Good morning all.
Gradually getting caught up with everything and everyone after my trip to Italy. Looks like we won't be moving until March...the sellers are buying a new house which won't be ready until next year and when asked to name a date we said either November or if not it would have to wait until we got back from New Zealand at the end of February so that obviously suits them too. This gives us plenty of time to get organised!! (Famous last words!)
Mark and I had a lovely time in Italy, he was good company and it seems we're very alike! Thought I'd share some of the 400+ photos I took with you.
First stop was Pompeii, our hotel was set down a little side street and within easy reach of everywhere. We arrived about lunchtime in beautiful sunshine and after checking in and changing into shorts we set off exploring and to get some lunch. We ended up booking a trip up Vesuvius for 3pm...unfortunately the taxi bus didn't leave until 3.45pm and by the time we got to the top the cloud had come down...you couldn't see in front of your face!!
Day two we headed for the Pompeii ruins via the exit/entrance nearest the hotel rather than the main entrance. We spent about five hours exploring....a storm was brewing over Vesuvius and the thunder rolling in the background really added to the atmosphere! The storm did catch up with us and we had to take shelter for about half an hour until it abated. Loved the cobbled streets and the beautiful trees.
Day three we took the local train down to Sorrento, we had a lovely afternoon and evening here sunbathing and exploring and ended with a meal looking out over the bay to Vesuvius as the sun set. Will definitely come back here for a holiday.
Day four and it was time to say goodbye to Pompeii. We caught the local train to Naples then managed to book onto the high speed train to Rome...according to the signs we were travelling at 300km per hour! Our room was ready when we arrived so we checked in and set off to get some lunch. The guest house was again well situated to see all the sights and in a very safe area opposite the main bank of Italy building. We found the Colosseum after lunch but the queues were horrendous so we carried on and spent the afternoon looking around the Roman Forum. We both enjoyed this and there were some wonderful views of the city from the upper parts. Loved the beautiful trees here too.
Day five we set off early for the Colosseum as our Forum tickets included entry here too. We both loved the Colosseum from the outside but were both totally underwhelmed by the inside....too many people, too many selfies and too many selfie sticks....and if you didn't already own one, Rome was the place to be to buy one!! We exited quickly and walked on via the Trevi Fountain (unfortunately undergoing some repair work though still visible) to the Pantheon. Again very busy but worth seeing. After a siesta we set off in the evening to the Spanish Steps which were mobbed, so we climbed them and walked along the top to witness the most beautiful sunset over the Basilica and Vatican City. We walked for miles! Loved all the little excavated places dotted around...you never knew what you were going to come across next!
Day six and we headed for St Peter's Square, the Basilica and Vatican City. Had a lovely walk there via the Fuomi Fountain, the river and the Castle. Loved the square and Basilica...there was a huge queue to get in but it was very civilised and took less than an hour to get through. We stopped for a snack outside the Vatican and were well and truly ripped off!! By the time we'd eaten though the queue to get in was very short so we joined it. As the Sistine Chapel was due to close early we decided to head straight there, not realising you had to walk right round the museum to get there...another very underwhelming experience in our books. Too many people, too many selfies...just one long conveyor belt of people. A quick walk around the gardens where you weren't allowed on the grass and we left feeling we'd been ripped off.
Day seven and it was goodbye Rome and hello Venice. Mark fell in love at first sight. We had to wait for our room to be ready but found a lovely little tapas bar not far away and had a lovely lunch sitting in the sunshine. Later in the day we set off for the Rialto Bridge and St Mark's Square and enjoyed the evening just roaming around finding a lovely place not far from the hotel to eat.
Day eight and it was much cooler when we set off on a boat trip to the islands. Glass blowing on Murano, a nice mooch about Burano and finally a stop at Torticello. The evening was quite cold and windy so we ended up eating in the restaurant next door to the hotel....oh dear Fawlty Towers didn't have a look in! Food and prices weren't too bad but the service was diabolical...we did have a good laugh with the Americans on the table next to us though! Love the quirky little coloured houses on Burano.
Day nine and we had planned to spend it at the Lido but the weather had other ideas so we set off for a mooch about as Mark wanted to buy some masks. We finally found some in a little back water at half the price and still the genuine article so he ended up happy. After a lazy afternoon packing and reading we set off out for the evening. We ended back in the same place as the first night and enjoyed a lovely meal, then Mark would drag me back to St Mark's Square....I'm glad he did, it was quite magical at night with all the crowds gone and the restaurants all with their live music playing outside.
An early taxi boat back to the airport on Friday morning and we landed in Edinburgh about 1pm to beautiful sunshine. Mark had a very quick turn around...he flew out to Barcelona with his Aunty at 6.30am on Saturday morning...though guess who had to do the washing in double quick time!!
If you're still with me...I hope you've enjoyed my little Italian Adventure and I'll be back tomorrow with a card.