Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On Roman Holiday

All roads lead to Rome, or so they say. This was the case for me when I traveled to the eternal city to meet my family for Spring Break.* I was lucky to experience Rome for the second time with my sister Katie and my brother-in-law Bob. However, what made this trip extra special was that my sister was pregnant with my beautiful niece. So it wasn't just three best friends experiencing this monumental city; it was four.

Rome is one of those cities that should be an essential on every persons travel to-do list. Between the art, the culture, the food and the wine it really is a must for all travelers young and old. It truly is a sensory overload; there is just so much to see and do that it can be overwhelming. Despite this overload that may occur while in Roma, you just have to push through and try to experience all the history you can. Just look to your trusty map for some guidance if needed (unless you are like us and get your map in the wrong language.)

My personal favorite sight in Rome is the ancient Roman Forum. Layers below the modern city, you have the ability to travel down into living history. While walking through the ruins you cannot help but be filled with wonder and perhaps almost envision the ghosts of famous Romans such as Caesar, Pompey and Cicero.

I also highly suggest the artsy Piazza Navona. The piazza was filled with such elegance and energy.

And no trip to Rome is complete without a trip to the Colosseum! *Queue chanting: MAXIMUS! MAXIMUS! MAXIMUS!*

I really can go on and on about Rome. But the city doesn't need me to advertise for it, Rome can speak for its self. Just go and see the eternal city!

Tanti Baci,

PS: Whenever you are touring Roman ruins, it is CRUCIAL that you take some modeling shots :)

*"Spring Break" in February...Give me a break! More like "Mid-Winter Freeze My Butt Off Break!"

Two Lands, One City

Situated on the Ill River, Strasbourg is a city perched between the massive powers of France and Germany. Due to this, the city has a unique atmosphere; one that on many levels has allowed it to have distinct touches of Deutschland as well as français flare.

This has also meant that the city of Strasbourg has had a rather tumultuous history; since 1917 alone the city has switch hands between France and Germany four times! Since cooler heads did eventually prevailed between the two nations, you can walk freely from country to country or as I did straddle the border and be in two places at once!

Strasbourg is a lovely little city which is now
home of the European Parliament. Despite the modern editions that the European project has brought to it, Strasbourg reminded me of the Belle's village from Beauty and the Beast with some German aspects thrown in.

One of the highlights was Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-Strasbourg. Described by Victor Hugo as a "gigantic and delicate marvel," the cathedral is very awe-inspiring and a great example of Gothic architecture. I'm not really a church person (whether or not I'm traveling) but it really was lovely. The stained glass was just pun intended. In all serious, it really did fill the cathedral with such vibrant dancing colors. I wish my photographs could do it justice.

I recommend Strasbourg if you happen to be in the Alsace region and would like to experience a city caught between to cultures.
Truly an excellent day trip!

Tanti Baci,

PS: Food was A-MAZING! I think I ate my body weight in french bread, cheese and wine. Deeeeeeeeeeeee-lish!