Back to Europe 2005


In Venice, the tour group enjoyed a romantic gondola ride through the canals, visited a Murano glass company display, had dessert in Piazza San Marco and spent an afternoon on the island of Burano, which is famous for its lace.  As well, Allen and Ruth toured the Doge's Palace, home to the world's largest canvas painting, Tintoretto's 1588 painting Paradise, and went up the 300 foot high Campanile de San Marco (Bell Tower) for a view of the city.

There are more pictures from the gondola ride in the People section (Europe 2005 page)


 The Vatican   St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel


Ancient Rome   The Forum and the Colosseum - They were originally done in marble but over the centuries, the Popes had the marble stripped off and the columns removed to be used in the various churches they built in Rome.  Now they are just ruins.


The Pantheon   Although the Pantheon was built around the same time as the Forum and the Coliseum, it has not become a ruin.  It was consecrated as a Christian church under the Emperor Constantine and therefore was never vandalized for other churches.
St. Peter in Chains   Michelangelo's Moses is here.  It was originally done as part of a huge monument for the tomb of Pope Julius II.  The tomb was scaled down when his family and the new pope refused to pay for it.  Michelangelo's "Slaves" were started for it but were never finished.  Four are in Florence and two are in the Louvre in Paris.  


The rest of Rome   The Spanish Steps, street scenes, buildings, piazzas, and restaurants.


Santa Croce Church   Built in the 14th century, the facade was added in the 19th century.  It contains the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, Dante, Rossini and Machiavelli among others.


Santa Maria del Fiori Cathedral (Duomo)   The church was built in the 14th century with only a hole for the dome as they didn't have the technology to do it.  Brunelleshi designed and built the Renaissance dome which was the model for the dome of St. Peter's in Rome.  The facade, done in pink green and white Tuscan marble, was added in the 1870's.  Michelangelo said that Ghiberti's bronze doors of the Baptistery were fit to be the gates of Paradise.

Much of the original art work of the Duomo has been removed and replaced with copies (including the bronze doors)  The originals were put in the museum to preserve them.  The museum also contains Michelangelo's second piata and a wooden sculpture of Mary Magdalene done by Donatello.


The rest of Florence   Michelangelo's David, Palazzo Vecchio (home of the Medici family and now the city hall, statues in the Piazza Della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio

                Pisa         We stopped briefly in Pisa to marvel at the Tower.  It has been stabilized so it is again open for climbers.  We didn't.

Continue to Monaco and France

Back to Europe 2005