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Pre-Tour - Leaving Seattle & Rome

September 13-15


September 13th:

The day is finally here! The planning is done. The tickets are all bought. All that's left to do is catch our flight. We are off for Italy! 

We have an overnight flight out of Seattle on British Airways. 

Hopefully we manage to get a little sleep on the way over.

The plan!
Red text is what we are doing with the tour group.
Black text is things we are doing on our own.
Our Flight went over Buckingham Palace as we came into Heathrow!

September 14th:

We've landed in Heathrow. Only a minimal amount of confusion in Heathrow. One of the trains to the gates was down, fortunately we had a large group of travelers trying to get to Rome.


Because we were only coming in 1 day early, we opted to stay in the same hotel we would be staying at with the tour group - Dharma Style Hotel. It was convinently close to the train station. After about 22 hours of travel we had our first glasses of wine in Italy!

All the way to Italy to eat at Caffe Washington
The whole thing is a marvel. There is a whole scene surrounding the statue and a light you can switch on!
Tim and I love having fun with art. It makes the pictures so much more fun.
The satyr room. Love that the ceilings match!
Another Bernini 
Truth Unveiled by Time

September 15th:

Back in Rome at last! It is as incredible as I remember. Because we don't meet with the tour group until 3 pm, we have some time to get some extra sightseeing in.

First up, Santa Maria della Vittoria, which was only about 0.5 km from the hotel! I was foiled in coming here the first time we were in Rome because the church was closed for lunch break. It houses what may be one of my favorite sculptures ever: Ectasy of Saint Teresa by Giovan Lorenzo Bernini. It is absolutely stunning! So very dramatic with the glow from above, the swirling marble, the carved surroundings. And so cool to see it in it's original location!

Then we had tickets for Galleria Borghese. This was hands down one of the best museums I have ever been to! They only let in 200 people per hour and your ticket is only good for two hours inside the museum. But that really lets you get up close to appreciate the art without fighting through crowds.


The gallery contains what was once the personal collection of Cardinal Scipione Borghese. The main attraction is four statues by Bernini, all carved when he was in his twenties as commissions from the cardinal. Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius; The Rape of Proserpina; Apollo and Daphne; and David. Apollo and Daphne is probably my favorite, but they are all incredible. It is mind blowing what Bernini can do with marble. The gallery also a ton of other sculptures and a ton of paintings by Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian and many more. 

The beautiful ceiling in Santa Maria della Vittoria
Inlaid marble skeleton mosaic below the  statue.
Another angle on David. Look at how opulent each of the rooms are. More statues and paintings everywhere you look!
This is the third version of Cupid Complaining to Venus by Lucan Cranach the Elder we have seen this year!

We had enough time to have a nice lunch at La Pentolaccia after we finished at the museum.

Steak, lasagna, and cacio e pepe.

Our first pasta lunch in Italy! 

Then it was back to the hotel so we could freshen up and take a load off before it was time meet the tour group.

(with the tour group)

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