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The Floating Paradise - Venice & other Italian Delights

Unlike other cities where the railway station opens into the seedier part of downtown, replete with automobile fumes, litter & touts, Venice reveals herself in her full glory as soon as you enter the city. A city that's sinking at an alarming rate of two & a half inches per decade has no time to be coy. Come. See. Fall in love. And fall in love you will. Everybody does, Venice really is very, very charming. A confusing array of narrow alleys which suddenly open up into little squares which in turn lead into narrower on & so forth.

Photos of Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy 1/1 by Romeo Alpha

Getting lost is inevitable, so enjoy! And following you faithfully along your delightful journey is the silvery green Grand Canal, which divides the city into its main six sections. Once checking into our apartment in a narrow alley, we took up, what is the key to discovering Venice - walking. After doing alternate rounds of exploring & getting lost for some time, we reached Piazza San Marco, the biggest square in Venice. 

Photos of Piazza San Marco, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy 1/1 by Romeo Alpha

Described by Napoleon as "Europe's Drawing Room", the piazza is fronted by St Mark's Basilica & lined by several cafes & ristorantes. Post lunch, we utilized the public transport of Venice - the vaporetti (water bus) to visit the neighbouring islands of Murano - home of Venetian glass, and Burano - a sleepy fishing village, renowned for its lace & colourful houses. The evenings in Venice are picture-perfect for a romantic rendezvous with your significant other. But three of us had no such inclination towards each other, so we preferred to hit the sack.

Photos of Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa, Province of Pisa, Italy 1/1 by Romeo Alpha

Next day morning we took the train to Pisa - its iconic tower is among Italy's most recognizable sights. Pisans claim their 'Field of Miracles' is among the world's most beautiful squares. The manicured lawns provide a gorgeous backdrop for the cathedral, baptistery & bell tower - all leaning. We spent the afternoon being mesmerized by the Leaning Tower of Pisa, before returning back to Rome. Here, our European circuit was complete after 16 days of hectic, but unforgettable travelling. 

Photos of Naples, Italy 1/1 by Romeo Alpha

From Rome, we made a day-trip to Naples - 'the Mumbai of Italy'. Stunningly situated on the Bay of Naples & lorded over by Mt Vesuvius, Naples is gorgeous, edgy, raucous, overwhelming & above all fun. But it was not much fun for us. While returning from there, the train was delayed & by the time we reached Rome, all public transport had stopped. We spent that night at the platform-benches. It was good to be acclimatized back to our own country's systems.

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