Rome – A Modern Ancient City – Day 1 – Part 1

For this stay in Rome, we rented a one-bedroom apartment.  The apartment was located a block away from the Largo di Torre Argentina, in the direction of Piazza Venezia.  It was a penthouse apartment, and was accessible by a small, private elevator. One of the best features of the apartment was the terrace.  It ran…

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Pisa – Fourth Time is the Charm! – Day 2 – Part 3

The Monument to Giuseppe Mazzini, by Oragio Andreoni, dates from 1883.  Mazzini was an important Italian journalist, activist, and politician, who played a crucial role in the unification of Italy.  He died while in Pisa, in 1872, at 66 years of age. Palazzo dei Cavalieri, also known as Palazzo della Carovana, sits in the piazza…

Pisa – Fourth Time is the Charm! – Day 2 – Part 2

Housed in the Ex-Church of San Paolo all’Orto is the Gipsoteca di Arte Antica dell’Università di Pisa.  While not at the top of the list of popular attractions in Pisa, I highly recommend a stop here.  The building dates back to 1086, and inside, in addition to the museum exhibits, you can still admire old…

Pisa – Fourth Time is the Charm! – Day 2 – Part 1

Aside from being a top tourist destination, Pisa is also a university town, which means that there are a lot of young people!  This is reflected in the graffiti that one sees, when exploring the streets. Set on the Lungarno, the tiny Church of Santa Maria dei Galletti, or the Madonna dei Galletti, as we…

Pisa – Fourth Time is the Charm! – Day 1 – Part 2

One of the sights that I most look forward to, whenever I visit Pisa, is La Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina, or the Church of Santa Maria della Spina.  This jewel-box-like structure has enchanted me for years, but I’ve ever only seen it from the outside.  It was always closed, when I tried to…

Pisa – Fourth Time is the Charm! – Day 1 – Part 1

This was my fourth visit to the lovely city of Pisa.  Now, I know that there are some people out there who would think: Why return so often?  The reason is that this is a city filled with treasures!  There are museums, churches, lovely neighborhoods to stroll around, parks, all possible to visit on foot,…

Florence – The Birthplace of the Renaissance – Day 3 – Part 4

We became fans of a television show, on Netflix, called “Somebody Feed Phil.”  On one of the episodes, which focused on Florence, they spotlighted the Vivoli Gelateria.  The gelato looked so good, when we saw the episode, that we made a point of hunting the place out.  It was fairly easy to find, located only…

Florence – The Birthplace of the Renaissance – Day 3 – Part 3

You next make your way to the hall that is dominated by the large statue at the far end, Michelangelo’s masterpiece, “David.”  As you walk towards one of the world’s most famous statues, you may not realize it, but you are passing by some of the master’s other famous works, his Slaves.   These are a…

Florence – The Birthplace of the Renaissance – Day 3 – Part 2

Florence, like most Italian cities and towns, is a wonderful mix of old and new.  Creativity and art surround you as you walk the city’s streets.  The shopping isn’t bad either! We passed a poster advertising “The Florence Experiment” — a temporary exhibit in the courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi.  We peeked into the courtyard, just…