Turin, Verona and Venice for the Easter Holidays.

On our way up towards the Mont Blanc tunnel, we encountered snow, and a wait to get into the tunnel. The kids are happy as long as they can play on the Ipad.

Our first stop was at Issognes Castle. It was a bust - you had to be part of a guided tour to get in, and the guide spoke almost no English. Plus, no photos once we got in.In Torino.

Eric took the kids to the Egyptian Museum while I was at our apartment, suffering from norovirus or something.I thought this poster was interesting - it says "NO to expensive funerals!"

At the Cinema Museum in Torino

Peter signs the guest book

This is the building that houses the Cinema Museum. It's a former synagogue.In the market. We bought some tasty fruit there, at much better prices than the supermarkets. These wagons look kind of archaic, but were in use.

Interesting looking artichokes. Not sure I understand the can't possibly be 10 for 1 Euro?We stopped for hot chocolate at a cafe. It wasn't the hot chocolate we're used to, though - it was the same VERY thick, eat with a spoon chocolate with whipped cream on top that we got in Madrid.

This fancy old-fasioned place is actually a hardware storeThe kids got some chocolate eggs with surprises inside for Easter

The new pope is a big deal here!Via Garibaldi - they say it's the longest pedestrian street in the world

At the Piazza Castello

At the Po river. Previously you were able to take a boat trip (30 hours) to Venice from here

Peter got really into picking flowers everywhere we went.At the monastery Sacra di San Michele, in Avigliana, built on a huge bluff. Supposedly this is where Umberto Eco got the inspiration for the book The Name of the Rose. Luckily it was a sunny day and we had some great views.

The kids and I thought this shadow looked a lot like a dragon

Parts of this old monastery are from the 11th century

Inside the church, we saw a proposal of marriage occur. I guess she said yes - they looked very happy!View from the top. You can also see the ruins of the old monastery.

In the apartment we stayed at in Turin

Next, we drove to Verona. We stayed in an apartment there as well, the Residence all'Adige. There were some American college students staying there for a study abroad program.Peter makes another bouquet

Walking towards the old city along the river Adige. In the background is the Castelvecchio BridgeThe kids like getting these ice creams that look like bananas, to the point of being able to "peel" it

An old roman wall in Verona

Verona was beautiful - lots of little courtyards everywhereThe ladder is a symbol of Verona - you can see it in the wrought iron gate here

Saw this guy in the streets. An interesting twist!The old Roman ampitheater. We didn't go in, but apparently the outside is more impressive anyway

We found a way home that led through the Porta Catena

Next day - towards the city through Parco delle Mura

At Ponte Pietra, an old Roman bridge

At the Roman forum

Peter took this oneGreat views of the city from the museum on the above the forum

At the Santa Anastasia church. I don't think I've ever seen those wooden support beams being required for the arches in other churches

Verona was so picturesque I ended up taking a lot of street shots that I thought were particularly pretty.

Kenny also got into the flower picking with Peter

Back at the apartment Peter sorted all the flowers he pickedDay trip to Venice - on the boat along the Grand Canal to San Mark's Square

This guy looks like he's rowing for exercise

This is how containers get transported in Venice

In St Mark's Square. The actual basilica had a lot of construction going on

The line to get in moved pretty quickly

Sheesh, there's just so many beautiful spots in Venice!

There's frequent floods in Venice. In many public areas there are elevated walkways set up just in case of flooding.

The kids loved the little amaretti cookies you can get in Italy

The bridge of sighs (headed towards the prison)Peter really enjoyed feeding the pigeons

The famous Rialto bridge. It's covered in grafitti, hard to imagine why they don't paint over it.

DHL delivers in Venice, too!

I noticed a store selling refills of cleaning fluids, etc. I wonder if this is popular here because garbage disposal is so expensive?

The COOP grocery store here is a LOT more scenic than the one close to our apartment in Geneva!

Almost back to the car now...

We ate at the AutoGrill on the way back. I don't think I've ever eaten over a highway before!

This little lookout tower was very close to our apartment. Maybe from World War II?In Sirmione, on Lake Garda

Walking along the perimeter of the island

The Grotto of Catullus (ruins of a huge old Roman villa). It was an amazing place to walk through.

This old fragment of a wall is held up by a cableWe had a lot of fun playing hide and seek among the ruins

The stones with the holes in them were used to hold up sun canopies