italy blog journal – part 3…

italy3
for the final entry of my italy blog journal, i want to share the highlights of our journey for those that joined the extended portion of our adventure to assisi and rome.  many people have asked about the photos i’ve been sharing and the type of camera i used?  all photos were taken with my iPhone 5S and i couldn’t be happier with the results…

10/27: after the group checked out of our home away from home for the past 8 days the grand hotel la pace, we loaded up the coach with all of our luggage (which ironically couldn’t fit back in, i guess some of us did a little too much shopping the past week).  today’s destination – the charming town of assisi.  we arrived at the foothills of assisi and met our tour guide alessandro who took us through the basilica of st. mary of the angels and shared with us the story of st. francis.  we walked through this incredible basilica and stepped through the original chapel saint francis began, it was beautiful and peaceful beyond words…

assisi1

we boarded our coach again and took the short drive up the mountain to the town of assisi where our tour continued through the streets of this amazing place.  as we walked with alessandro he continued to share the history of saint francis and saint claire.  our tour took us through the stone covered steep hill streets of assisi with stops at the church of saint claire and  st. francis basilica, it was a wonderful afternoon filled with inspiration…

assisi3

we stayed the night in this serene town of assisi at the hotel giotto with breathtaking views of the towns below.  we had the night to visit the various shops in this town which included bakeries with the biggest meringues i’ve ever seen, wonderful paper shops, olive wood shops, and beautiful architecture everywhere you turned.  that night we met for a delicious group dinner at our hotel, and a good night sleep before heading off to rome in the morning…

assisi2

10/28: this morning following breakfast we boarded our coach for the drive to the eternal city – destination: rome.  upon arrival our first stop was the famous trevi fountain filled with glorious statues, and crowds of people.  we all took this opportunity to throw our coins in the fountain assuring our return back to italy.  following a short walk through the streets of rome we boarded our coach again and enjoyed a panoramic tour of rome as we made our way to our hotel michelangelo…

trevi

after checking in to our hotel, we unpacked one last time and had time to get settled into our new surroundings.  later that evening we met for a group dinner at a local italian restaurant walking distance from our hotel.  we enjoyed good italian food, cold italian beer, and lots of laughs and fun conversation…

romedinner

10/29: the weather this morning was spectacular for our early walk from our hotel to the vatican city.  we met our guide and took a walking tour through the stunning vatican city including the vatican museums and vatican gardens.  the highlight of the day for me was walking through the famed sistine chapel and marveling at the extraordinary frescos painted by michelangelo himself – this was truly a moment i will never forget…

vaticansistinechapel

following lunch we boarded our coach for the final stop on our adventure – destination: tivoli gardens & fountains.  this was without a doubt some of the most spectacular landscaping in all of italy.  the gardens and fountains are located at the famous villa d’este built hundreds of years ago.  we enjoyed a leisurely walk through the grounds experiencing some of the most stunning water features ever.  it was a great day to to spend with friends…

tivoli

10/30: today was our last day in italy as we woke to another perfect sunny day.  following breakfast everyone set out on their own to tour the city of rome at our leisure.  we walked from morning to night exploring the many historic architectural landmarks of this bustling city including the awesome coliseum, roman forum, pantheon, and famed spanish steps.  we shopped piazza to piazza including the popular piazza novena before heading back to our hotel to enjoy our final farewell dinner together and say our good-byes bringing this journey to a close…

rome

i want to once again express my heartfelt appreciation and to say “graze mille” to jim west (of scrapmap) for planning this ultimate trip of a lifetime, to mario for his support and hard work getting all of the kits packed and shipped, to the companies who sponsored products for this event (ranger, stampers anonymous, idea-ology, xyron, american crafts, and ek success), and of course without a doubt to the group of new found friends who have shared this artful adventure in italy with us.  i couldn’t have dreamt a journey anymore inspiring than the one we have shared together – here’s to always choosing to “remember the now”…t!m

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