Our two weeks in Italy will span about 350 miles, starting in Venice and ending in Rome. Here is the quick breakdown of our trip (using European date formats, of course):
03/09 : Land at Marco Polo Airport in Venice
06/09 : Travel by train to Florence
09/09 : Travel by train to Chiusi, between Florence and Rome
10/09 : Travel by train to Rome
15/09 : Fly home via the Leonardo da Vinci Airport outside of Rome
After what promises to be a sleepless overnight flight on Friday, we will land in Venice, named La Serenissima, the Most Serene, by the natives. The city is slowly sinking into the sea, a process thus far unsuccessfully thwarted by various attempts by the Venetian government. As the buildings withstand more and more attacks by the corrosive saltwater, the cost of living in Venice becomes higher and higher, driving the population down each year. We will gladly visit St. Mark’s Square, Murano, and the Academy art gallery, but to me it’s a dying city, beautiful in death but without a real future.
Three days later, a high-speed train will carry us into the heart of Tuscany, to the art mecca of Florence, home of Michelangelo. After climbing all 460 steps to reach the apex of Il Duomo, the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, we’ll board another train bound for a small hilltop village called Chiusi. There, we will enjoy supper at Osteria La Solita Zuppa, a small restaurant with heart, soul, and ultra-regional cuisine recommended to us by an Italian friend.
The morning following our Tuscan feast will see us on another train, this time speeding straight for the heart of Italy, to the Eternal City, Rome, where we will spend six days eating and walking. Rome is filled with so much glorious art and ancient culture that it’s impossible to even begin to describe all we wish to see and do there, but we will naturally be covering the basics: The Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and, of course, the smallest nation in the world, Vatican City.
Once we are thoroughly exhausted by language barriers and heavy from overeating, when our ankles are numb from all the walking and we feel crushed by the weight of the history surrounding us, we will head to the airport outside of Rome where we will board a plane for the long flight home.
Whew. That was just the summary!