Last day in Italy

Trip Start Jun 03, 2011
Trip End Jun 18, 2011

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Flag of Italy  , Veneto,
Friday, June 17, 2011

Today was our last day in Italy! So sad.  I know that we have been here for two weeks, but it feels as though there was so much that we didn't have time to do.  I guess that means we'll just have to come back again, eh? 

We spent most of the day on Murano, which is an island off the main grouping of islands that is full of glass factories.  We got to watch work in progress, which was impressive.  The factory that we went to is a family business, with the title of "master" passed on from father to son.  they have a family tree hanging on their wall of the glass masters and they date back quite a ways really.  At around the age of 10 the son gets apprenticed to the father and begins to learn the family trade.

We then wandered around Murano, looking at all the fabulous glass work.  We didn't end up making it to Burano, but these things happen

So, some of the best parts about going to Italy:

Rome has amazing historical sights.  The Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Forum, all musts.  They also have the best gelato and the best tap water.
Positano: words can't do it justice, nor can pictures.  It's a great place to relax and not feel like a bum.  The limoncello is the best in Italy.  Really, anything with lemon in it is likely to be amazing.  The roads are terrifying, but the adventure is worth it.
If you go to Capri, get off the beaten path.
Pompeii is a must see.  That's really all there is to it.  But don't eat the food there if you can help it.  And it might be worth it to get a guide. 
Florence has some amazing renaissance architecture and art.  Go see David, it's much more impressive in person than in pictures.  The Pitti Palace has some very impressive paintings on the walls. 
Siena is Florence in miniature, but San Gimignano has some fabulous wine and some beautiful views.  Get lost in the Tuscan country side, stop into a random winery (they're everywhere), and of course get some olive oil. 
Ravenna is kind of the Bloomington of Italy, a little town in the middle of nowhere.  Go to Ca de Ven, have some wine and a piadina.  Oh so yummy.
Venice is just impressive.  It smells a bit, but the seafood is fabulous.  You could spend a day in Doge's Palace, so go in the morning.  Go to Murano, and if you can go into a glass factory to watch them work.  Some are free to view, others cost money, so check before you go in.  If you buy glass or a mask, be sure it's made in Venice and not China. 

Culture shocks: people smoke almost everywhere.  You can't get free water at a restaurant.  Tipping doesn't happen nearly as often or with as high of a rate.  Animals are everywhere.  Restaurants have a cover charge.  And toilets don't have seats.

Italy is fabulous.  I'm very sad that we are leaving, but I look forward to free water, no smoking in restaurants, and my own bed. Arrivederci!
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