Little trip to Italy

 

The past few months have been slightly chaotic in a sort of beautiful way. Beautiful in that at the conclusion of those months, it’s all been worth it. Last may I (Chris) finished grad school and was at a crossroads of sorts trying to determine what I wanted with my career -- a question I have pondered on quite often, but still have not yet figured out. That’s ok. Following graduation I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. The political climate and where I was personally at had me questioning the foreign service officer route I so dearly wanted a while back, so I turned my attention on another interest, web development. A year later, many late nights and early mornings, an internship, and many interviews later, I’m happy to say I’m working full time as a web developer. I could write a book about that process, and maybe I’ll talk more about it in the future, but instead, I’d love to share a bit about our most recent trip we took to celebrate that change and take a bit of time to relax.

I felt lucky this trip. Sé let me pick the location. The choice was easy, and one that has been at the top of my list for a while. Italy. Florence and Rome to be exact. I’ve had a recent obsession with Raphael, so the choice was timely. We arrived in Florence to our small hotel a block from The Duomo, which was perfect. Our first night we headed to a tiny church, Santa Monaca, for a night of Italian Opera classics. It was a wonderful way to introduce ourselves to the beautiful city. The following day we headed to the Bargello to feast our eyes on works from Donatello, such as his famous David, Giambologna, and Michelangelo. The Bargello building itself was worth the price of admission. That night we also were able to visit the Galleria dell'Accademia to see arguably one of the most famous sculptures in the world, David by Michelangelo.

While I can continue to explain the beautiful museums both in Florence and in Rome, something else had our attention both in Rome and in Florence. Every turn there seemed to be a church of sorts ready to be explored. The doors were almost always open, we were always welcomed, and we were always in awe. Our eyes also started to pay more attention to the statues that stood guard over the streets and the architecture that held stories written long ago. We found ourselves taken in by the beauty that was all over the streets. For example, the Pantheon was incredible, the best preserved building in antiquity! However, the statue on an unremembered corner next to a church not nearly as visited as one that may house a Caravaggio was what really captured us.

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The final part of the trip that I’d love to share is our time at the Vatican. I struggle to put into words the experience that we had there, but it was nothing short of magical. The reputation of the Sistine Chapel speaks for itself, and did not disappoint. We had 8am tickets, and booked it to the chapel to be one of maybe 50 people in there to take it in. We easily sat for a half hour without even speaking to one another. Had it not been for the flocks of people coming in after a while, they may have had to drag us out at the end of the night. The Raphael rooms, the random Matisse and Dali pieces were extraordinary, and the sheer scale of St. Peters was remarkable.

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Sprinkle in some incredible pasta, pizza, and wine with every meal between all of the stuff we visited, this trip is one of the most memorable for us. We also had an unexpected additional day in Rome, which led us to the coastal views of Focene. Huge thanks to our friends at Intorno al Fico for the best, last night in Italy! It ended up being just what we needed to wrap up the trip and get in that extra r&r before starting a new chapter on Monday.

Hope you enjoyed a recap of our trip! We also have some fun news for When We Wed coming up soon that we can't wait to share with you!

Always with thanks,

Chris and Sé