30 March 2011


*Rick Steve's on his first backpacking trip to Europe

*Us on our firstbackpacking trip to Europe!
Sorry no update for so long, but we were without internet! In the meantime we have gone to...

VENICE was absolutely gorgeous, and more than made up for an uncomfortable and crowded night on a train. We left our bags at the station and started exploring. We wandered and eventually ran into 2 Americans named Ryan and Caty (one from Alaska and one from Tahoe) who are both young professional snowboarders! We ended up spending the day with them trying to get lost in the wonders of Venice. We went up the tallest tower in San Marco square and saw a beautiful view of all of Venice. Then we walked down until we found a fabulous park that we may have played on for...well...way too long! Then we took a boat taxi back up the main canal (for free!), got lost on purpose, grabbed a bite to eat, some gelato and took a train to Alberto's house! He was a very interesting guy, and a very nice host, but...our room was full of lady bug's! So weird! The next morning we went to Verona on the way to Milan to stay with Amy's cousin Josh for a night.
*Michelle is Leonardo's angel :)

*We couldn't pay for a gondola, but we got a free picture with one!

*Enjoying our first Italian gelato with Ryan and Caty!

*With our new friends Caty and Ryan enjoying our free boat taxi!

*Masks are a big deal here in Venice :D

*Playing at a park we happened upon

*Chillin' with the gondoliers...if that's what they're called!

VERONA was short, but sweet. We saw Juliet's balcony, got our names embroidered for free, and just enjoyed a beautiful city. Then we headed to Milan to stay with Josh. He took us out to a wonderful dinner of pork cutlet, risotto, steak, pasta, apple cake...you name it! So delicious!

was breath taking. Although the weather forecast said it would be raining, the sun was shining ALL day. The only bummer was that we could only hike between the first two towns! :( So, we hiked to the second, trained to the fourth in search of a place to sleep, found a hostel in the third, trained back to the third, hiked up to the third and were famished at the end of it all! We found a nice little cafe to eat at, even meeting some American friends! Then we trained to the fifth town in time for sunset, but most everything was closed. We did find a cafe that was open and met two guys from Ecuador and San Domenico that were so nice! They even gave us soda with ICE and lemon :D We ended up watching the futbol (soccer) game with some locals until we caught the next train to our hostel to sleep. Such a lovely day!

PISA was a quick stop on our way to Florence. We hopped off the train in search for a leaning tower, but ended up wandering the city for 45 minutes being sent in all directions by locals! We finally made it and it was so worth it! The building was beautiful! We had fun walking around the area and checking out the local market, until we hopped on a bus and then a train to Florence. We are now in Florence at a wonderful hostel right by the Duomo. We walked around the market, ate delicious kebab for dinner, and had Italian lessons from Alessandro the Italian policeman. Ciao!

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