This is the first place in Italy that we ate at. Autogrill is a chain in Italy which specializes in "rapid food" - much better than any fast food I've ever had. They have a wide variety of sandwhiches and drinks - including some of the very best espresso and capuccinos I have tasted!
On the Road Again
Now you may quench your thirst for knowing what an Italian highway looks like. This is it!
Thayne and I had the only room in Sorrento with a balcony. They must've pitied us because we were also the only people who had a room on the 4th floor (to us Americans, that would be the fifth floor). It was so beautiful! We had everyone come up for a "party" one evening, until Drew and Emily crashed it because they, too, wanted to see the sights from our "suite."
Rear Window: Take Two
Another shot out of the window, or off the balcony. This one has the mountain/hill in it.
The Group (not complete): Left to Right
James O., David K., Andrew, Ethan, Jonathan, Max F., James B., Cameron, Thayne, Max P., Will P. This is a shot taken in the parking lot of our hotel in Sorrento (Hotel Eden).
This is where we took the hydrofoil out to the island of Capri from Sorrento. A few of us bought a whole bunch of strawberries from a vendor to chomp on while on board the boat. They didn't make it to the boat. I dream of the day I have a better strawberry!
If they've got a lot of anything in Italy, it's pizza. And Coca-Cola. We all had plenty of each. Here David K. is savoring his pizza margarita (mozzorella cheese, tomato, and basil). One of the best things about southern Italy is the lemon grown there - they are thick-skinned, and relatively sweet for a lemon. Put them in Coke, or even drink sprimutta, a fresh juice which is the specialty of southern Italy.
All the Colours in the World
This is right outside the cafe in which we ate (above picture). It had rained for a steady 5 minutes, drenching everything. And then, magically, the sun came out, illuminating the amazing colours of Italy - see the pinks, reds, yellows, and greens here? That's only a tiny sample!
Into the Sunset
Alright... so this isn't exactly a sunset. But can't you imagine looking out at the bay of Naples from the island of Capri, the sun a golden orange in the distance, the water reflecting its glory...
As we hiked up the path to the Villa Jovis, we passed... a cat!!
Can't We Just... Leave?
So, we finished climbing up a very steep hill (I dare say mountain), and are confronted with a breathtaking view of the Villa Jovis, Emperor Tiberius' villa at the top of Capri. All of the FSS kids immediately ask Drew if he will give us a tour of the ruins, while the Episcopalian girls' first request is to leave. They want to go shopping. For Prada. And Gucci. And Armanni. And whatever else you can put a price tag on.
I find old rocks interesting. You might not, and that's fine. I am accepting of most everyone, including non-nerds. These rectangles are the outlines of rooms in the Villa Jovis. I believe, though am not certain, that they would have been bedrooms, or cubicula.
Old and New, Together
Right atop the ruins of the Villa Jovis, there is a church. Or maybe it is a shrine. Either way, the church was not part of Tiberius' original plan. Modern people took the buildings left, fixed 'em up, or built them again, and now there stands a holy ediface.
When it Rains...
On the bus, driving to Amalfi, it began to rain. Somehow the water got into the lights, and began to drip down on Cameron and James. To rid themselves of the wet ickiness, a bag was secured with hair clips to the ceiling in order to catch the drops.
As you might've guessed, the bag-and-clip contraption met its downfall not too long after it was born. And so these rugged travelers turned to their last recourse - the umbrella!
This cathedral is in the heart of Amalfi, a charming little coastal village in the south of Italy. It was, again, raining on and off, and there was some construction underway at the cathedral, but it was still a marvelous sight to see. I did not go inside, but others said it was terrific.
My Future Home
This is one of the main streets in Amalfi. All cobblestone, small, winding, etc.... I would love to live there, or in a place like it, at least for a little while. It's just so stunning.
The craze was all for Fanta in Italy, but especially at this Amalfian pizzeria where we stopped. James and I stretched our Italian skills by trying to translate the ingredients on a can Cameron bought. Turns out we need some practice, because according to us, Cam was drinking fish juice, not pear juice.
Beware All Ye Who Enter Here
This dark tunnel leads to the cave in which the mysterious Sybil was reported to live. The Sybil was a prophet of the god Apollo, and she wrote all her secrets down in riddles on leaves. These leaves had a tendency of getting scattered, and if she could find your correct prophesy, it was always spooky...
Another lousy weather day. This is one of the few pictures I took of Pompeii which turned out alright. Even so, it's still very grey. This is the Forum in Pompeii. It would have looked like a much smaller, much less grand, version of the Forum Romanum (see below) when in its prime.
This sphere is located in the centre of one of the Vatican's gardens. We didn't get a chance to go look at it closely, but isn't is neat?!
The Pine Cone
Not quite sure why there is a pine cone in a Vatican garden, but there is. So there.
St. Peter's Basilica
These are statues on the top of St. Peter's. We took a whole day to walk around the Vatican Museum and explore the city/country of the Pope. Not nearly enough time! We did get to see, for however short a time, incredible pieces of art, including "La Pietà" and the Sistine Chapel. All I can say is: wow.
St. Peter's Detail
A closer photo of part of the sculptures on the Basilica.
A Lovely Piece of Architecture
This is one of the several beautiful buildings around Rome which is not ancient. I don't know exactly what it is I find so attractive about it, but there is this something about it which I cannot ignore.
The Wedding Cake
Romans like their ruins, and they are not very friendly to ostentatious modern works, such as this - the Palace of Victor Emmanuel, which they have dubbed "The Wedding Cake." It commemorated Victor Emmanuel, Italy's first King.
Every wedding cake needs the little plastic figures to top it off. From a distance, that is exactly what these two guards look like. This particular spot of The Wedding Cake is a shrine, and is guarded around the clock by two Italian soldiers.
Inside the Cake
If you look at the first picture of The Wedding Cake, you will see a long line of columns, flanked on each end by a square-ish enclosure. This picture was taken from the right hand enclosure, looking down the hall behind the columns.
I love these two statues of angels in their chariots. I think they are some of the most beautiful things I saw in Rome. We saw them at sunset one night, and to see them set against a firey red sky.... oooh.... perfection!
Just showing one of the statues better.
The Eternal City
Rome, as seen from atop The Wedding Cake, is a marvelous city.
In this picture, also taken from The Wedding Cake, you can see one of Rome's seven hills rising in the background. The ruin right in the centre is the Theatre of Marcellus, which was turned into apartments at one point. I am not sure if it is still used for that purpose.
Romulus and Remus
According to legend, Romulus, the founder of Rome, and Remus, his twin, were abandoned in the woods when a she-wolf found them. She nursed them, and this scene has become a commonly represented one in all ages of art.
This is a statue more or less behind the Wedding Cake, and it shows Marcus Aurellius, one of the Five Good Emperors. He is famous for his philosophy, including the book he wrote, The Meditations.
One of the days we had been planning to go up to Florence by high-speed train, but could not do so because of a general strike throughout Italy over pension plans. All goverment-opperated institutions were shut this day, including hospitals. On our way to the Spanish Steps, we passed by this protest in Rome.
More of the Protest
Max and His Toy
We spent one evening at the Trevi Fountain, where you are supposed to toss three coins over your shoulder into the fountain, making a wish. This insures your wish comes true, and that you return to Rome soon. I got three Guns 'N Roses CD's at a nearby bookstore, while Max bought this toy from the gypsies. Sadly, they are not real.
What a Happy Threesome!
Max, Drew, and Max's Toy at the Trevi Fountain.
I kept trying to take pictures of the United Colors of Benetton ads that were plastered all over Rome. This isn't a great shot, but you can see that, in Europe, they know how to sell a product.
Una Festa di Gelato!
Our last night in Rome, we girls decided to have a Gelato Party. We ordered this tub of about five different, delicious flavours, and stayed up eating all night. Mangia!