As I go through photos, I keep finding more sights to share.
We were in Italy for ten days, and visited Venice (2 nights), Florence (2 nights), Assisi (one night), and Rome (4 nights). We also had a side trip to Pisa and a lovely visit to the Tabarrini Winery in the Umbrian region. (I know that only adds up to nine nights, but the flight over is basically the first night.) Rome is so richly endowed with sights to see, we could have spent a month just in Rome.
The Spanish Steps from the bottom:
and from the top:
Sandy C. asked if we were on a tour or off on our own. Thankfully, we were with a tour group out of Minneapolis. We were so glad to have wonderful guides taking care of us. We had a guide who traveled with us from Minneapolis, ensured all the luggage got where it was supposed to go, that none of us got “lost”, that people with special food needs got what they were supposed to get, etc.
Once we were in Italy, an Italian guide joined us for the full trip. She was extremely knowledgeable, kept us apprised of any customs or rules we should be aware of, secured the tickets we needed for admission to all the various places, and basically coordinated everything on the Italy end of things.
Then in each of the cities, we picked up another guide specifically for that city. Those guides were amazing. Their English was very good, and it added so much to our experience to have an expert help us understand what we were seeing. They go through years of extensive schooling before they are able to be tour guides. They are extremely knowledgeable on their history, art, and architecture. We also had a generous amount of free time where we could go off on our own for additional sight-seeing/shopping/eating — or maybe all three!
There were 22 of us traveling from Minneapolis (Sean and Joan are missing from this picture, and guides Mary and Helga are taking the pictures). Here we are in Venice:
And of course we all had cameras in our hands all the time. A few of us were standing in front of a statue in Assisi, and out came the cameras:
We had our own personal paparazzi!