Nicole O'Neil Photography
Since we got to Florence early, we decided we could get to Rome early as well. The rain finally let up the last full day we were there (somewhat) so we decided to climb Giotto's Campanile, a freestanding bell tower near the Duomo. There were 414 steps with a few stops along the way to take in the panoramic view from different levels. We could see all of Florence and beyond from the top. We then headed to see the town hall of Florence that has a replica of the David sculpture and other beautiful sculptures and a great fountain. We saw some churches and ate pizza. Next, I wanted to head back to the Boboli Gardens for some photos while the sun was shining and also to see a few parts we had missed (the place is HUGE and has so many pathways). Once we finished there, we went to one of the highlights (though there are so many!) of my trip, a photography museum. They had a special exhibit, Controversies: A Legal and
Ethical History of Photography. It featured controversial photographs from wars (such as photos from concentration camps, Political (two photos showing one had been retouched of Stalin and a man who had worked for him and he had killed and also a picture of Jackie O crying at JFK's funeral), and even Sept 11 (a severed hand in the middle of a street---VERY moving). It was AMAZING. :) We also went out that night to take pictures (LONG DAY!) The next morning, we ventured to the Galleria dell' Accademia to the David, which is an amazing sculpture. Then, we boarded a train to Rome.
The first afternoon/eve was spent walking around checking out some sights. Then went out at night for some pictures at the Trevi Fountain,
Morning cappuccino in Florence. I love when they add a little "something". ;)
The next four are from climbing the Bell Tower. (Click to enlarge)
Loved this guy and his horse and carriage.
BEST pizza I've had so far!
The next three are from the Boboli Gardens. (Click to enlarge)
Two photos from Florence at night on the Arno River and the Duomo. (Click to enlarge)
Our delicious dinner! So bummed I didn't get a picture of my dinner the first night. It was Red Snapper in the fishing village of Riomaggiore and was SO GOOD! (Click to enlarge)
My favorite church in the world before this trip and still to this day! The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. (viewed from the back in this picture)
The best view of the Roman Forum.
The tomb of the unknown soldier and eternal flame on the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (the first leader of a united Italy). Coincidently, we are here for the 150 yr anniversary of a united Italy. You will see a photo of this monument further down in which it is lit up with the flag colors of Italy for this occasion.
The statue of Vittorio Emanuele II with the sun slowly setting behind.
The Trevi Fountain at night. (a lot more to come from the Trevi at night when I get home!)
The Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II lit up to celebrate 150 years of a unified Italy.
The Colosseum at night.
Ciao! We left Cinque Terre early because the weather was bad. (BOO!) I will definitely need a trip back there during a summer or at least May when the weather is better and more is opened up!! It was still beautiful and I loved all of the little villages and the charm and local flavor they offered. It is SO RAINY here. I expected rain but it poured today almost all day today and the forecast changed from a few rainy days to all rain. It does not make for great pictures when there is cloud cover and fog everywhere! However, I'm thinking positive thoughts for the sun to come out. :) Here are a few pics from the end of our CT stay and the last two days in Florence. Tomorrow, we will climb to the top of a Duomo at Santa Maria Fiore and
Of course, I'm showing some Matty B love while in Italy! I realized just how jet lagged I am when I saw this pic. ;) haha. This is on the balcony of our room in Riomaggiore (the first village in Cinque Terre).
Nighttime at the marina in Riomaggiore after a fabulous dinner of Red Snapper and wine at a restaurant (which is just to left of where this pic was taken).
The next three pictures were taken at dawn. I got up hoping the clouds would be clear and I could get some nice color at sunrise (about 6:30am). Not much good color or sun but it was still awesome to be up and out in the quiet of the early morning. I smelled fresh pastries baking and saw people getting their shops ready and just listened to the waves crash against the rocks. It was breathtaking. (If you click these three pics, you can see them bigger.)
The next two are later in the morning. Brit (my sis) and I walked around the village and ended up on a hillside looking down.
Great views of Florence and the Santa Maria Fiore Duomo which we will climb tomorrow (all 463 stairs) plus a trip to the top of the Bell Tower right near it (another 414 stairs). (click to see larger)
The next 8 photos are from I Giardini di Boboli (Boboli Gardens). They are absolutely gorgeous and offer panoramic views of all of Florence. The flowers and plants are not in bloom yet but the rain has made for colorful greenery and the cloud cover help to bring it out in the pics. The first is (I think from what I read) an 18th century coffeehouse. The next is the Statue of Neptune in a beautiful pool of water (the following picture-#3). The fourth is a fountain in the middle of another garden where you can see vineyards of Florence below. Next is one of many statues found walking through the many walkways and then, Isolotto's Basin, a beautful mix of water, art, and plants. The next is just one of many covered paths through the gardens. The last is the
Lastly, here are two photos of the Arno River. The bridge is the Ponte Vecchio, where jewelry shops are found from beginning to end on both sides as you walk across. (Click pics to enlarge)
I was deciding whether I would come online while on this trip and share photos or just stay disconnected for 10 days. I feel that I am LOVING not having a phone and checking emails, etc 50 times a day. However, I do have a business and do need to check my email every day or so in case clients contact me. I also can't wait to share at least a few photos from each place I go with everyone! So, I will do this blog to share a few photos each day or two. ENJOY!
This is above the entry to "Lover's Lane" which connects the first two villages of the Cinque Terre (Five Villages). There are locks everywhere (you will see when I get home and put all photos up!). People are supposed to put a lock up along the path to symbolize their love. They are everywhere and some are even engraved or have the names written on them with dates. It was a beautiful walk along the cliffs and above the ocean.
A picture of Manarola, the second of the five villages. There was a place to walk down where they put their boats in the water to get this great view of the marina and houses above. The walk through the village was also wonderful. The next two photos are also from this same village.
Corniglia, Village three. All the boats are lined up along the road leading to the marina.
YES, I will be posting a lot of food pics in the end. The food is AMAZING and so, I must take pics and share them with you all!
Oratorio dei Neri in Monterossa, the fifth and largest village.
The beach at Monterosso
A foggy view looking back toward the other four villages from Monterosso
The Giant in Monterosso. More about him here: http://www.lecinqueterre.org/eng/arte/montegigante.php
The fourth village, Vernazza. Another beautiful view from the water.