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Interim Abroad: 1998 Tour of Italy


We began our tour in Rome, where we visited all the usual sites as well as a few off the beaten track. Of course we visited the forum, which is just a short walk from the Colosseum, where four of our guys posed in the arcade (from left to right: Dan Glenn, Ryan Noppen, Steve Dyk, and Tim Blamer). On another trip, we visited Castel Sant' Angelo, the popes' fortress, where we had a beautiful view of St. Peter's Church. (In the photo, from left to right: Katy Frey, Sarah Gibson, Sara Bolt.)

A day of so later we bussed down to Ostia and explored the ruins of Rome's port.

Sorrento, Pompeii, Paestum, Capri

We were sad to leave Rome. But the rest of our time in Italy was blessed with good weather and fun times. We next went south, stopping in Naples at the National Museum (no photographs permitted, alas!), and Herculaneum. Then, from our temporary home in Sorrento we drove for a day-long stop in Pompeii. We also spent a glorious Sunday on Capri, walking to the Villa Jovis and spending too much on souvenirs.

On another day, we drove south along the winding highway to Amalfi, where we spent a couple of hours exploring the town's hilly streets, and then on to Paestum, an old Greco-Roman city with well-preserved temples and a well-stocked museum.

Perugia, Orvieto, Siena, Florence

Our one day of rain until the very end of the trip was, happily, the day we spent mostly in the bus on our trip north from Sorrento. After a stop to view the medieval hill town of Orvieto, we spent the night in Perugia (sister city of Grand Rapids) and then went on to Siena, where we experienced the glories of this town in brilliant sunshine. After Siena, we reached the goal of the trip for many, Florence.


After several days exploring Florence, we boarded our coach and went to Ravenna and Venice. Although we did not spend the night in Ravenna, almost everybody thought that such a stop would have been nice. We visited the major churches, the Tomb of Galla Placidia, and the mausoleum of Dante.


Our second day of rain during this trip happened to coincide with our last full day in Venice. This gray view of the Grand Canal, with the church of San Giorgio dei Salute in the distance, summarizes our feelings as we prepared to leave Italy.

Created by Mark Williams on February 25, 1998.