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I’ve been so busy this week preparing for our family trip to Italy and Spain that I had to take a short break from blogging. Unfortunately, I am taking an even longer break for the next month because I’m not bringing my laptop along with me on the trip. I may try to do a few brief updates during the trip if I get a chance but don’t know how often/when I will have any internet access. Here are some of the plans we have for our month abroad:

  • June 12 – June 18: Tropea, Italy: After we land in Rome we’re driving south on the Autostrade to Tropea {a seven hour drive to one of the most southern parts of Italy’s mainland}. For six days we are going to spend our mornings at the beach, afternoons on day trips and our nights out in the local town. Our first week will be full of relaxing on the beach and enjoying a coastal culinary experience unlike any we’ve had before.
  • June 18 – June 20: Sorrento, Italy: Sorrento is located on the Amalfi coast, with Pompeii and Naples to its north and Sicily to the south. My family is excited for the seafood and small coastal towns in the area and I’m excited to see some of the old churches and do a little shopping once we arrive. The city specializes in creating Limoncello, a speciality after-dinner drink that my family already loves. I’m really excited to try the authentic version of this sweet drink! I’m also excited to visit Napoli {mainly so I can eat delicious pizza} and hopefully Pompeii!
  • June 20 – June 24: Florence, Italy: In Florence we have quite a few “touristy” but necessary activities scheduled such as visiting the Uffizi gallery {which includes collections from da Vinci, Caravaggio, Botticelli, among others}, il Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, the Accademia {to see the David}, a number of restaurants recommended by friends who studied abroad there last year and Piazza Michelangelo.
  • June 24 – June 27: Rome, Italy: Our last stop in Italy is Rome – we’re staying in pretty tight quarters in the heart of the city but we hope to spend most our time out and about touring and eating as much gelato as we can handle. My friend Signe gave me a number of tips about nightlife in Rome, where to eat in the Trastevere, which piazzas are a must, and the locations of a few “hidden treasures” in the city. I’m really excited to see the Vatican Museums, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum but I’m also excited for some of the lesser known spots such as the Protestent Cemetery.
  • June 27 – July 4: Madrid and Barcelona: My brother Nick and I are spending a week in Spain after the rest of our family leaves for the U.S. – we’re spending three nights in Madrid where we plan to visit with my friend Isa, tour a few museums and see the Royal Palace. From there we head to Barcelona for the very last leg of our trip. We’re staying at a hostel on the beach and hope to spend a lot of our time trying lots of tapas restaurants, doing a bike tour of the city and eating and shopping on Las Ramblas. My friends tell me Barcelona is one of the biggest cities for pick-pocketers so my biggest hope is that I don’t lose my passport or ID before we make it to the airport!

That was a realllllly long post! Look for pictures when I get back!