2006 Italy Trip



March 7 Tuesday - Travel


Get up very early and make it to the airport on time, at least two hours early.


March 8 Wednesday -  Rome

Arrive Rome and go to hotel, #38 Via Firenze

Early arrivals may want to see Nero’s Golden House

        Make reservation at http://www.pierreci.it/

 * 1:30 - 6:00 Colosseum/Roman Forum

6:00 – 7:00 Dinner

7:00 – Freetime




Day One

Buon Giorno everyone!!

After 11 hours (more for a lot of people) of flight time, everyone was glad to be walking around on solid ground again.  It was so exciting to see old friends and new faces arrive at Hotel Oceana on the first day.  As soon as Mr. Hinrichs checked in, and our rooms were all sorted out, we set off on our first hike of the trip.  We walked at quite a fast pace through the busy city of Rome, chatting with each other the whole way.

The first stop we made was at the Arch of Titus.  This huge arch was built after Emperor Titus’ death, signifying the great defeat of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Jewish temple, and the magnificent Roman procession which followed.  Standing right next to it was the Colosseum.  I was amazed that people who were so behind in their technology, compared to today’s world, could create something that huge. What is most amazing is that it still stands after hundreds of years.  After taking lots of pictures, we walked into the Forum Romanum (Roman Forum).  It was by far one of the coolest thing I have ever experienced.  It was like walking into ancient Rome, except there were tourists everywhere!  I can’t remember the names of all the building, but I will tell you the ones I know.  There were three temples; the temple of Castor and Pollux, the temple of Saturn, and the temple of the Vestal Virgins (I am not sure if I spelled Vestal correctly).  Inside one of the Roman temples there is church, still in use today.  The Curia was a gathering place for the Senate.  A historically accurate building now stands where the original Curia was once located.  One of the ways the Romans were able to make their buildings so tall was to fill them up with sand as they built.  Pretty smart people!!!  The Rostra and the arch of Severus are the last two buildings I can remember. 

After eating some wonderful lasagna, pizza, and pasta, we headed back to the hotel to unpack.  When everyone was settled in, we played card games, including speed, Egyptian ratscrew (and, yes, it is called Egyptian ratscrew), war, BS, and mafia, until midnight.  By 12:00 we were all so tired that we went into our rooms and were dead to the world.  Thanks for reading!    J  Ciao!!  J




March 9 Thursday - Rome

7:30-8:30 Breakfast at Hotel

*9:30-12:00 Walking tour/ St. Peter’s Cathedral

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch

*1:00-4:45 Vatican Museum

4:45 – 7:00 Dinner

7:00-  Freetime


Thursday the 9th


We got to breakfast at 8:00 they served massive biscuits and a type of cake in the complementary breakfast. At 9:30 the group cleared out of the hotel and headed to the metro to take a walking tour of the Vatican and the Sistine chapel.

The Vatican used to be the residence of the pope it is constantly restored in order to keep the paintings vibrant; however, due to the restorations some of the parts of the museum were inaccessible we saw the school of Athens, by Rafael. Many tapestries and statues after the Vatican, we were led to the Sistine chapel, and let in. The sheer beauty of the place was enough to take ones breath away: the paintings were both beautiful and fascinating; most interesting is that, on the sides of the paintings, were paintings of both biblical profits and Greek cybles. The combination seems to merely be an effect of the renaissance, a combination of Greek and Christian history.


From there we headed to St. Peter’s basilica the building was funded by the sale of relics, and when asked the cost of the basilica. And he responded, “the proquizant reformation”; however, the reformation was a small price to pay for this amazing building the entire building is even more ornate than the Vatican, and it is two football fields long and a football field high. after this tour, the group either headed back to the hotel for a little R&R or headed up the dome of St. peters. After that some headed to the Spanish steppes for some shopping and dinner.





March 10 Friday – Rome/Florence

7:30-8:30 Breakfast at Hotel

*9:30-12:00 Pantheon

12:00 – 2:00 Travel to Florence/Lunch

2:00-3:30 Walk to Hotel/Unpack

3:30-5:30 Walking tour of Florence

5:30 – 7:00 Dinner

7:00-  Freetime



March 10, 2006


       For most of us, this was our second morning at Hotel Oceana in Rome. We enjoyed the huge rolls, delicious pastries, and hot chocolate/coffee. The staff was their usual cheerful selves. After packing up all our belongings, we lined them up along the hall taking up all available space. Then we headed out into the drizzle for our day’s adventure on the streets of Rome. The Pantheon was the only tourist site on our schedule for the morning. Built in 27AD, the Pantheon was well intact. Mr. Hinrichs explained that the main reason for its survival was that it was converted to a Christian church early on. We were allowed a little over an hour to look around inside and do some shopping before meeting outside by the fountain.

      What was supposed to be a quick run upstairs at the hotel to grab our suitcases turned into an hour or so stop. It took a couple elevator trips to carry down the majority of the luggage. Many of us wished the staff ‘grazie mille’ as we headed out. Mr. Nguyen called for two taxies to drive some luggage and people over to the train station; the rest of the group took the 15min. walk.

       We all waited outside the station as Mr. Hinrichs bought our group ticket. Our train to Firenze (Florence) pulled out at 2:30. We had an interesting time figuring out our seats, but it all worked out. After getting off the train, we walked with our baggage to Hotel Casci stopping on the way at the Duomo. Later that night we did a walking tour of Florence and ate dinner together in a Cafe in between the Duomo and our Hotel. This was Amanda Satchwell’s birthday and we sang to her after dinner.

      Leaving the cafe we walked around Florence some more and stopped at Mr. Hinrichs’ favorite leather shop. Then we stopped back at the hotel to gather the group of people who wanted to go dancing. We danced the Virginia Real, St. Andrew’s Cross, and the Pat-a-Cake Polka to Mr. H’s banjo. Several Italians watched from their windows and clapped along with us. And to follow tradition we sang Dona Nobis Pacem and the Doxology.

      The day’s events ended with the student’s most loved past time-card games.


~Abigail Dubs





March 11 Saturday - Florence

7:30-8:30 Breakfast at Hotel

*9:30-12:00 Duomo/Baptistry/Opera del Duomo

12:00 – 2:00 Lunch

*2:00-5:30 San Lorenzo / Medici Chapels

5:30 – 7:00 Dinner

7:00- 9:00 Freetime


Florence, Italy

March 11th:

Our second day in Florence! Though Rome was wonderful Florence is a beauty of its own. It is quaint town and country city with the feel of romance. You want to live in it...not just visit. Our hotel is just a hop, skip, and a jump from the beautiful Duomo. It is my favorite building by far. You can only stare in awe at its beauty and magnificence, til you are finaly able to close your gapping jaw and snap a picture which in no way captures the glory of such a beauty. In the morning we began making our way to the Duomo we encountered a parade! We found out later it was the celebration of the 700th aniverary of Florence. It was wonderful! There were flag throwers and colorful costumes. Next we finally went inside the Duomo and a few of us took the challenge of climbing to the top for the view. You know the saying "a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step"? Well...its true...and our journey ended on step 463. That's right....463 spiraling, twisting turning, leg burning steps to the top. But the view! It was worth every one.To see the city...and to see it all...was perfect. After we caught our breaths (since the exercise and beauty of the city can really steal it) we headed down to meet with rest of the group. Then off to San Lorenzo! It was beautiful inside....sadly we have no pictures to prove it since there were no cameras allowed...just like in the Sistine Chapel we were told "no photo". That phrase is now a running joke :). There was beautiful marble all around. There were decorations that literally sparkled. And the colors were marvelous. It is truly a lost art and makes you wonder why we stopped making such beautiful creations when we have obviously been gifted by God to do such. But...we did eventually stop our daydreaming and pining after lost art and moved onward as Mr. Hinrichs pace is anything but slow :). While some of the group stayed to Chapel Medici, a few us decided to head back to the hotel and rest our weary feet. On the way of course, we just so happened to run into a Gelato store. Fancy that? Luckily us ETSians and such are always up to experiencing the famous traditions of other countries (such as buying gelato) I myself enjoyed a nice tarty lemon flavor (as well as few samplings of the other's). After arriving at the hotel we played a few games of cards and Mahjong. And as soon as the rest of the group arrived back we celebrated Amanda and Logan's birthdays with cake! Mrs. Satchwel (sp?) had been so kind as to treat everyone to various cakes. As if I need more desert....;). Neverthless! The two birthday were sufficiently celebrated and glorious end to our fun filled day. As a final note to those of you already wishing you were here....the city is a dream. I love Florence and I truly hope you find your way to this beautiful city.





March 12 Sunday - Florence

7:30-8:30 Breakfast at Hotel

9:30- Service at Duomo

12:00 – 2:00 Lunch

* 2:00-5:30  Walk in Boboli Garden / Fort Belvedere

5:30 – 7:00 Dinner

7:00- 9:00 Freetime





March 13 Monday - Florence

Museums closed!  Free day

7:30-8:30 Breakfast at Hotel


Suggestions- City of Pisa or Sienna

$40 round trip train ticket- not covered by ETS



March 13, 2006                                                                                               Sarah Kuznitz

Our 6th day in Italy was a free day. About half of the group took the train to Venice while the other half stayed in Florence to shop, and then later go to Siena to watch the sunset. I was in the latter group. For the shopping in the morning we were in groups of twos and threes, mostly meandering around the many tents set up in the street, checking out the many sunglass stands, dodging the infinite number of people selling leather jackets, and occasionally seeing someone else from ETS in the crowd and waving at them. After much shopping and hauling of bags, those left in Florence reconvened at the hotel to grab some lunch, and then we were off to the train station! The group who ended up going to Siena consisted of the Allen group, the Dubs, the Jarvis’, the Monroes, the Sudmeiers, and my mom and I. The train ride to Siena was about two and a half hours long, so we passed the time by playing cards. The train finally arrived in what is known as a medieval city frozen in time. We walked to the Plazza Del Campo, stopping frequently to take pictures of the castle-like walls and turrets that we continued to come across. The Plazza Del Campo was a huge, sloping plaza that had redbrick paving and was surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and medieval palazzi. While some were discussing where to go next, and some where touring the plaza, some of us went right over to the nearest solid surface and-of course-played cards. Not many people can say that they have played cards in the Plazza Del Campo sitting next to the Fonte Gaia. Soon decisions were made and the group split into three parts. The portion that I was with went to see and climb the Duomo of Siena. After also looking through the adjoining museum, we met another section of the group back at the plaza where we had dinner in one of the charming restaurants. We watched the sunset about midway through dinner. After dinner, we walked back to the train station where we were to meet the 3rd part of our Siena group. We got there with no time to spare but thanks to Myles, not only made on the train on time, but also made it on the right train, which I have noticed is one of those details that is worth noticing. The time on the train back to Florence was once again passed by playing cards and so ended our side trip to Siena.




March 14 Tuesday – Florence

7:30-8:30 Breakfast at Hotel

*9:30-12:00 Academia

        I will be getting us an entrance reservation

12:00 – 2:00 Lunch

*2:00-3:30 Science Museum

*3:30-5:30 San Miniato

5:30 – 7:00 Dinner

7:00- 9:00 Freetime


March 15 Wednesday - Florence

7:00-8:00 Breakfast at Hotel

*8:15-11:00 Uffizi

        I will be getting us an entrance reservation

*11:00-1:30 Bargello


        Perhaps overnight trip to Venice (three hour train ride)

5:30 – 7:00 Dinner

7:00- 9:00 Free Time



March 16 Thursday – Florence/Rome

7:30-8:30 Breakfast at Hotel


7:00- 9:00 Get ready to go home





March 17 Thursday – Rome/Home

5:30 AM Walk to train station

Take train from Florence to Rome Termini

Take train from Rome Termini to airport





More pics!