Sunday, September 13, 2009


Miss Marie is studying abroad in Siena this fall, so my family {Dad, Mom, Marie, Jonathan, Uncle Bill, Aunt Jackie and Cousin Dallin} immediately jumped at the opportunity to drop her off and tour the beautiful country for 11 days. My hubby is Italian at heart {his family lived in Padova from ages 15-19 while his parents served as mission presidents and went back for one year to do a study abroad / olympic volunteer work}. Naturally, due to his Italian ties, Jonathan was the driving force behind this trip planning our day-to-day schedule, coordinating transportation, suggesting hotels, speaking the angelic language and packing all of this information into a quite impressive itinerary!!

We spent the first two days in Roma seeing all of its ancient history. It's incredible to see in real life old Italy really is! Every thing was all so magical to me as this was my very first time in Italy.
Highlights: watching Jamie eat real gelato for the first time {says Jonathan}, watching dad eat gelato {says Jamie}, the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's Moses and Pieta, the Colosseum.

St. Peter's Cathedral
The Colosseum
San Pietro in Vincoli {Michelangelo's Moses}
Trevi Fountain
Spanish Steps
The Vatican Museum
St. Peter's Cathedral
The Pantheon
Riding on the train from Rome to Florence was an adventure. Thanks to ferie, all of Italy was returning from their 2 week vacation leaving Jonathan, Marie, Dallin and I 1.5 hours of riding in a stairwell between the train cars. Luckily Florence is a gem, and definitely worth the uncomfortable ride.
Highlights: singing with the missionaries in Piazza della Republica, shopping in the Florentine Market, Ponte Vecchio, staying in beautiful apartments that overlook Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizi, Michelangelo's David at the Galleria dell'Accademia.

Santa Maria del Fiore
The Baptistery Doors by Ghiberti
Ponte Vecchio
We picked up a 9 passenger van in Florence and made our way towards the countryside. Our end destination for day five was Lerici, but we made stops in Vinci to pay tribute to Leonardo and Pisa {it's a checklist item, right?}.

Lerici is part of the Italian Riveria {across the bay from Cinque Terre} and is breathtaking!
Highlights: delicious seafood, relaxing on the beach.

On the way to Venice, we made a memorable stop in Modena. Ask the boys, and they will probably tell you that this was their favorite stop! Although it's a baby compared to the Vatican, I'm pretty sure we spent more time per square foot in this museum than we did in any other throughout this trip.
Highlights: the looks on Jon's and Dallin's face after driving a Ferrari for 15 minutes.

Dallin driving a Ferrari!
Jonathan's dream come true!
Along the way to Venice, we stopped in Verona {Jon says that if he had to live anywhere in Italy, he would probably live here}. It's charming, quaint and beautiful.

This beautiful little city holds a special place in the Curtis' heart as this was the place they called home for three years while Lee and Jane served as mission presidents. Unfortunately this mission has now closed, and as a result they have also torn down the mission home. It was fun to stop by, tour Jon's old neighborhood and eat at one of his favorite pizzerias in all of Italy - Dove Come Quando.

I loved Venice. I have bits and pieces of every stop that I absolutely loved, but Venice was my very favorite to photograph. Every turn around its windy streets was as incredibly picturesque. We also took a boat ride to a nearby island called Murano where they specialize in glass blowing.

Marie will be studying in Siena this fall at the Dante School. Lucky girl...Siena is beautiful. We purchased beautiful hand-painted pottery, ate yummy Tuscan food and walked around the beautiful streets.

Chianti is heavenly! It's a quaint town about 20 minutes outside of Siena in the Tuscan countryside. We stayed in an incredible villa that overlooked the breathtaking landscape that is filled with olive trees, vineyards and beautiful rolling hills.
Highlights: riding scooters, eating breakfast on a patio with a beautiful view, the villa!


The Wright Fam said...

What an amazing adventure!!! So many of the pictures look like they could have been postcards!!! It looks like you guys had a blast!!!! Jon, that is so cool that you could be the personal tour guide- that is awesome!

Kyle and Lesley said...

Beautiful pictures! Looks like an absolutely amazing trip... makes me want to explore more of Italy. And make you two come along as our tour guides :)

That picture of Jonathan getting out of the Ferrari is fantastic- sheer joy! Nice shot, Jamie!

Karene said...

Love Italy! Looks like you guys had so much fun!

Amy said...

What a wonderful trip!! Your pictures are beautiful and I loved reading about all the different areas. Ahhhhh.... someday I'll make it there!!

The Brooks Family said...
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embrooks3 said...

It looks like you guys had a blast! Your pictures are beautiful.

Leslie Moon Face said...

Wow! That's all I can say... Wow! That and I'm super jealous! Yay Marie!

Jessica McKay said...

Wow! Thanks for posting all those pictures. I really would like a pizza now. I love the picture of Jon and the Ferrari! All of this brings back so many memories.

Tehmi said...

Now its 9am and I have got to figure out a way to eat that pizza. MMMMMMM. Looks like you had a blast!

Kristina said...

I can't believe you guys did all of that in 11 days! We are starting to look into a trip to Italy and Greece for next September. Do you guys happen to have a more detailed iterary that you followed, that you could send me? Did you guys do any tours or did Jonathan know the history well enough to explain it? Do you think the trains were the best way to get around or do you think renting a car would have been better? Any advice or suggestions you have would be wonderful! It looks like it was an amazing trip!

marieb said...

Wonderful and detailed blog. I should have done that. Maybe I'll redirect my blog to yours. Your camera is amazing too. I'm killing to have a zoom lens here.

Lee and Jane Curtis said...

Sigh! Your trip sounds and looks wonderful. Jon has Italy in his heart--how great to share it with Jamie! We thank Joe for the Ferarri drive--Jon will remember that forever! We enjoyed every picture and remember lots of great memories.

Ben and Heidi said...

What an AMAZING trip! That's awesome that you guys had a chance to looks gorgeous in the pictures, I can't imagine what it was like to actually SEE it.

Kristy B said...

Excellent blogging Jamie. We can relive the trip forever now. Jon was the best tour guide ever. It's kind of hard settling back into real life after that a vacation like that.

Jed and Kate said...

Everything looks sooooooo beautiful! Glad you guys had a great time!!

Kelsi said...

Looks awesome Jamie. I am jealous. Hope one day I can go there! Love the pictures.

Anne Sorensen said...

I must say Jamie that I love reading your blog! You and Jonathan have such a great way of telling stories and letting us in on your adventures! I am so glad your Dad is well and you guys are having such a great time!

Lauren said...

Ahhh it makes me want to relive my trip to Europe last summer! Beautiful pictures Jamie!