Visiting Germany and Italy

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Friday, August 1, 2014


MY RECENT trip to Europe was a graduation gift to me by my two aunts—Josefa Villavicencio-Martinez who is based in Seattle, Washington, and Susan Villavicencio-Herzog based in Hamburg, Germany.

We started in Hamburg and then travelled to Lubeck to celebrate my cousin Christian’s birthday.

We visited the Rathaus, the city hall of Hamburg. It is located in the Altstadt quarter in the city center, near the lake Binnenalster and the central station.

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In the Markt, the center of Lübeck's old town, stands the Town Hall. It is one of the most magnificent buildings in Germany built in the 13th-15th centuries in dark glazed brick, with a Renaissance addition of 1570 fronting the building.

At the west entrance to the old town can be found the very emblem of Lübeck, the massive twin-towered Holstentor (built in 1477), now housing the Museum.

Travemünde, now part of Lübeck, is the most fashionable and liveliest German resort on the Baltic, with its Kurhaus, Kursaal swimming pool.

For my Aunt Josefa’s treat, we went to Italy with Uncle Volker Herzog to celebrate their birthdays.

First stop was Florence, which was formerly ruled by the Medici family. It is where you can see the statue of David, a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture created between 1501 and 1504 by the Italian artist Michelangelo.

Next stop was Venice, the city of canals. We rode the gondola, which is a must-do activity in the city. We visited Basilica San Marco and toured around the city.

The Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), formally known as Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square), is a wide walled area located in Pisa, Tuscany recognized as an important center of European medieval art and one of the finest architectural complexes in the world.

Considered a sacred area by its owner, the Vatican, the square is dominated by four great religious edifices: the Pisa Cathedral, the Pisa Baptistry, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Camposanto Monumentale (Monumental Cemetery).

Partly paved and partly grassed, the Piazza dei Miracoli is also the site of the Ospedale Nuovo di Santo Spirito (New Hospital of the Holy Spirit), which houses the Sinopias Museum (Museo delle Sinopie), and the Cathedral Museum.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, or simply the Tower of Pisa, is the freestanding bell tower of the cathedral of Pisa, known worldwide for its unintended tilt to one side. It is situated behind the Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in Pisa's Cathedral Square.

We also went to the Ponte della Costituzione, the fourth bridge over the Grand Canal in Venice.

I will feature my trips to other European countries next time.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 01, 2014.

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