Stampin’ Up!’s Greek Isles Incentive Trip (Day 1)

I’m just back from an amazing, whirlwind tour of Rome, Italy followed by a cruise along the Greek Isles. As I sort through my pictures and unpack my backs, it’s hard to believe we were just there – where civilization began.

The Greek Isles cruise was a reward from Stampin’ Up! for meeting certain goals during the last year. With a lot of hard work and some amazing customers and team members, I was able to share this experience with demonstrator friends from all over the world – and two of my team members earned the trip this year, too! What fun! I had an amazing time, and I’m excited to share all of it (well, some of it) with you today!

Leaving Atlanta

When we arrived at the Atlanta airport, I wasn’t certain this trip was going to start as planned.

Gray Skies Over Atlanta, Brian KingDespite a quick rough patch with rain and thunder, things turned around quickly so we were on-time for our 9-hour flight to Rome.

Rome, Italy

I’ve been all over North, Central and South America (including Alaska and Hawaii) – and Stampin’ Up! took us to Thailand two years ago. Since I had to cancel the Mediterranean cruise with Stampin’ Up! three years ago, this adventure was my first to Europe. What a thrill!

We arrived in Rome, Italy a day early and stayed at the most adorable boutique hotel, Hotel Campo de’ Fiori. We met Mary Fish and her husband who were also staying there. Just look how sweet this place is:

Hotel Campo de' Fiori, Rome, Brian KingThe view from our room is a little square square with food, jewelry and shops (and the best lemon gelato I’ve ever had):

Hotel Campo de' Fiori, Rome, Brian KingHere’s the view of rooftops from the roof of the Hotel Campo de’ Fiori. These are the oldest buildings I’ve ever seen – far older than anything in the United States:

Hotel Campo de' Fiori, Rome, Brian KingThe Vatican, Basilica and Sistine Chapel

During our day in Rome, we took a guided tour of the Vatican that included the Basilica and Sistine Chapel. What an amazing collection of art work – statues, frescoes, textiles and the Sistine Chapel (most famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling. There was A LOT to take in and a huge crowd, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Here are some highlights.

Vatican City is the smallest country in the world – it’s a city-state surrounded by Rome. It houses some of the largest collections of some of the oldest art in the world. Here are the gates to the Vatican:

The Gates of the Vatican, Brian KingEverything inside the walls of the Vatican was amazing. It can be difficult to pay attention to the art work with all the incredible art on the ceilings:

The Vatican, Brian KingHere’s our incredible tour guide, Michaela. Before entering the Sistine Chapel, she walked us through a book of art that depicts all the artwork on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (since we weren’t allowed to talk or take photographs inside the chapel).

Our Awesome Tour of the Vatican, Brian KingI studied the Sistine Chapel in school. It was incredible and humbling to be able to stand in the chapel and see this amazing art.

We continued to St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world. Here’s the Holy Door, opened only once every 25 years during the Jubilee. The last time this door was opened was in 2000.

The Holy Door at St Peter's Basilica, Brian KIngMichelangelo’s The Pietà is one of the most famous statues of all-time. I studied this statue of the Virgin Mary and Jesus in school but didn’t know I was going to see it on this tour. What a wonderful experience!

Michelangelo's The Pietà, Brian KingSo, that’s Day One of my trip to Europe. I’m sharing some highlights from the remaining seven days of my trip tomorrow. I hope you’ll come back!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Brian

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23 Comments

  1. Rome is amazing! Looks like you had a fabulous time.

  2. Thank you for sharing pictures from your trip; amazing and fantastic.

  3. So awesome! Thanks for sharing😊

  4. Love it! So happy for you Brian!

  5. What an amazing trip my friend. So happy you earned this once in a lifetime trip. CONGRATS.

  6. So thrilled that you got to take this trip. Fascinating photos of some fantastic sights. Thank you so much for sharing. I’d be interested to know HOW MANY photos you took overall! Can’t wait to see more.

  7. Beautiful pictures, Brian. So glad you experienced all the wonder of the art. Look forward to seeing more.

  8. Thanks for sharing. What a fun trip Brian.

  9. Oh Brian – The Pieta was on tour a very long time ago at the World’s Fair in New York and I got to see it. In fact I got in line over and over and over to view it because it was just such a moving experience. I cannot imagine how I would feel if I ever got to Rome. I’m so thrilled for you and all the demonstrators that got to take this once in a lifetime trip. Thank you so much for sharing your photos and experiences with us.

  10. Thanks for sharing those photos…..just awesome!

  11. So happy you were able to make this amazing trip, now that’s a true reward for all your wonderful work!

  12. Stunning pictures Brian. No matter what your faith is, you can feel Gods presents is there. It does humble you for sure! Looking forward to more sites on your journey 😉

  13. such a delight to share some of these moments with you!

  14. Incredible! So glad you got to experience such an incredible place that you had studied! Full circle. Can’t wait to see and hear about the rest!

  15. Congratulations on such a wonderful trip. You earned it! Thank you for all the creativity, inspiration, sharing and laughter you give us.

  16. Beautiful pictures of one of my favorite places. Thanks for the memories!

  17. Looks like a fabulous trip. Thanks for sharing. We’ve been to Rome and the Greek Isles and love seeing your pictures.

  18. Oooooh, my friend WHAT BEAUTIFUL PICTURE. THANK YOU THANK YOU , I LOVE TO SEE ALL THAT ,
    I’m glad you had a wonderful time , like you said one time in your life , love it ♥️♥️♥️♥️Hugs Frenchie

  19. I love hearing about your incentive trips and seeing pictures of your adventures. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures Brian! I’m so glad you were able to experience all the wonders of the region. We SO enjoy seeing & hearing everyone’s pictures and adventures!

  21. Your pictures were fabulous. Can’t wait to see pictures of
    Greece

  22. I’m so glad you got to experience Rome! A replica of The Pieta was on my Italian Father in law’s casket; years later standing in front of the real deal, brought my husband and me to tears. I wore his ring on the trip just to have a piece of him with us. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.

  23. Fantastic start to a wonderful trip! Agony & the Ecstasy was required reading in high school. I couldn’t put that book down!!! Italy is on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing.

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