Italy

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– En route to Milan and a bus ride over to Verona!

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– The infamous Juliet’s balcony and some shots of the town centre.

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– Over to Venice! Note to self: it’s freezing in March!

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– The Bridge of Sighs. Prisoners would cross over from the courtroom to their cells through here. Apparently they would sigh with sadness at seeing their beloved Venice through the window grates for the last time.

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– Over to Florence.

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– The gorgeous Santa Maria del Fiore.You can climb all the way to the top of the dome (il Duomo) for an incredible view over the city (see below). If you look carefully, you can see the tiny people on the viewing platform above the orange dome.It’s quite the climb up a tall, winding, cramped spiral staircase but so worth it. Just be grateful you didn’t have to carry tonnes of equipment back and forth up the stairs every day like the builders did!

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– Next up was Pompeii. Buried under ash and soot after Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, it was rediscovered in 1748 and is named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s incredibly eerie wandering through the winding streets and imagining all the people who used to walk the streets as well. You can go in a few of the buildings, like the ancient bathhouse below.

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– My last stop was Rome, Italy’s bustling and chaotic capital city. Depending on your tastes, you might like Rome a lot more than I did. Personally, Florence was a lot more captivating with its artsy flair and friendly people. Rome was beautiful but very hectic and a little bit intimidating. However, the history is second to none and a visit to the Colosseum is absolutely in order.

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