Our Trip to Italy

Sept 19th - Oct 5th 2008

This is a description of our vacation to Italy in 2008. I generated this web page for a variety of reasons. First, I wanted to create a record of this enjoyable trip for my own memories, and to share these record with friends.

Second, I tried to document our trip on a day by day basis, telling any reader of this page what we saw. We did this trip entirely on our own, without an organized tour guide, this saved us lots of money, and also allowed us to spend time visiting the places we most wanted to see, for as long as we desired at each place. If you are thinking of visiting Italy, I encourage you to go! It takes a bit of planning, but the rewards are great. I have included some material here that will hopefully make planning your trip easier, please check out my travel notes webpage. Or you can send me an email if you have questions that I may be able to answer about how to visit Italy (I am not a professional travel guide.)

Finally, I put together this webpage with all my photos as a reference for anyone who has visited these same places and would like to identify various buildings or objects of art. I have tried hard to accurately identify what is in my photographs. If have pictures from your own trip that you can not name, perhaps you could compare them to my pictures and get a proper identification. My favorite pictures are shown in the Best Italy Photos webpage. The other web pages, along with many more photos, include the day to day descriptions of where we went and what we saw. Hopefully this website will inspire you take a trip to Italy, or you will remember a visit to Italy that you may have already enjoyed. We had a wonderful time and would like very much to make a return visit.

Below is a schedule showing what Melanie and I saw each day. We followed our original plan closely. Melanie had devised an itinerary that maximized our sightseeing and minimized our traveling between points of interest. We spent zero time shopping and almost no time in restaurants. Instead, we bought pizza and gelato and found a nice piazza to enjoy it, or else we shopped at the local market and put together our own Italian dinner back at the apartment. Our interest was in seeing the wonders of Italy; instead of shopping or eating, we would rather visit the unique Italian buildings. Our planning and the focus on sightseeing is how we managed to get to such an extensive number of places.

Mon, Sept 15
Tue, Sept 16
Wed, Sept 17
Thu, Sept 18
Fri, Sept 19

Art & Mel depart Seattle

Mom & Rose depart Cleveland

Sat, Sept 20

Mom & Rose arrive in Venice

Art & Mel arrive in Venice

Night walk to San Marco Square

Sun, Sept 21


Saint Mark's Basilica

Doge's Palace

Bridge of Sighs + Prison

Scala Contarini de Bovolo

Rialto Bridge

Venice City Walks

Mon, Sept 22

Grand Canal Vaporetto Ride

St. Mark's Basilica & Museum

Correr Museum

San Giorgio Maggiore


Venice City Walk and Vaporetto Ride

Tue, Sept 23

Train to Florence

Uffizi Gallery

Wed, Sept 24

Duomo Dome Climb


Ponte Vecchio

Boboli Gardens

Climb Giotto's Bell Tower

Accademia (Statue of David)

Thu, Sept 25

Daytrip to Siena (Bus)

Church San Domenico

Climb Siena City Tower

Il Campo

Duomo + Piccolomini Library

Fort Medicea

Siena City Walk

Fri, Sept 26

Daytrip to Pisa (train)

Climb the Leaning Tower



Ancient Ships Archeological Site

Pisa City Walk

Sat, Sept 27


Piazzale Michelangelo

Church San Miniato al Monte

Duomo Museum (parade outside)

Medici Chapel

Sun, Sept 28

Train to Rome

St Peter's Square

St Peter's Dome Climb

Castel Sant'Angelo

Mon, Sept 29

Train to Pompeii

Tour of Pompeii Ruins

Night walk to Piazza Navona

Tue, Sept 30


Arch of Constantine

Roman Forum

Palatine Hill


Obelisk & Fountain walk across city

Wed, Oct 1

Piazza del Popolo

Spanish Steps

Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel

St Peter's Basilica

Baths of Carcalla

Pyramid of Gaius Cestius

Aventine Hill

Thu, Oct 2

Appian Way

Catacombs San Callisto + Circus of Maxentius + Tomb Cecilia Metella

Aqueduct Park

Church St John Lateran

Borghese Gardens

Fri, Oct 3

Daytrip to Tivoli (bus)

Hadrian's Villa

Villa d'Este

Sat, Oct 4

Train to Ostia Antica

Tour Ruins of Ostia Antica

Temple of Vesta

Trastevere + Janiculum (Fontana Paola + Garibaldi Monument)

Sun, Oct 5

Art & Mel fly to Seattle

Mom & Rose fly to Cleveland

This map shows our route. The number inside the city circle indicates how many nights we spent in each city. We followed the classic Venice-Florence-Rome itinerary. With the exception of the buses we took to Tivoli and Siena, all other intercity journeys were on trains.