As mentioned in my previous post about Vienna and Austria, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Europe last year. Today I am posting ‘part 2’, as my trip continued from Austria through Northern Italy; through the cities of Venice, Florence, Pisa, and Genoa; on the way to France (which will be part 3+!).

Italy has a unique and long history within Europe, especially with the heart being Rome (which unfortunately I did not get to see on this trip!). For most of history after the Roman empire, Italy was a bunch of City States — The Papal States, Two Sicilies, Tuscany, Sardinia, and so on, until 1871 when they were fully unified. I love these interesting tidbits about history, and Italy is a fascinating one due to their late unification (For reference, the United States already encompassed California by that time).

I only briefly passed through Italy, so there are fewer pictures here than my last post. Personally, I enjoyed Vienna a lot more than any of the cities in Italy I saw, but these are all definitely worth a visit! So, let’s get started.

 


 

The Canals of Venice

 

 

Venice, of course, is well known for being a water-based merchant city, being built on an island range that was merged together by human intervention. Thus, there isn’t much nature in the city, but hey, I found a tree!

 


 

Flowers In the Windows

 

 

More of the canals, even the “back alleys” are actually water alleys. It’s quite fascinating to see, and some of the people still take care of the back sides of their homes, planting flowers in their windowsills.

 


 

The Grand Canal

 

 

Here’s a shot also overlooking the Grand Canal. This is the main canal running through the city, separating some of the districts from each other. The ferry boats actually go along this canal, and they are kind-of like public transit, but with a much, much better view!

 


 

The Back Alleys

 

 

More of the back alleys. Residents park their boats all over the place, it seems like it would be a bit of a mess to find yours and go, but it’s a neat thought compared to using cars — as there are no cars in the city.

 


 

Venetian Canal Boats

 

 

These rowing boats are a classic Venetian style, they are actually called “Gondolas”. If you have the time to hang around in the city, I’m sure it’s worth a ride in one, but they are a bit slow compared to a motor boat…

 


 

Goodnight Venice

 

 

That was about it for looking around Venice. I spent the whole day walking around the city — it starts to get tiring after a while! The sun is starting to set in this shot, as I started heading home for the night.

 


 

Hello Florence

 

 

The next day I was off to Florence. This shot is a classic; a grand view of Florence and the Arno river, from the Piazzale Michaelangelo.

 


 

Piazzale Michelangelo

 

 

Here’s the Statue of David at the Piazzale Michelangelo, which you would see if you turned around from the point of view of the previous image!

 


 

Housing Style of Florence

 

 

I didn’t spend too long downtown in Florence (mostly just for lunch, to get some wonderfully delicious pizza), but here’s a quick glimpse at what architecture style of housing they have in the city.

 


 

Basilica di Santa Maria Novella

 

 

Also downtown, is the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella. This church was being restored on the other side, so I took this shot to cleverly hide the construction behind the trees!

 


 

The Leaning Tower

 

 

I mean, of course. I was passing through Italy, so I couldn’t miss seeing this guy. Caught the Leaning Tower of Pisa just before the sun started to go down, and I think the lighting had a cool effect on the tower here!

 


 

Out with the Old…

 

 

Almost through Italy, the last big city to pass through on the way to France was Genoa. Another historical merchant city, but the city felt a bit industrial and old in the middle (this is facing towards the center of the city). This old building however had a cool effect, in the windows, you can see the next shot.

 

… And in with the New.

 

 

If you turned around from my last photo, here’s what was being reflected in the old building. New apartment developments with a lot of colour, being built into the hillsides, which I thought was absolutely fascinating!