A few days ago, Wynn and I were flying home from a trip to Italy. It was a long day of travel and the end of an amazing journey. I never thought I'd be able to experience an Italian journey within my cancer journey. A few months ago Wynn suggested going to Italy because I was doing well and he feels that we should do as much as we can, while I can. Having never been there, I was totally on-board with the idea, but also strapped with worry...What if we get there and something happens? Will I be able to get home OK? What if we put out a lot of money and at the last minute my health doesn't allow us to go? Trip cancellation insurance is hard to get and expensive when one has cancer. Wynn has a wonderful way of moving forward when I'm stuck in a place of indecision. He ignores me...you know, in that "loving" way only a husband can.
|Mike, Ann, Wynn and me at St. Peter's Square|
We started in Rome where we attended Sunday mass at St. Peter's Square.
|Inside the Vatican|
The following day we saw the ruins, including the Colosseum, the Forum and Palatine Hills. About 1/3
The floor of the Colosseum is no longer there, but the Italians have placed a partial floor so visitors can get an idea of what it was like. Beneath the floor is a series of rooms and hallways that held exotic wild animals, gladiators, etc., which rose through doors in the floor. [Note: the space under the floor and the scale of this structure - compared to the visitors.]
|Inside the Colosseum|
Admission into the Colosseum for events is said to have been free and anyone could come. Apparently it was the Emperors' way of keeping the population happy, and when the masses were happy, the Emperor was less likely to be ousted or killed.
Palatine Hills Palace is the ancient Emperors' residence. Despite living in a suburb with the same name for nearly 20 years, it didn't occur to me where the name came from.
From Rome we traveled to an ancient Etruscan city called Volterra.
We stopped for an afternoon in Lucca, another small walled city in Tuscany.
|Walled city, Lucca|
The Cinque Terre region was one of our favorites. It's on the Mediterranean Sea and part of the Italian Riviera. There are five small towns that one can hike to, or they are accessible by train. There's a boat that connects 4 of the 5 towns. Bring a swimsuit, or not, they're optional on the beaches there.
|The Duomo in Florence|
Michaelangelo's, the David, waits for visitors in the Academy building. There's no photography in the Academy. If you want a picture of the David, you have to buy a postcard in the gift shop.
The Ufizzi Museum and the Pitti Palace Museum are incredible places to see paintings and sculptures by the great Renaissance masters and others. Much of the art in Florence was acquired by the city in a donation from the Medici Family. Although gluttonous in their over-the-top wealth, they owned a lot of incredible art that was well taken care of. Because of families like the Medicis, their art holdings (of which there are thousands) are available to the public today.
The Rick Steves tour ended in Florence. Mike, Ann, Wynn and I made our last stop Venice. There were many things I didn't know about this city: 1) It's
|The Grand Canal|
|The Bridge of Sighs|
This was a trip of a lifetime and I realize how fortunate I am. I have a husband who wants to live life with me for as long as possible. Wynn maximized the possibilities for seeing and doing as much as possible, while allowing for rest time whenever I needed it. I hope, with all my heart, that we will have more chances to have shared experiences in new places. Thank you to Ann and Mike, who made adjustments for me during this trip. Let's find another place where wine is cheaper than water and go there next!