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My mom and stepdad came to visit in May and we all took a trip to Italy.

First, we stayed a few nights near Venice in a huge 500 year old house with a beautiful garden. It is apparently a house with history since the owner told us that THE Casanova had stayed in the house before! The inside of our part of the house was filled with antique furniture, was surprisingly big and had the best breakfast of fresh cheeses, fruit, prosciutto, breads, and freshly squeezed juices. While staying here, we went to Venice and took a gondola ride and to Sirmione, a beautiful town on a huge lake where we toured a castle and some Roman ruins, and Verona, where we saw the supposed balcony of Juliet.

Next, we drove to Tuscany to stay in a Villa for the rest of our trip. Our villa was absolutely beautiful and was set on a hilltop with views of vineyards and rolling hills. The villa had beautiful grounds to stroll around in, a pool, and lots of nice seating areas. While there, we toured Florence and saw the statue of David, took a picture of said statue and got fussed at for taking said picture (look closely at the picture, you can see the museum worker coming!) and ate lots of gelatto. We ordered the famous Florentine steak, that Florence is known for, which was delicious! We visited San Gimignano which is a picturesque little village with beautiful views. Next, we visited Pisa and got to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We all signed up for a wine tasting class at the villa which was very interesting. My mom and I also took a pasta making class at the Villa which was lots of fun! We learned how to make fresh pasta, fresh spaghetti sauce, and then we all got to eat it all for dinner with lots of Italian wine to drink. Yum! But even after all that work, I think I still prefer the boxed pasta!

It was really nice to drive anywhere in Tuscany because anywhere you drove there were nice views and all the hillsides of vineyards were beautiful! We all had such a great time in Italy and we were sad to go home!

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