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80 Kms from Civitavecchia
Days 7, 8 & 9: Finally, the royal city of Rome!Our first stop in Rome was the iconic Colosseum. What a spell binding mom...
Days 7, 8 & 9: Finally, the royal city of Rome!Our first stop in Rome was the iconic Colosseum. What a spell binding moment to see it for the first time! We then strolled around the Palatine Hill, the Roman Forum and the Arch of Constantine. As evening dawned, we walked around the city getting to know its ins-and-outs and ended our night eating yummy must-have gelato by the intricately carved, tourist favourite Trevi fountain.
Rome (3 days)I didn't really like my previous experience in Rome - the people I met were rude and unfriendly. On this trip, I'm glad to say things were better. I felt that the service staff at a couple of main tourist attractions were still aloof, bored, curt and did not seem to want to help. But then again, they must be jaded from dealing with millions of tourists every year. Well I didn't let them spoil my trip - I still had a great time in Rome.
3. Rome: If you love history and want to follow the footsteps of ancient Romans, Rome is the place to be. It has a unique culture and ancient history which is displayed to the tourists. You can take golf lessons or enjoy the spa while the kids enjoy themselves at the kids’ club. How to reach: A number of airlines connect Rome to India. You can take flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.Do not miss: The Colosseum
Rome is Italy in a nutshell. Universally agreed upon as one of the most romantic and inspiring cities to live in, Rome is an exhilarating blend of historical ruins and vibrant streets. The city's artistic heritage is paralleled by only a few across the world; some reasons for this are the Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica and the Byzantine mosaics throughout its geography. A trip to Rome could also be either religious (a day at the Vatican) or completely dedicated to fashion owing to its dolce vita culture. You can randomly sit at any roadside cafe or bar and watch the sun go down with your partner by your side, or you can follow the hordes because when in Rome...Free things to do while here: Pay homage at St. Peter's Basilica where you can find the iconic Pietà statue by Michelangelo. Visit the Bocca della Verità and tell a lie – legend has it that the huge face will bite you if you fib, so keep your fingers out of the way. You must already be aware of the iconic Trevi Fountain in which you throw coins and seek a wish; that's a must-visit place.
After spending some time we hopped on to the bus again and went on to see the other majestic structures , The Roman forum and Palatine Hill looking down onto the Circus Maximus which was a track for Chariot races during medieval times , the Pantheon . Since we were sleep deprived we thought of closing the day early and on the way back something caught our eye that we hadn't seen earlier , showed the consciousness of Europeans about family planning .
(continued) Check part 6 hereOn the 9th day of our trip, we moved from our Hotel Galileo in Padova towards Rome, the capital city of Italy, a distance of about 500 km. We had a city tour of the capital planned for that day.Rome is a Mecca for history buffs. It has a history spanning 2500 years. Among the most-visited cities in the world, Rome also surrounds the smallest country of the world, Vatican City from all sides. It has great monuments - the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain etc. But more than that, what catches people's interests is the little details of this historical city - cobbled lanes and streets, vivid colours, hidden corners, and the aroma of freshly ground coffee coming from the many cafes that are dotting the roads. Apart from playing the host to some legendary events in the past, the city also serves you great food through its various piazzas, eateries and food joints.
It was a dream to true to see this building of such historical importance. I could almost hear gladiators screams roaring through the amphitheatre as i walked through the biggest stages I have ever laid eyes on. Just one look at this architectural marvel & you know why it's a Wonder of the World!#Rome #Italy
Rome is a true mix of old and new. It’s a city that proudly flaunts its ancient history while it continues to evolve. It's a city that lives and breathes - it's dirty, crowded and noisy. It’s also beautiful, romantic and has a certain magical aura around it. It is proud of its grand monuments, that have stood strong against time and technology, but it is also reflective of the modernism and advancement happening around it. The cobbled lanes and hidden cafes, the gelato stands and coffee outlets - these details just add to the overall charisma of Rome.Cheapest Month To Fly: November 2017 from New DelhiMust See: The Colloseum, The Pantheon, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and The Vatican City.Must Eat: Other than pizza, pasta and gelato, do try Carciofo Ala Romana (stuffed artichokes), Torta Ricotta (ricotta cheese and sour berries cake), Maritozzo (sweet bread roll filled with whipped cream) and Coda Alla Vaccinara (tomato soup with stewed ox-tail).Must Do: Take a stroll along the oldest and longest road of Rome, via Appia Antica; Visit Quartiere Coppedè, a hidden fairy-tale neighbourhood; Visit Trajan’s Market and the ruins located on Via dei Fori Imperiali; Visit Mercato Monti, one of Rome's trendiest markets and visit the deconstructed church at Caracalla.Approximate Cost for a day: Attractions – Rs. 1000; Food – Rs. 1500; Inter-city travel via public transport – Rs. 500; Accommodation – Average cost for 1 night – Rs. 3000 on double occupancy.
306 Kms from Civitavecchia
Day9. Naples -Capri or| National Archaeological Museum |Walking food tour |Castle NuovaAs they say the place is as beaut...
Day9. Naples -Capri or| National Archaeological Museum |Walking food tour |Castle NuovaAs they say the place is as beautiful as the person seeing it. It was more about spending time with each other, getting to know your life partner who was stranger just a few days back. The whole excitement and anxiety went so well with the place which has stood the taste of time. We thoroughly cherished these nine days spent in Italy and came back with beautiful memories. Now we both are perfect sync. Atleast on the below..“I love places that have an incredible history. I love the Italian way of life. I love the food. I love the people. I love the attitudes of Italians.” – Elton John
It was my first Euro-trip and after lot of permutation combination and budget travel motives I planed to start my travel from down south Europe and chose Naples in Italy...I booked my flight from Mumbai via Istanbul till Naples in Turkish Airlience and also booked my accommodation through AirBnB based on the feedback given by people. I had booked Italy Eurail pass for making the internal travel comfortable within the country from its official website along with all the travel concessional tickets from the official website http://www.raileurope.co.in . It reached me within two days from the date of booking . Flight choice and stay turned out to be the most delightful experiences i have ever had . Our stay was at vico strettola agli orefici ,"CASA DEL FARO" almost 20 mins walk from GARIBALDI station. When i arrived at Naples Airport it was already cold, the vibes of spring season and Easter were very high. It was the perfect time to go for a Euro-trip. Me and my husband made a choice to save time for reaching the BnB and hired a taxi. It took almost 20 mins from Airport till "CASA DEL FARO". I think we couldn't have asked for better host on our first Airbnb stay!!!! She has been the best host we could have imagined and did every thing to make our stay comfortable and memorable !! We had an absolutely fantastic time we liked the sweet pastry she cooked for Easter and the warmth . We felt like family and the place is absolute beauty with sea view and a nautical theme. I would really look forward next time to be there and its for every body who wants to have a great stay at Naples. After a quick interaction with the host and with her guidelines we started our walking plans for the later half of the day. Napoli is a city in southern Italy and is the capital of the Campania region. Its archaeological treasures among the worlds most important places declared by UNESCO World Heritage Site .It has some of the world's best opera houses and theaters, and is often called an open-air museum, because of its many historic statues and monuments. It is also oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. We stepped out and saw Statua Di Garibaldi it was located just next to our place. Garibaldi has been an exceptional man of Italian history. There seems to be a statue of Garibaldi in almost every city in Italy and Naples and may be in most of the Italian cities. Almost 448 historical and monumental churches, the highest number in the World for a single city. Napoli is a city of volcanic transformations also being closer to the proprieties of Mount Vesuvius one of the most active volcano in the world. We continued walking towards city center holding the map in our hand till we could come to a place of younger crowd called Piazza San Domenico Maggiore where everyone was partying , streets were full of food joints wine shops , and Geleto outlets, there were music in the air , artists all over the lanes and charm everywhere. The complete city was lit up for Easter. There were large influx of tourists like in Rome, Venice, Florence etc. It was already late but this city was unstoppable. After a long exploration we sat in a roadside restra and garbed a bottle of rose house wine and Napoli pizza. It was my first pizza form its own motherland, I still remember its taste and the way mozzarella and Parmesan cheese melted in my soul. I was hungry no doubt and it was the best late night hunger break for both of us.
After a joyful week at the school, I then flew Italy loosing my favourite peach lotion and some nervousness, back at the Bremen airport. I remember the long cab ride to the hotel located around the coast of Naples, cold wind and a fast pumping heart and eyes scrolling through the buildings, people, their vehicles and every tiny thing that I could notice and try to remember. A walk to the seashore in the late evening and passing my time with the beautiful view of the city on hills was a soothing end for that day. A big thank you, Celine Lavisse for joining me here. It wouldn't have been this good without you.
7. A seaside stroll as you hunt for food through NaplesThe tour starts at Castel Nuovo, technically a fort and the former home of the Neapolitan monarchy. Apart from the food, this tour will leave you with immense knowledge of the culture and history behind Italy's seaside city. Your first stop for food will be at the 19th century Galleria Umberto I, where you'll be subjected to the sheer delight that is the warm pastry, sfogliatella.The walk continues through colourful markets dotted with local vendors, and their stalls and shelves decked with classic Neapolitan street food. A speciality here is the seasonal 'o pére e ‘o musso (cold meat with salt and lemon) and the small pizzas or pizzettes.
Napoli football club's home stadium, Stadio Sao Paolo, has also earned a name for being ultra-notorious when it comes to supporting its team. Several minor casualties are reported after every match.Famous footballers to have played here: Diego Maradona, Gonzalo Higuain, Edinson Cavani, Gianfranco Zola, Fabio Cannavaro.Things to do apart from football: Witness an actual active volcano – Mt. Vesuvius. Attend an opera performance at San Carlo Theatre.Average expenditure per day per head: Rs. 4,000Book the best hotels.Read more about the city.
Naples 1 day Hostels Two clear favourite emerged from my search: Hostel of the Sun and La Controra. Hostel of the Sun is bright, clean and equipped with a spacious locker. Meanwhile, La Controra is a historical building transformed into a hostel that is very much in the heart of the city. Hotel Barbato Hotel Barbato is near the airport, clean and in a friendly neighbourhood. You will enjoy the small but fresh breakfast on offer.
Naples is like a maze- a maze of cobbled streets peppered here and there with churches, restaurants, wine bars and tiny supermarkets. From never ending piazzas to the narrowest of alleyways coupled with art, history and a thriving food scene, this city has so much character to it that it could easily give Paris a run for its money. The locals are young, beautiful and full of energy and the pride they take in their cuisine is unparalleled, and rightly so. This probably could account for the numerous Pizza Marinaras and Pizza Margheritas one could easily gulp down without any sense of guilt whatsoever. Their Centro Storico is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is extremely difficult to keep track of the museums one can see because there are so many. Yet, you never get tired and neither do the pickpockets circling most of the city, so watch out! Getting there: You could take an InterCity/Regionale train from Rome and the ride is a little over an hour. Booking in advance on the Trenitalia website is a good idea. InterCity trains are faster and (Around 25 Euros one way) will give you reserved seats unlike their Regionale counterparts (11 Euros one way). For Regionale trains, make sure to validate your ticket on the several validation machines at the station just before you board the train. Must See: Make sure you see Giuseppe Sanmartino's Veiled Christ (Cristo Velato) at the Cappella Sansevero near Dante. The marble veil over Christ is so intricate, so realistic that you almost want to lift it and fold it like an actual cloth. The wonderfully preserved human arterial systems on the lower floor are also worth seeing, although a little too macabre. Entry to the Chapel is 7 Euros per person and photography is absolutely prohibited.
South of Rome is the city of Naples, the world’s birthplace of the pizza which, by the way, is delicious washed down with the famous zesty limoncello drink. Naples is a huge city that holds a beautiful National museum where you can see gladiator outfits, artwork and artifacts from the city of Pompeii, and is well worth a stop en route to this city.
273 Kms from Civitavecchia
6. A walk through the land that created Parmesan
My last destination within Italy was Venice, and I wanted do a brief pit stop somewhere before getting there. So bidding Florence goodbye, I headed for Bologna. Bologna is quite close to Florence and is well connected by train. It was Christmas eve and I didn't have elaborate plans, and Bologna seemed perfect.I lazily walked down the streets and walked into the cathedrals before reaching the foot of the Two Towers - Asinelli and Garisenda. It was quite surprising to learn that the Tower of Asinelli was the tallest leaning tower in Italy, much taller than the tower of Pisa (97 meters as compared to 56 meters).
The next morning, before leaving for Venice, I walked down to the University of Bologna - the oldest university of the world. Its alumni include Copernicus, Malfighi, Galvani, Marconi, Enzo Ferrari and had Dante Alighieri among others, as faculty.
197 Kms from Civitavecchia
Day 3 & 4: Train to Florence & immersing ourselves in artThe Trenitalia network covers all of Italy and has convenient s...
Day 3 & 4: Train to Florence & immersing ourselves in artThe Trenitalia network covers all of Italy and has convenient schedules to suit everyone. The train ride to our next stop Florence, was fun as the views changed from canals & water to farmlands with rows of olive shrubs and orange trees.We visited the Santa Maria Del Fiore, a beautiful cathedral that has become the symbol of the city. Its roof was engineered and painted by Brunelleschi and many compare its beauty to the Sistine Chapel. We also explored the Palazzo Vecchio, the old city palace, home of the famed Medici family of Florence.
It was the time to board the last train for Florence and we came back to the BnB we have booked . It was one of the most beautiful stays we had in Europe. Situated in the main city easily connected by public transport A beautifully decorated house by Hosted by Mario & Beatrice.
Food and wine, and everything fine – Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance Movement. Hence, there is no dearth of world-class art, history and tradition in this little town. Its narrow cobbled pathways are reminiscent of romantic Italian movies of the yore, and are perfect for aimless evening strolls with your loved one. Don't be surprised if you come across architectural masterpieces around every corner though, the town is replete with medieval chapels and museums all over. Florence is also famous for its hyper-stylish indigenous fashion being the hometown of world-renowned designers such as Guccio Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo, you'd find family-run boutiques everywhere.Free things to do while here: San Miniato Al Monte is an eerie but gorgeous church about Piazzale Michelangelo which you should visit. Take a stroll at Piazza Della Signoria and enjoy the collection of sculptures in the arcade nearby; there are also plenty of great roadside restaurants where you can sit and people-watch. However ridiculous it may sound, but you can also take a free walking tour of Florence; many guides just want to share their adoration of the gorgeous city with others and hence organise walking tours without charging anything.Where to eat: Here are the three cheap but outstanding places to eat in Florence: 1. SandwiChic at Via San Gallo, 2. Panini Toscani at Piazza del Duomo, 3. I' Girone De' Ghiotti at Via dei Cimatori. All three serve vegetarian food as well.Where to stay: What makes Florence a must-visit is its gorgeous yet affordable stays. Here is one fantastic option.
3. A bread, bean and biscotti feast in FlorenceEvery turn in Florence will greet you with people feasting on bread and bean soup, and the mandatory Chianti wine.Eating Italy's food tour starts from Oltrarno, Italy's answer to Paris' Left Bank. Take delight in the region's Bohemian vibe, abuzz with students and artists in hipster cafes and an all-round vibrant culture. The tour is bound to give away a number of local food and restaurant secrets. Among the multitude of food and wine tastings, you'll also learn to make Italian cantucci (biscotti), sample locally made fennel salami or Finocchiona, Tuscan cheeses and crostinis, and stop at an authentic Italian trattoria (restaurant) for steaming hot soups. Don't leave before having Florence’s famous steak, Bistecca alla Fiorentina, and of course, end the tour with gelato.
(b) When one talks of language barrier, Italy is the first point of reference and in Italy also, the Tuscany Region ranks number 1. Having said that, our maximum encounters with 'Humans of Europe' happened in Tuscany. One such was at a Farmer's market. My mother who is a local food enthusiast, on her own visited the Farmer's Market in Florence and returned with a bag full of local herbs, cheese and fruits. When we asked her how did you communicate with the Farmers (they only speak Italian and Spanish), she matter of fact replied 'With actions'. Also has learnt the recipe of local ravioli just through ACTIONS. The Italian farmers and my mother synced in so well that we had a dinner invite from a local farmer family and mother made made 'Dal Makhani' for them. The food at the dinner was what #foodgasm hashtag is for. The farmer's son who knew English, translated our conversation for them and their conversation for us. At the end, I felt as if I was sitting amongst my big, fat family from Punjab, giggling and laughing away to glory.
The homesickness eventually vanished as I travelled to the other cities. Florence was my next stop, which is a lovely town just four hours away from Rome by train. The hostel here was more like an inn that I booked through AirBNB. I made friends with guys from London and South Africa and am still in touch with them. It is amazing for slightly shy people like me that while travelling alone you are open to striking conversations and getting to know people, but when you have company, you are so comfortable with your companion that you don’t really want to make the extra effort of talking to strangers. Meeting new people transforms your worldview and makes you a totally different person. You no more want to dwell over the petty issues of life, which restricts you from doing so many wonderful things. Moving on, Florence was exceptionally beautiful and well-designed. I did not really spend any time standing in mind numbing queues to see any of the architectural marvels, but spent the days exploring the different parts of the city, climbing hills, and going to nearby villages. Florence falls in the Tuscan region, which is famous for its wineries. I would recommend to pre-book a tour to one of the wineries for a more authentic experience.
301 Kms from Civitavecchia
Next up is the Acetaia, where you delve into the secrets of the illustrious 12-year old balsamic vinegar or Aceto Balsam...
Next up is the Acetaia, where you delve into the secrets of the illustrious 12-year old balsamic vinegar or Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena produced by a solitary family. Starting from ageing grapes in oak barrels, the entire process behind producing the vinegar is shown in detail. You will also be fed ricotta, balsamic jelly and ice cream, all cooked using a 6-year old balsamic condiment. Then comes Prosciutto and its manufacturing. Here you get to see the careful craft that goes into creating one of the world's finest pork products.
The Albinelli Market in the centre of Modena is a gathering place, bustling with great energy and even better products. From the best Italian cheeses to Manzini, gastronomy with condiments, anchovies and spices, as well as fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fi sh and cold cuts. It’s a cook’s paradise and a fantasy land of fl avours for people who love to eat. mercatoalbinelli.it
239 Kms from Civitavecchia
Pisa day! The world famous leaning tower. A mistake in construction and a miracle lead to this tower being so famous. We...
On Day 8, we made our way towards the city of Pisa. Here, we straightaway went to the main attraction of the city, the Leaning Tower of Pisa.The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the seven wonders of the world, making the city of Pisa, among the most visited, the world over. The monument, is actually a bell tower and took almost 200 years to be built. It started leaning once the construction reached the fifth floor, (out of eight in total). Due to the leaning, the top of the tower is 17 feet away from the vertical, making it a marvel to look at. Several attempts have been made to take it down, and rebuild, or restore at another location. Several people have tried to understand the reason behind the leaning. But no concrete scientific reason has been found so far.
Pisa is 3 hours by train from Florence. After spending a lazy day roaming around the city centre of Florence, haggling with Bangladeshis at the flea market and killing time on the stairs of the Galileo Museum on our first day, we headed to Pisa the next day. Although there are a good number of trains that ply between Florence and Pisa, it's advisable to book the tickets at least a day in advance.
We took a early morning 7.30 am Thalys train to Pisa. There is no direct train from Venice to Pisa and you need to change the train. Our train from Venice was little bit late and we just reached 5 mins before the train for Pisa was about to leave, we managed to board the train after running and we almost lost our breath... We planned to stay for 4-5 hours at Pisa. Our train reached at around 11am. There is a baggage counter at the Pisa Centrale Station where we deposited our luggage bags. The Leaning tower of Pisa was just 2 kms away from the station, so we decided to walk to the monument from the station. We saw beautiful bridges, lots of colorful buildings and ate Gelato, pizzas and wine along the way. We had taken the 'Skip the line' pass for Leaning tower through online booking. After visiting the tower and the surroundings, we then headed back to station to catch our train to Rome. We reached Rome at around 7.30pm and then headed to our Airbnb accommodation, which was around 30 mins from the Railway station. The host welcomed us with home-cooked dinner prepared by fellow guests. It was a hectic day- we were in 3 cities in a single day!
Born as an Etruscan port on the banks of the Arno River around the middle of the 6th century B.C., Pisa is much more than the famous Leaning Tower. Known as Pisae, a Roman colony, the settlement displayed some Ligurian and Etruscan influence. After the end of the Roman Empire, this was a port town of great importance for the Goths’, the Longobards and the Carolingians too. In the 11th century, a further development transformed Pisa into one of the most powerful Italian Maritime Republics, together with Genoa, Venice and Amalfi. In this period the buildings that made Pisa famous were begun: the Duomo, the cathedral’s bell tower and the well-known Leaning Tower. Because of their peripatetic nature, Pisans brought long-forgotten ideas of science, architecture and philosophy back to Europe from their trade travels. Pisa’s great variety of architectural styles in its monuments is testament to their exposure to different people, cultures and artistic concepts and to their willingness to blend and harmonize external influences into new and original forms of expression. It was here that the refined Pisan-Romanesque style was born – Pisa’s permanent legacy to the world’s art, and where Galileo, one of the world’s greatest physicists and astronomers, and Leonardo Fibonacci, the great mathematician, were born, studied and taught. It can also add its renowned University established in 1343 to its hall of fame, as it remains today one of Italy’s top schools.
145 Kms from Civitavecchia
Day 5: We rested during the morning before heading to the train station to take a 12:10PM train for a day-trip to Siena....
Day 5: We rested during the morning before heading to the train station to take a 12:10PM train for a day-trip to Siena. Since it was a Sunday we got to know there would be lesser transportation in terms of buses. Siena was about an hour and a half from Florence. It is recommended to travel by bus as you get to pass scenic vineyards on the way. We walked from the station to the city center through the quaint little streets; there we visited Piazza del Campo which is a huge square. Siena is a walled city and the entire city has medieval brick buildings. Given it was a Sunday, most shops were shut which also meant lesser tourists. We then had lunch at one of the cafes in the streets and then went to the Siena Duomo, Cathedral of Siena. Then headed to the bus station and took an express bus back to Florence passing the picturesque vineyards. We later strolled through the streets of Florence and then had our last dinner in Florence.
Like San Gimignano, Siena's medieval architecture gives it its own unique bit of character, but on a larger scale. The walled cityscape consist of an adventurous maze of narrow streets, alleys, and corridors which lead to many famed areas of the city. Most notably, the Palio horse races which are held twice a year in Piazza del Campo.
This city has been lost in time, which makes it a fantastic place to visit on your next trip to Italy. The main highlight of the town is the annual horse race that takes place between the competing districts of the town. The main square is made into a horse track and everyone gathers around to watch a man from each district race the chosen horse, bareback, around the track. The first mounted horse to cross the finish line wins the race, plus the title for their district. If you’re not able to visit during the horse race, there are still plenty of things to check out during your trip. Start in the main square with the Piazza del Campo. You can’t miss the hovering bell tower, beautiful fountains and open brick area. The buildings that surround the Campo are tall and close together, leaving much to the imagination as they let you through narrow openings into the city streets. The city maintains a lot of its historical significance with well-maintained buildings, basilicas and street shops. You can easily spend a couple days exploring all of the nooks and crannies in this beautiful city.
Siena is a classic walled city and one of Italy’s prettiest medieval hill towns located in the heart of Tuscany with ca. 55 thousand inhabitants. It’s also the best preserved medieval city in Italy and I’ve read that the people of Siena speak the purest Italian in Italy – actually Italian language students often go there to learn the correct pronunciation. Its peak was about 1260-1348 when it was one of Europe’s wealthiest cities and many of its buildings and art works originate from that time. The center of Siena is accessible only on foot. Cars (other than taxis, police, etc.) are strictly prohibited, but motorcycles and scooters are OK – and there were plenty of them : -). Of course it’s like a fairytale to walk in this best preserved medieval city and maybe it is the warm colour of its buildings that also made it very special. After all, it is clay from surrounding district – terra di Siena – that gives us the colour in our crayon boxes; “Burnt Sienna”