I spent Wed. in Rome. I got to see the Vatican Museum where I raced through to see the Sistine Chapel. My neck hurt...they should give you a mirror! Then, I went to St. Peter's Basilica where I stood in a line that stretched all the way around the square only to get inside and find out it was the line to see the popes' tombs!!!! I didn't care about that at all as I am not Catholic! From now on, I will ask where the line goes! I did get inside and it was impressive. I also took pics of the colorful Swiss guards...you couldn't pay me to wear that outfit!
Then, I took a train to Sulmona. It is in the Appennine mountains east of Rome. The town is in a valley and the mountains tower in the background. I visited Pacentro, a truly quaint medival town complete with the remains of a castle. Sulmona was small and clean and quiet. You can hike nearby in the national park, but I wasn't there long enough. They have a large public garden with gravel trails and many benches...I really liked this area.
I ended up in Venice on Friday night. WOW! It is beautiful. I met up with a fellow traveller from my country and we went sightseeing and had dinner next to the canal. We rode a water taxi through the canals today and have walked many winding streets and alleys. It is great...there are no cars! We may do a gondola ride if we can find others to share the cost and we may go to a Vivaldi concert tonight.
Right now, I am starving and ready for lunch! Tomorrow we leave for Florence. How many people can say they spent their birthday in Venice?!