As my friend Mark suggested a little while back, I am going to start a series of write-ups on my trip to Europe. Really it’s an excuse to share a bunch of my pictures, more than anything. You can find part one here, and part two here.
The morning after Monte Carlo was an early rise. The boat was docking at 6 am, and we had to be ready to go. But really, it was a wonder I could sleep at all.
Being half Italian, I have spent my life dreaming of the moment I would first step foot into Italy, and how amazing it would be. For that reason, it’s a wonder I slept at all.
My alarm went off around 4:45 am and I groggily began to get ready with Jennifer and my Aunt. We made our way to the breakfast buffet, then back to room to grab our things. I wanted to be at the railings of the boat when we docked, and soak in the view of Italy, like a ray of sunshine.
As we docked in Livorno, this was my first view of Italy:
A small lighthouse with the waning fog behind it. It was perfect.
Then I turned to the actual dock. The city was beautiful, but there was some little thing detracting from it.
|I wonder what it could have been…|
Once you looked past Bugs and the gang though, it was a beautiful sight to behold.
From Livorno, we had to take a train to Florence. The train ride was a solid hour, and we all tried to take in the countryside as our eyes drooped with the rocking of the train. Some of us were not so successful. I won’t post pictures though, so as not to incur wrath from family members.
I didn’t get to see much of the famed Tuscan countryside, and what I managed to capture in pictures was blurred by the speed of the train. But Florence made up for this mishap.
I should preface this section of my story by saying that I had a very specific plan for Florence. It is the backdrop for one of my absolute favourite novels: The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant. The night before arriving, I combed through her book and made a list of the places I needed to see, and their significance in the Renaissance or the novel. I used that list like my bible on that day in Florence; perhaps even to the point where every family member ended up hating me a little. Sorry guys.
First on my list was the Santa Maria Novella. In this church Dunant first saw the painting that inspired the book’s protagonist, Allesandra. There are no pictures allowed in the Santa Maria Novella. But this is what it looks like on the outside:
|Literally the best picture I managed to get of the dome.|
|Note Dante Allegheri in the corner!|
|Marconi, who is important to Newfoundland as well|