The Leaning Tower of Pisa

We took a train from Rome to Florence and then after unpacking jumped onto a local train bound for Pisa. Pisa is an easy hour’s train ride from Florence and a good afternoon trip. I had always thought that the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” was a freestanding tower on its own – imagine my surprise…

The ruins of Pompeii

On our fourth day in Rome we took an early morning train south to Naples.  From there we took a local train and found ourselves at the ancient destroyed city of Pompeii, in the shadow of Mt Vesuvius. We spent hours walking around here.           One thing I really appreciated was…

In the Vatican and under Rome

On our third day in Rome we headed to the Vatican City, a tiny independent city inside Rome known for being the Pope’s main hang-out.  We had pre-booked a tour and we knew to expect crowds, but the mob scene through the Vatican museums and the Sistine chapel were still beyond what we had imagined!…

Reunited in Rome

Arriving at our apartment in Rome we were reunited with our mothers Julie (Karen) and Lynette (Reubs) nearly ten months after leaving New Zealand.  We were very excited to see them (and we think they were excited too, despite being pretty fatigued after nearly 40 hours of travel!)  Lynette had never been to Europe, and…