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Italy:

Capitol:
Rome

Climate:
Mediterranean Climate/
50° winter, 70° summer

Environmental Issues:
Air Pollution, Acid Rain, Water Pollution,

Population:
58.126.212

Literacy Rate:
98.4%

Language:
Italian

Religion:
90% Roman Catholic

Life Expectancy:
Males: 77.26 years
Females: 83.33 years

Per Capita GDP:


$31.000

Price to Visit:
$0

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Day 1 – June 24, 2009 Morning
It’s about eleven in the morning and we just arrived in Rome.
This is one of the two places I will visit during my stay. In four
days, I will head on a 3 hour, 45 minute ride over to Pisa. Well, I
have to unpack. I read up on a little Italian in the last couple of
days to learn the basic greetings and phrases. I looked up the
climate and saw that its usually high 60’s low 70’s in the summer,
so I had to pack some jackets to come along and keep me warm. I
will write in my journal tonight.

Day 1 – June 24, 2009 Night


So, today I got settled and checked out all the non-touristy
places, such as restaurants and parks. We went over to a place
called Gusto to eat. They make an excellent mid-day snack called
Torta di Patate. I have to try that one at home when I get back.
We’re staying at the St. Regis Grand Hotel, which is of course, five
stars. I’m getting sleepy. Tomorrow, we see the Pantheon.

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Day 2 – June 25, 2009 Morning


Today, we see the Pantheon. It’s not that far from the hotel. I
heard the inside was very, very awe-inspiring. If that’s not enough,
it’s been there for almost 2,000 years! I’ll tell you how it went after
a fun filled day.

Day 2- June 25, 2009 Night

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The Pantheon was the single most breathtaking thing I have
ever seen in my life. (Picture 1) It was 146 feet of complete awe. It
had a humongous dome shaped roof with a hole in the top to let
light in. It was like something out of a sci-fi story. It had columns
running all around the sides and awesome square-shaped holes
around the whole dome. On top of that, different statues and such
were placed all around. It looked like an old building that was yet
to be built.
While we were there, I learned that Raphael, a famous
Renaissance painter was buried there. Also, the Pantheon was
originally built as a temple for the Roman gods. On top of that, the
Pantheon still holds services from time to time. Now I really know
it’s a special place, especially because its columns were quarried in
Egypt!
Moving on, Italy is a lot more different than Florida. The
buildings are a lot closer together and they have parking spaces on
the side of the roads, very compact. Also, the roads here are a lot
narrower. Pantheon: Check. Museum, here I come.

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Day 3- June 26, 2009 Morning


Okay so today, I was told I was going to the Vittoriano
Monument. It’s supposed to be a real cool place with terraces that
overlook the whole city. I can’t wait to go there!

Day 3- June 26, 2009 Night

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The Monument was pretty neat! I took this cool picture of it
with all the guards in a row. (Picture 2) It was built 1885-1911, that’s
26 years of construction, built for Italy’s first king: Vittorio
Emanuele II. The monument itself is very elegant, but critics hate
it, because of what it’s made of and how big it is. I also was able
to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, who was buried there to
help the country remember all who died in the First World War.
Also, there was this big statue of Vittorio, the Italian king that I
saw up close!
And the sights from up top were amazing! I even got to take
an elevator up to the roof! From there, I could pretty much see all
of Rome! I should have gone here yesterday! Rome was so big! I
felt almost in control, just as the king might have felt whenever he
stood there.

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Day 4- June 27, 2009 Morning


The Coliseum is probably the most visited thing in all of Italy,
or even Southern Europe! It was very innovative for its time. And
now, I get to visit it today! Actually, the Coliseum is also called the
Flavian Amphitheatre, but due to the colossal statue of Nero in
front of it, it’s called the coliseum! This is definitely going to be the
best day ever, and after I go see it, I will get in the car for a little
less than 4 hour trip over to Pisa, Rome. I can’t wait for both of
these events!

Day 4- June 27, 2009 Night


I’m in Pisa now, we started our drive at around six after
dinner, and its ten now. It was a pretty long drive, but it’s

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definitely worth it. The buildings are slightly different, but new
landscape is always good.
There is only one word I can use to describe the Coliseum:
Wow! (Picture 3) Even though it was broken in some parts by
Pope’s that wanted the marble it was built with and was damaged
by some earthquakes, it looked really amazing, sitting there for
2,000 entertaining people and many different ways. But It was so
huge! I mean we took a free tour, which turned out to be really
funny, but I learned it could hold about 50,000 spectators. This
thing must have been the place to be, and I can’t believe this
broken down thing used to be used.
We also got to go on a little walk through the barracks of the
gladiators that used to fight there. We stood in the middle of an
arena where they used to practice their moves for the waiting
audience. The barracks looked neat because they were pretty much
underground and all the columns rose out from the ground. Overall,
the Coliseum was definitely the coolest thing in all of Rome.
While we were on our tour, we even got to see a fake tour-
guide get busted by the cops because he didn’t have a license, so
all the people following him joined our tour! As always, the guide
asked for a tip since it was free and we gave him one. After the
tour we bought a wall-plate to bring back home of the coliseum.

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Day 5- June 28, 2009 Morning


Today, I get to visit the Cathedral of Pisa, being that it is
Sunday. This thing was built from 1063 to 1350, this building is one
big church in Pisa. Before the trip, I decided to look up some stuff
and I found out its style was a style called Romanesque. I can’t
wait to visit this awesome building that is more than 600 years old!

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Day 5- June 28, 2009 Night
I can’t believe we were so close to the Leaning Tower! It was
in the complex, but there was so much to explore with the actual
cathedral, we didn’t get the chance to walk over to it. I’m really
excited for when we get to visit it tomorrow!
The Pisa Cathedral was pretty cool! We got to enter through
the main door, which was only open during the summer, instead of
the normal, original door near the Leaning Tower. The inside of the
church was very open, and had medieval style floors, from what I
heard. Two isles run on either side of the grand church. They had a
lot of Renaissance art on the walls, replacing most of the medieval
paintings because of a fire in 1595. We got to visit the tomb of
Henry VII, the father of Henry VIII, the man that married six wives,
and was very cool to see.
After lunch at another Italian restauraunt, where I got a
delicious, original, Italian lasagna, we went back to the Cathedral
and saw more interesting art and artifacts. We saw a great
sculpture called Giovanni Pisano's pulpit. It was like a little mini
stone pavilion with columns and a lion statue walking around it. We
got a picture of the pulpit, which was finshed in 1311. (Picture 4)
The weird part is, after the fire, the people who renovated the
cathedral took it out, and it was just rediscovered in 1926! All in all,
it was one of the most interesting sculptures I’ve ever seen.

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Day 6- June 29, 2009 Morning


Today is my last full day in Pisa and in Italy, and I want to go
out with a bang. So, what better way to do this then to see the,
oh so famous, Leaning Tower of Pisa! It’s one of the things that I

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have always wanted to see up close. We’re going to take that short
drive over to the Cathedral today again, but today its tower time!
I’m pumped for my last day and hope this really blows me away.

Day 6- June 29, 2009 Night


My wish came true. (Picture 5) The Leaning Tower is even
better when you get up close to it! It’s massive! The Tower is over
fifty feet in diameter, and since the walls are eight feet deep, the
inside is only about twenty-four feet in diameter! I mean this thing
is gigantic! We got the chance to walk the 296 steps up to the bell
tower and see a view out to all of Pisa from the eighth story.
(Picture 6) Oh, and by the way, I gave in to the tourist side of me
and bought a little Leaning Tower miniature figure.
In 1964, Italy’s government sent out some people to build
something so they could make sure that the tower didn’t fall. But,
they couldn’t make it go straight up because the tower was a
major tourist attraction, so they put lead counterweights in the
tower to keep it from toppling to the ground. Just 22 years ago, it
was declared a part of the surrounding areas with the cathedral I
visited yesterday, the baptistery, and the cemetery. 3 years later,
the Leaning Tower of Pisa was closed to the public, so that they
could stabilize it, so it wouldn’t lean at a dangerous angle. They
tied ropes to the third story and planted them several hundred
meters away. Houses were moved and abandoned for safety in the
area. Also, the bells were removed to take away the extra weight.
Just over 1 year ago, engineers removed a bunch of earth, and it
stopped moving for the first time in its history. It was declared
stable for another 200 years.

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Day 7- June 30, 2009
I had to wake up really early in the morning today to get on
the flight. I just got back and am in the car, going home. That trip
to Italy was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. And guess
what! My uncle says that he’s planning a trip to the Middle East! I
don’t know the exact details, but I can’t wait to go, even though I
just got back! As always, I like to say what my favorite part of
each day was. My favorite part about the pantheon was seeing the
great architecture and how it was built. What I liked about the
Vittoriano was seeing the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The
Coliseum was an all around great experience, I loved every second.
The cathedral was nice, I really like the pulpit. Last but not least, I
loved the Leaning Tower of Pisa because of all the dangers and
troubles it had to go through. So, as I end my log from my trip to
Italy, all I can do is wait for my next big adventure.

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Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

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Picture 4

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Picture 5

Picture 6

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