L’Italia e fantastica!

Well hello guys and gals *kiss*
ahhhhm baaaaaack!

What a fantastic holiday! I kid you not, Italy is basically the place you should all visit at least once in your life – especially the Vatican.

The artwork, the museum exhibits.. Man! It was fabulous.
One visit was not enough to take it all in. I have to go back but this time I’d take a decent packed lunch and lots of water. We spent 5 hours looking at room after room after courtyard and hall of beautiful things, the Sistine chapel was a bit of an anti climax after all that because for 5 hours of soaking in prettiness and arguing over whether it is molding or clever painting, we just couldn’t express the necessary awe – I just wanted somewhere to sit and rest my poor feet!

Next time we’d do it in 2 legs because the map room is worthy of a lot more time than we spent on it, I’m still in awe of the ceilings now!
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The thing that struck me the most though were the floor mosaics, so intricate and detailed, I think I made a bit of a pest of myself trying to see them all, it almost seemed wrong to be walking on them
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It’s safe to say I loved it there.

One thing we did notice though was the statue of Stef prominently displayed within the Etruscan exhibit:
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I think this must be a guy thing though – have you ever noticed how far they can push ’em out when playing gross out for laughs? I don’t know a single girl that can do that. I used to know one guy who looked as skinny as a skinny thing – then he’d blow out his belly and suddenly he was Buddha, he could even ripple it – fascinating to watch in a mildly disturbing way.

*ahem*

Anyway.. Italy..
We’ve got over 400 pictures to put online so I’m just picking the odd one or 2 to share for now, once we get around to uploading them I’ll post the link for those of you who are interested in other peoples holiday snaps *grin*

The coliseum was fantastic, we did a fair few of the ‘statue’ poses, this one made a group of women almost wet themselves laughing as they happened upon us while stef took it:
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It did make us wonder though – just how many pictures around the world are we in? When we went to the spanish steps people were snapping away as we sat there, everywhere we went we seemed to be in somebodys camera lens, it’d be interesting to see if anyone online spots this blog post and says “yeah, I was there, you’re in a good few of my pictures too”

Though I’m betting everyone got a pic of the real life simpsons mad cat lady:
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I won’t post pics of the trevi fountain, or the fiesta in cevaro, or the family dinners and nasty shots of me looking hot and bothered but I do have to share this action shot of my manly man getting in some exercise on the farm: Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
grape picking is hot and messy work – and the mosquitoes were particularly vicious! Lets just say I’m rather glad I got to hide indoors and help with the dinner instead.

It wasn’t all work though *grin* he got to play as well:
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Monte Cassino is a beautiful place to visit and the views are awe inspiring – as are the views from the home of our hosts:
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I just wish I’d taken more of those so I could show you. I doubt anything could express just how lovely it was there, I really didn’t want to come home.

C’mon, I even got to shoot a gun:
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Bloody heavy that thing was too! I was leaning against the wall just to support it, I’ll never make a sniper that’s fer sho’.

Anyhow, we fed well, slept.. Not quite so well (heat and mosquito bites to blame for that) but loved every minute of it – the 2 thunderstorms we witnessed were magnificent, the fireworks for the fiesta were a wonder to behold, the people were warm, welcoming and generally lovely..
I can’t wait to go back!

We got back on friday afternoon to blazing sunlight – that seemed wrong having left cassino amidst an awe inspiring thunderstorm at 6am, drove home, unpacked and promptly fell asleep.
We awoke the following morning, packed up the tent and drove to Wales for a couple of days – neither of us really wanted to come back to reality *sigh*

Ahh well, home is good – I just wish it wasn’t in such a scabby place – especially having breathed in peace and loveliness for the last 2 weeks.
It’s almost a culture shock to be back – I’ll take the sound of several cockerals crowing in a morning over police sirens and squabbling neighbours any day of the week!

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