We traveled for 34 hours to get from Greece to where we are in Italy. Taxi to bus, bus from Athens to Patras, ferry from Patras, Greece to Bari, Italy, train from Bari to Rome and 2nd train from Rome to Lenola which is an hour south of Rome by train – my guess is approx. 60 miles. Franco, Marsha’s friend picked us up at the train station and took us to his apt. Lenola is his boyhood home and he returns every year for a month – he lives and works in the US. After Marsha and I got cleaned up he took us out to dinner. There are pics of the two restaurants where we ate, but it seemed rude to take pics of the food. Lenola is a small town in the mountains – roads are very curvy. The food was delicious – made with local ingredients. We had homemade linguini with porcini mushrooms, squash blossoms, I had mixed grill with sausage, some kinds of meat on a skewer and goat. It was all great. The next day we got up early because Franco took us to the Amalfi coast – very near Naples and Vesuvius. Talk about winding roads with sheer drop offs . These roads were the worst and they are narrow. There is barely room for 1 car in each direction and people park on the side of the road. We thought Franco may have scraped his car on a wall while trying to let a tour bus pass in the other direction. There couldn’t have been more than a 1/2 inch between the car and the bus. We had stopped for a very light lunch because we were going out to dinner again. Franco had bought fresh Buffalo mozzarella for us. We were stuffed, but went for dinner and we each had a pizza. We were so stuffed we couldn’t finish the pizza. Again it is midnight and we are in Rome. We only have 24 hours here in Rome so it is the whirlwind tour. I will attach the pics and send this message, but I need to get some sleep.
We had another day at sea as we traveled from Athens to Naples. The ship is really lovely and I haven’t taken pictures of the food since it would get to the point of being ridiculous. The presentation was always beautiful and the food delicious. I have added a picture of our table mates who were enjoyable company each evening. There is also a lot of maritime traffic so it is pretty at night to see the other ships all lit up. We booked a tour for Pompei after I spoke to an Irish couple who said it is a must see. Our tour didn’t begin until 1:30 so we had plenty of time before we left the ship. However, we explored the port. We got off and went to the terminal and surrounding area. There was the usual tourists shops so we just browsed. We then got ready and boarded our bus for the tour. Pompei is impressive! I was so fascinated I couldn’t stop taking pictures. I’ll only share some with you as I must have taken over 100. We were due to sail at 5:45 but didn’t get back to the ship until 6;00. When we were all on board – up went the gangway and we were on our way to Rome.’
Today is the 18th and we need to make our way to the Crown Plaza Hotel past St Peters to catch the bus to the port. I checked public transportation but it would still be a 6km walk. We decided to take cab from our hotel. It was a wise decision. We are now sitting in the lobby and as you can tell there is a much better wifi connection. Will continue when we are on board.
We boarded the bus provided by the cruise line and headed for the port. Everything went well. The ship is beautiful. We have a balcony room and it is very spacious to me. Even the bathroom seems large. We toured the ship, got settled in and then went to dinner. I had a roasted beet and feta appetizer and Shirley had shrimp cocktail. Shirley had salmon and I ordered the end cut of prime rib. They brought me a cow! As you all know cruise food is great and plentiful. We are headed to Santorini and have a day at sea tomorrow. No wifi on board do I’ll send the postings as soon as I can.
We set out to see the remaining sites by foot. By the end of the day we can truthfully say we have seen all of Rome. We started out in the wrong direction but eventually got on the right track. We were by the Circus Maximus where there was a Run for the Cure for cancer. Many of the streets were closed which made walking easy, but traffic was a nightmare again. After walking several hours and nearing the Pantheon we stopped for an Aperol spritzer at a sidewalk cafe.
By this time we were heading back to our hotel. We had seen most of the plazas and sights and would continue to see them as we walked. As I said we saw most if not all of the Roman sights. Upon our return we sat in the courtyard with our wine and shared experiences with the other guests. We just had a light dinner and had fun talking to the guests at our hotel.