There aren't too many advantages to living as far away from my family as we do, but it does give us the opportunity to travel. Whenever my parents come and visit us here, we try to show them somewhere new, and whenever we go to visit them in Norway, we try to plan a quick side-trip somewhere else in Europe.
In spite of this, and in spite of actually living the first 20 years of my life in Europe, AND in spite of the whole art history major thing, I have never been to Italy.
Not even a little bit.
So, although this is a domestic travel only year for us, I decided to spend day 23 cooking up some plans for a little Italian dream vacation for Nick and I to take at some yet-to-be determined point in the future.
We would start out by flying to see my parents in Norway, where we would then deposit Espen (and any potential siblings, depending on how futuristic this is) to bond with the grandparents for a few days. OK, so built-in transcontinental babysitters are another benefit of our highly impractical life style. Especially ones that would leap at the opportunity to love and spoil our offspring without parental intervention.
Then we would hop on a cheapy flight with Norwegian to Venice. Where we would hold hands, eat gelato and stay at this hotel for two nights.
On our full day in Venice we would stare open-mouthed at a heck of a lot of art and architecture, including St. Mark's basilca, the Tetrarchs, St. Mark's square, Santa Maria della Salute and the Doge's Palace - to name a few.
There would also be more gelato. And handholding. And boats.
On our second morning in Venice we would take the train to Florence. Three hours through the Italian countryside sounds pleasant enough to me!
After checking into our hotel , things start to fall apart a bit. Because there is so much I have to see. During my last year of college, I took classes in Medieval Art and Architecture as well as Renaissance and Baroque Architecture, and so much of the art and architecture we studied is found in Florence. So actually being able to go there would be a bit of a pilgrimage for me. OK, more of a total geek-out nerd fest.
I won't bore you by listing all of the churches and palazzos I will tear my hair out trying to choose between, but we would absolutely go to the cathedral, the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace. And the Accademia di Belle Arti. And and and!
There would be more gelato.
After three nights in Florence, we would hop on the train to Pisa, where would take a quick, American look at the the Piazza del Duomo with the leaning tower and the baptistery being the big attractions.
In the evening of the sixth and last day, we would catch another Norwegian flight back to Oslo, and live long and fat on the memories of art, architecture and pasta.