Italian Honeymoon Part 1

Hey, kids. I’m sorry I’ve been MIA. I’ve been crazy busy with work and life stuff. I’ve been spending so much time in front of the computer lately that when I have free time, I just want to be away from the screen. I have plenty of posts in the works in my mental file drawer, it’s just putting type to….screen?

This is a two-part post featuring my Italian honeymoon.

About 36 hours after Chuck and I were pronounced husband and wife, we boarded a plane headed for Europe. The destination was Florence, Italy, the home of my mother and a good portion of my family.

The main reason for our trip was my grandmother’s generous and wonderful wedding gift of airfare. Since she couldn’t make it to the wedding, she made us come to her. I was very excited to see my grandmother since she left for Italy permanently about four years ago. Little did I know that she would persist in calling me fat every time I saw her.

Oh, Nonna.

Our itinerary was a busy one.

We arrived around 3 p.m. on Monday and were quickly swept off to our hotel. We were given about a half hour to shower and change before my aunt and cousin gave us a quick tour of the center of Florence followed by dinner at my aunt’s house.


Tuesday we boarded a train and then a bus for Vinci, home of some artist that painted this chick named Lisa. It was a small town, with very little to see, but it had just as much to offer as the larger cities we saw.

In Vinci was a wonderful little museum that featured all of the inventions found in Leonardo’s notebook. FYI: In Vinci, Leonardo DaVinci is just Leonardo, or Leonardo a Vinci, not DaVinci as we know him. The museum built his inventions to the specifications in the notebook and put them in action so that visitors could see how it worked.

The streets of Vinci

The birthplace of Leonardo


We were Rome-bound on Wednesday, but only for the day. We had decided to focus all of our energy on the ruins surrounding the Coliseum. Being that we aren’t Catholic, we didn’t have much interest in the Vatican, regardless of its history.

Rome is fascinating to say the least. It was amazing to be in the presence of something so old and once so powerful. I wasn’t impressed much the actual city of Rome. To be honest, it was pretty filthy. It was probably the dirtiest city that we visited.

But, we were almost stranded there when we went to the wrong train station for our return trip to Florence.

We missed our train, I had a massive panic attack, and after waiting over an hour on a ticket line, we caught the last train to Florence. During our three-hour trip, we chatted with a sweet Lithuanian couple who now live in England. They told us what it was like to grow up in a new country once torn by war, and we told them what it was like to live in a country with 6-weeks maternity leave (“But what do you do with such a young baby?”) and triple taxation.


We got a full view of David’s peep on Thursday, but I was more impressed with the size of his massive hands in proportion to the rest of his body. I have no idea why Michelangelo did this, but it was fascinating to see this large-scale piece of work along with his works that were still unfinished. I read that Michelangelo could see his sculptures in the stone before he would he would begin to carve. This could be seen in some of his unfinished work, which was still mostly incased in stone.

Thankfully, we had asked the hotel to make reservations for us at the Accedemia where the David is now housed. We were able to skip the massive line, for only 10 euro more.

Not a great picture, but this is Piazza Vecchio. Now a tourist destination, but 85 years ago, it was my grandmother's playground. She was born in a house in that ally on the right.

That night we had dinner with my aunt and grandmother before my cousin took us to Piazzale Michelangelo, for a wonderful view of the city. She also took us to Fiesole for more visti belli, but it came with a price. Walking up this hill.

My cousin did this in HEELS!!! That's why Italian women are so skinny.

My reward for my exercise came with my cousin took us to her gelato place, which was by far the best we had our entire trip. And we know, because we ate it at least once, sometimes twice, a day.

Next week, I’ll give you a peek of Venice and Siena and bear my soul a little.


3 thoughts on “Italian Honeymoon Part 1

  1. I love the pics and can’t wait to see more!! I ate a bunch of gelato when I was in Italy, too. I long to go back and experience everything again, because I’m sure I took it for granted at the age of 13.

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