Monday, November 30, 2009

Along The Grand Canal

taken along the Venice Grand Canal

When we were at Venice, we didn't take the gondola ride with the gondolier and all. Instead we rented a water taxi who took us around. Imagine living in a place where there are no cars, only boats! I wonder how many people a year fall into the canal by accident?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Venice From Above

taken from the San Marco Clocktower in Venice

On our 2nd to the last day in Venice, we went up the San Marco Clocktower to admire the beautiful 360 degree view of the city. Venice is not a very big place, my family and I were able to walk around the entire city in a day but not without our feet suffering though hehe.

Up in the clocktower, there's a huge bell that rings every hour and just our luck, we were in line for the elevator to go down right at 12nn. We were right below the bell when it started ringing! It was a deafening but fun experience. That bell has been ringing on the hour for years!

Later that day, we fed the pigeons in Piazza San Marco (that plaza you see in the photo above) which was the highlight of the Venice leg of the trip for me. There were pigeons flocking to us and they were on our heads, arms, EVERYWHERE! I think those pigeons are so used to people feeding them that they aren't afraid to eat from our hands. Definitely two things you should do when you go to Venice!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Skywatch Friday #1

taken from my office window in Makati along Ayala Ave.

One of my favorite things about my office is the view. We're on the 34th floor and no other building blocks our view so everyday I am lucky enough to watch the sun go down over Manila Bay. I consider this one of my daily cheap thrills!

See other skies here!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fontana De Trevi

taken at Fontana De Trevi in Rome

The Trevi Fountain was one of the spots in Rome I was looking forward to visiting. Its come out in soooo many movies and I wanted to see it up close and personal. The Trevi Fountain was bigger and more majestic than I expected!

Of course, I didn't miss the chance to throw coins in the fountain and make a wish. Apparently, you need to throw three coins over your shoulder using your right hand. I did a little research and the coins collected from the fountain is used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome's needy. They collect an average of 3000 euros a day! That's a lot of wishes!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Church On A Hill

taken in Monteriggioni

Out of all the churches I saw in Italy, this one was my favorite. Not St. Peter's Basilica, not the Sistine Chapel, but this church found on the hilltop town of Monteriggioni. All of the other churches I saw were decorated to the nines with statues, mosaic ceilings, gold-leafed decor, and tiled floors but in it's simplicity, this Romanesque church was the most beautiful.

The beautiful little town of Monteriggioni is one of the few preserved Medieval hilltop towns in Tuscany. Would you believe that to date, the town's population is 70? That includes a mayor! My office has more people than that! Back in the day, Monteriggioni was a fort during the years of conflict between Sienna and Florence. Today, it attracts many tourists thanks to how well it has preserved the structures and walls inside. Monteriggioni is a must see when you go to Tuscany!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy :)

taken at a coffeshop somewhere in Venice

I always have such a hard time thinking of what to get my dad for his birthday or Christmas. Whenever I would ask him what he wants, he always says either socks or hankerchief and there's nothing exciting or personal about that! My dad loves a few things in life - good wine, watches, cars and music. Not exactly the easiest things to shop for. I always felt guilty when I wouldn't get him anything or something that isn't that awesome because he never fails to give me things, even when I don't ask for it. He's a great dad, always putting the family first. He's the comedian in the family, always, always, always playing pranks on my mom or doing things to purposely annoy me. You could say, I'm quite the daddy's girl.

This year, I decided to give him something more personal. I'm having this picture of I took of him and my mom in Venice framed. I used my Holga and i love how vintage this photo looks but really, this was taken just a month ago! Ever since digital cameras came along, we never printed out any of our family photos so this will be a first after a couple of years!

I can't wait to see the look on his face when he opens his birthday present from me this year. I think he's going to love it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rome In Film

taken across the Roman Colosseum

I finally got my Holga film developed! I'm glad that most of the pictures came out pretty. This is my favorite picture of the Roman Colosseum in my roll. :)

I love the sun peeking through the arcs.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Roman Forums

taken at the Roman Forums

I enjoyed our tour of the Roman Forums because it showed me a glimpse of how the Roman Empire was at the height of it all.

My favorite story was about the Vestal virgins. They are women who are chosen at a young age to maintain the sacred fire of Vesta. True to their name, they need to be virgins for their entire service which usually lasts around 30 years. Back then, 30s is like a grandma's age so once they're done with their service and no men wanted to be with them! On the bright side, they were treated like royalty and lived very very comfortably.

More Rome pictures to come!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Colosseum

taken at the Colosseum in Rome

One of the most iconic structures in Rome is the Colosseum and honestly I didn't expect to be as blown away as I was when I saw it up close and personal for the first time. It was HUGE! All I could do was stare at it and marvel at the history and stories those massive walls held. 

The Colosseum could hold up to 70,000 people during the games and the audience were seated according to their stature in society. The highest level was were the slaves were seated along with, get this, all women. Even if you were married to a senator, it didn't matter. ALL women had to be seated all the way up there!

Amazing, amazing, amazing!
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