set 😍
Lavender and her mommy. She paid attention to us just long enough to realize she wouldn’t be getting any of our gelato.
Nat’s favorite gelato. So good!

Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei

Now, we’re in Rome. We’re definitely not staying in the nice part, but we don’t care. So far, we’ve visited the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Vatican and the Basilica. We have quite a few roommates, two of which are from Portugal, and I’m sure they’re quite sick of hearing me talk about how much I love their country. I never thought I’d say it, but I am so sick of pizza and pasta and cannot wait to head to Greece for some new (AND DELICIOUS) cuisine on Friday. 

We were too excited and walked to the Colosseum our first night here.
Coliseum in daylight!
The Roman Forum.
McDonald’s here has veggie burgers!
That’s a lot of breasts you have there.


While at the Vatican, we made our way to the Sistine Chapel. Photos were allowed in every part of the museum except for this part with very little (and not easily seen) warning. Before getting yelled at, I snapped this one!:



That’s all for now. It feels good to catch-up and I promise I’ll try to update more often.

 
Ciao ciao!

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