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384 Kms from Lido di Jesolo
Do not spend more than two days over here because it does not have any of the major sights. Known as the fashion capital...
Do not spend more than two days over here because it does not have any of the major sights. Known as the fashion capital of Italy, take a tour of this city and fill your travelling bag with some of the fine collections.
With the rest of the two days of our Italy tour we wanted to make the most of it. Our last destination was Milan.Day 13 evening We reached Milan and straight away went to visit Lake Como .(The detailed about Lake Como is given https://www.tripoto.com/trip/a-dramatic-scenery-lake-como-59f23e2746342) The day ended exploring COMO. Next Morning was a bliss it was drizzling our BnB was cozy and comfortable. The historic part of our host was that she didn't even know a single world of English and there comes the great google translator , which helped us understanding things in a much better way, fortunately the host knew about Bhagwat Geeta and was already reading it, (it was a very good platform for both of us to connect) .She extended a very warm welcome and offered us some food. She has been very supportive for us for guiding about Milan city.Tree lined streets, a charming historic downtown , global capital of fashion and design, Home to the national stock exchange makes it Milan a perfect Alpha Global City. Trendy shops and designer clothes grows like mushroom in this city. Fast-paced metropolis where creativity flourish is the charm of this city.
The capital of Italy is one of the most fascinating cities in Europe since it is filled with as many historical insignias as its modern counterparts. Being the administrative capital of Italy, Milan is also understandably bureaucratic to some extent. What's really enviable here is the beauty of everyday things. The roadside cafes and bars are designed to welcome and not merely swindle. The overall humour is deadpan, but hilarious. It's an outstanding city and a relatively cheap European destination from India.Free things to do while here: Duomo di Milano is one of the most iconic symbols of Italy; also known as the Milan Cathedral, one can climb up to check out the city view from the top by paying a nominal fee. If you've watched enough Italian cinema, you might have developed preconceived notions about the country – a visit to the tiny old alleyways of Brera will validate your ideas and you can click a thousand Instagram-worthy pictures here. Finally, take a stroll down the most fashionable street in world – Via Montenapoleone; if you are travelling on a budget, it'll obviously be difficult for you to buy anything here, but window shopping will be a treat to your fashion desires.Where to eat: Here are three cheap but outstanding places to eat in Milan: 1. Macelleria Equina Da Vito at Via Lorenteggio, 2. Piadineria Artigianale Pascoli at Via Niccolo Paganini, 3. Mr. Panozzo at Via Enrico Noe. The first one has gluten-free options available, while the other two have vegetarian as well as vegan options.Where to stay: Unlike contrary beliefs, one can actually stay in Milan on a budget. Here's one beautiful option to consider.
⑧ ✈ Last Day in Milano
When I was flying to Milan I had to literally pinch myself to believe, that I am going to a foreign land all by myself and living my dream.It was around 11.30 pm when I landed in Milan and divulged myself with some serious pep up talks because I felt a tad bit lost.Amidst all the battles in my head, I saw a young woman walking towards the train station and befriended her. To my surprise, she was warm and very helpful. She expressed, “I will come with you till the hostel and grab a drink. I am very upset coz my best friend has moved to another city.” And that’s how her melancholy saved me the despair of finding my way.The walk towards the hostel was fascinating as all I saw around me were stores thriving to get my attention and at the end of the long stretch was the hostel — Ostello Bello.The moment I set my foot in the hostel, it seemed like I have entered a high-octane resto-pub. The place played electrifying music and I could hear tons of chitter-patter with copious amount of laughter coming from every corner.Amidst all the initial formalities of checking-in, my eyes were searching for my friend (Sigh! Struggling to remember her name). That’s when Helder (from the front desk) said, “Hey! Your friend just went and left you a kiss,” and I couldn’t do much but smile and thank her from all my heart. The ‘happy’ me chit chatted for a while with everyone before calling it a night.
We got off at the Duomo di Milano Church in Milan. Also known as the Milan Cathedral, it is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan and also the largest church in Italy. The white marble facade of this huge church makes it a top tourist attraction. You can take the elevator or stairs to get to the top and enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
We reached Milan by 5 PM in the evening.It was a great trip that took us back in time.
We started the journey from Milan Centrale at about 7:30 AM. It is about 3 hours 5 minutes by the fastest train. The train tickets cost about 67 euros per person each side. Ticket cost varies from 45 euros to 90 euros depending on the time you book.
Stay in Milan, shop in it's famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and indulge in great Italian fare. But for art and architecture lovers, don't forget to visit the following:
184 Kms from Lido di Jesolo
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.
248 Kms from Lido di Jesolo
There is an undeniable charm of watching the things that you had only heard of, or read in text books till now, stand pr...
There is an undeniable charm of watching the things that you had only heard of, or read in text books till now, stand proud in front of you. While growing up, I was always fascinated by the exciting stories of Italian Renaissance and beautiful cities the text books narrated about. So no words can describe the moment when I stepped onto the cobbled streets leading towards the glorious chapters of our history, reliving the beauty and elegance of a city long heralded as the breeding ground of art and culture. But how do you experience entire centuries of art and architecture in a few hours? That's precisely where I will help you!!Here's how to get the most comprehensible experience of a phenomenon called Florence - in just 48 hours!!
Your second day in Italy should be spent witnessing the magic of Renaissance in Florence. View some of the city's most iconic landmarks – Duomo, the Campanile, the Baptistery with its Gates of Paradise, Piazza Della Signoria, and Piazzale Michelangelo.Pro tip: Florence is the birthplace of gelato. To check if an establishment is serving authentic gelato and not a factory-produced version, look at the colour of the pistachio gelato – it should be a natural, minty green and not too bright
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.
375 Kms from Lido di Jesolo
A city that’s a juxtaposition of Astro-Hungarian architect with modern art and pop culture, is often missed by tourist...
A city that’s a juxtaposition of Astro-Hungarian architect with modern art and pop culture, is often missed by tourists. It’s definite that Zagreb doesn’t make to a traveler’s wishlist, but the city has more to offer than one can imagine.
Croatia’s capital is an underrated destination waiting to be explored. It is not as popular as Dubrovnik or Split, but is a quintessential metropolitan city combining elegant 19th century buildings with plenty of cultural divisions and a vibrant cafe life. It is a great place to discover charming boutiques selling unique dresses, shopping for souvenirs, and tasting local delicacies. It is also a good place to visit undulating hills and charming villages nearby.
Explore Croatia's National Parks - Plitvice Lakes National Park (2 hrs from Zagreb), Krka National Park (near Dalmatia) and the Paklenica National Park. Still got time left, walk around the beautiful town of Dubrovnik.Best Time To Visit: Visit Croatia's underwater winery from May to June, and September to OctoberAddress: Janjina 62, 20246 Poluotok Pelješac, Croatia - HrvatskaGetting There: The nearest airport is in Dubrovnik. The Edivo Wine Bar is an hour away from Dubrovnik.Suggested Stay:Apartment Lemes
We did try to be careful, but I cannot exactly narrate how it did or must have happened. 15 minutes ago it was there, a few tram stations later it wasn’t.WHAT FOLLOWED?A trip to the police station, registering an FIR, calls to India to block the cards and of course, some panic and worries and moments to grieve over an otherwise while budgeted trip!His passport was with me, hence safe. (So no insurance money for the Gujju lad ???? )WHAT DID WE LEARN?You can be careful, but every thief has his/her day!Always scatter your money and keep while travelling! (I do that, Parichay doesn’t!)Know the contents of your wallet (including the card details)Keep quiet at the police station! ????When you are over this, there is scene 2 as well!SCENE 2- ZAGREB TO DUBROVNIK
185 Kms from Lido di Jesolo
Verona (1 day)It snowed the day before, so when we arrived in Verona, it was a pretty, Christmassy, snowy scene. The str...
Verona (1 day)It snowed the day before, so when we arrived in Verona, it was a pretty, Christmassy, snowy scene. The streets and houses in the historial centre were so quaint and lovely. It was raining throughout the entire time we were in Verona but we didn't feel like it spoiled the trip.
Day 13: Check out of Hotel Castello Vicchiomaggio in Chianti. Take bus/car from Chianti to Florence. Take train from Florence to Verona. Check in Hotel Giulietta e Romeo in Verona. Opera at Arena - Romeo and Juliet was magnificent; get seats closest to the stage
18:00 h. Zurich – Arrival at the shores of Lake Zurich and free time to explore the monumental city centre. Visitors have a choice of Indian, Chinese, Italian and other restaurants in which to dine. Return to hotel about 22 hrs.Total distance: 180kmAlpine scenery in its purest essence.Note : please bring warm clothes and comfortable shoes to climb to the ski resort.09:00 h. Zurich – Departure.10:30 h. Eingelberg – Arrival. The trip includes a ride on the Trubsee cable car to the ski resort. We will continue ascending with the cable car to the top of Mount Titlis.15:00 h. We carry on to Lucerne.15:45 h. Lucerne – Arrival in time to explore one of the most interesting Swiss cities and see the KapellBrück, a covered bridge over the river Reuss, the Town Hall and Square with its Clock Tower and its pedestrian streets and elegant shops. Different options for lunch.18:30 h. Return to Zurich.
We all know a little bit of Verona , thanks to Shakespeare and his epic works specially Romeo and Juliet. I was shocked to know that this city in Veneto has a huge post office which receives letters addressed to Romeo or Juliet from all over the world and it even sends back replies. I saw lovers who go to the Juliet's balcony to make their love eternal. It was nice to know also that this city is a world heritage site. Verona is the place one would like to roam around for the whole day, so while walking here is what is not to be missed:- - Arena di Verona:- this amphitheatre is one of the best preserved structures of its kind. - visit Casa de Julieta:- this is said to be the house of Juliet, i was amazed to see so many peolpe coming from around the world to see the house if a person who never existed. - sceneries of Lake Garda:- this largest lake in Italia is a hot holiday destination.
Verona is often buried in its Romeo & Juliet lore, however the city has much more than a classic romance to offer. Truly shaped under Roman rule, at times it can seem like a younger sister to Rome, especially with the Colosseum-esque Arena in the center of the city. Verona is a beautiful Italian city full of history and amazingly preserved. Explore the city on foot during the day, eat dinner and grab drinks in Piazza dei Signori, and view an open-air opera in the Arena di Verona at night.
This is the city of love; as Shakespeare wrote and the Veronese would like to make you believe; it’s good for sales you see. No point visiting the arena here, it is old but renovation and work makes it appear no older than your local stadium; go instead for an Opera there if you happen to coincide and that should be fun. The Piazzas are pretty (Bra, Erbe) and Juliet’s Balcony is a tick-in-a-box (tickle the boob, if you must). That done, leave! When it comes to important tourist sites Verona is like Pisa – they both have much to offer but you will only want to see the obvious landmarks and that shouldn’t take you more than half a day to get through. In both cities, the shopping is useless, unless you get off on cheap trinkets for the extended family.
217 Kms from Lido di Jesolo
This beach gave us Indians first out of the country an insight into how a beach in a foreign land looks like. From the Venice city centre we boarded a boat bus to Lido. It took us more than an hour to reach. The junk jewellery shop just outside is a must check but for cheaper and good stuff girls must ransack the shops in city centre. Caution : carry your sunscreen.
.June 17th, Terminal 3, Fiumicino Airport, Rome. I landed here a little after 8 am on a Ryanair flight from Palermo and have 7 hours before my 4 pm flight to Colombo. I’ve found a comfortable, quiet spot by a gift shop at this roundabout of humanity to present my last days in Italy. * I woke early and spent a couple of hours on the terrace, writing, before checking out of the hostel at 9.30 am. Ilea was at the front desk and after thanking her for a wonderful stay, walked across town to the bus terminal for the 10.15 am bus to Catania, the first of two legs to Palermo. One hour later I was deposited outside its main bus stand and waited an hour before the second leg, deciding not to venture on a wander of downtown Catania which seemed like a gritty big city with unremarkable architecture where busy folks went hurriedly about their business. The second leg took two hours as the coach cruised west and north on the motorway through the attractive hills of the Sicilian heartland to the island’s Capital on its coast with the Tyrrhenian Sea. Following Andrea’s instructions, I took public bus No. 107 from the railway station situated next to the bus terminal and alighted five stops later at the Roma Poste building on Via Roma. I turned left on Via Bara All’Olivella, walking until Teatro Massimo and around it to leafy Via Volturno, finding ‘A casa di Ami’ on the first floor of the third building on the left. I gathered from the architecture that this was the old quarter of the city and even though at a far superior standard when compared to Indian cities, cleanliness levels weren’t what you’d associate with urban Europe. Nonetheless, spotless Taormina wasn’t a patch on ruddy Palermo and its beguiling flavours where locals and tourists employed public faculties alike, even as a million of the former went about their daily subsistence. I was welcomed by Maria, the manager, who showed me to my bed in a six bed, mixed gender dormitory. The eccentric hostel and my favourite by far, was a converted apartment in a Fascist era building where percussion instruments and other peculiar artefacts were on display along the ochre walls of the common areas. The large luxurious bathroom across the hall came with a tub and that unnecessary waste of space, the bidet. For those of you who aren’t in the know about this silly installation, it’s a low basin on which you sit and appropriately adjust yourself so that the water jet it shoots is received with its full momentum at your exit gate. Some ludicrous versions even have a hot and cold water option. It’s the second part of a two step cleaning process; first the toilet paper procedures on the main commode followed by an uncomfortable shuffle with your pants at your ankles to the bidet for the water jet. God forbid the commode and bidet are located at opposite ends of the bathroom. In that case I guess it’s just best you step out of your pants and inners entirely, lest you trip over your shackled ankles and injure yourself, transbathroom shimmy. I can’t get my head around the idea of rising from the commode half done so unequivocally announce that the Indians got this one right with the health faucet feature though my brother mentioned he was in love with the bidet and wanted to take one back to India. The old quarter of the 2700 year old city with its palaces, piazzas and duomos roughly occupies the urban blocks between the waterfront and Via Papireto from east to west and Via Cavour/Volturno and Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle from north to south, though there is much to see in the modern city that extends far beyond this grid. One of the largest Mediterranean cities, Palermo has throughout the course of its history played a pivotal role in the successes of its ruling regimes, thanks to its strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Changing hands between the Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Normans before being included in the Unified Kingdom of Italy in the nineteenth century, the multiculturally tinged society is awash with these influences in its ethnicities, architecture and cuisine. I put a load of laundry for process in the washing machine and decided to eat lunch while it was being done, exploring the narrow lanes behind Teatro Massimo and finding a restaurant serving Sicilian cuisine, buffet style, but with a difference – only one helping was allowed on two optional plate sizes, small at 5 Euro and large at 8 Euro. I opted for the biggie and noticed the manager watching from the corner of his eye as I stacked my plate a few inches high. Fair is fair boy, these are your rules, but as a result, my first Sicilian meal was a cacophony of tastes with random portions of spicy legumes and vegetable stir fries and coloured curries occupying my cutlery on every dig. I returned to the hostel to put my clothes to dry and spent a few hours indoors, sleeping and writing, before the day cooled a little. The June Solstice is less than a week away so when I departed a little after 7 pm to explore a section of the old quarter, the city was still bathed in bright sunshine. The 14th of June was also the day Italy and England took on each other in their opening World Cup campaigns and the excitement in Palermo was palpable, exponentially ascending as the day wore on. By 6 pm the main streets in the city centre were blocked to traffic as thousands of football crazy Palermitans filled the street-side bars and cafes, drinking and partying in the build up to the midnight kickoff. Maria had informed me that a giant screen was installed at an open space by the marina, so I planned the route of my exploratory expedition in such a manner that I reached the public screening venue at 11 pm. Walking west from the hostel on Via Volturno, I turned left, exploring the maze of by-lanes in the charismatic urban block between Via Volturno and Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle before turning east and passing the impressive Baroque architecture of Quattro Canti at the latter’s intersection with Via Maqueda. Continuing on Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle to Piazza Marina by the waterfront, I followed the waterside broad-walk to Castello a Mare, the screening venue, where the giant screen was part of a carnival with open air food and drink stalls and a live DJ whipping up a frenzy. The music stopped at kickoff as thousands of fans in Azzuri jerseys, painted faces and waving flags ecstatically cheered and clapped every good pass and attacking move and booed and cursed every bad pass and foul. You can imagine the scenes of elation when Marchisio scored for Italy in the 35th minute and the deathly silence that followed when Sturridge equalized a few minutes later. The energy going into the half was that of mild disappointment but at the start of the second half the spectators were back with gusto. All hell broke loose when Balotelli scored in the 50th minute and a mild tremor was recorded in Palermo when the referee blew the final whistle. Like an energetic audience at a rock concert, a jumping sea of blue sung the Italian World Cup song in unison and the streets came to life shortly after with processions of cars blaring horns and waving flags. I returned to the hostel at 2.30 am and fell asleep not long after. * Cefalu, one hour east by train along the coast from Palermo, was a recommended day trip that I took the next day. I was out of the hostel at 9 am and walked the chaotic streets of the Sunday market around narrow Porta Carini, indulging in a pair of shoes (15 Euro) and a haircut (6 Euro). Exploring the lanes off Via Roma, I walked south along it to Palermo Centrale and just about made the 11.10 am Regional for Cefalu, full with young beach goers. The postcard perfect seaside town rests under the aegis of a mighty crag, La Rocca, by the clear blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Fronted by a long sweeping curve of sandy beach, the charming town stretches west from the historic district on a rocky headland to its newer neighbourhoods, the medieval section complete with an old stone seawall, narrow cobblestone alleyways, a harbour and an impressive 12th century Norman era cathedral whose twin bell towers majestically dominate the town’s urban skyline. Arabesque on the outside, the mosaics of Christ and his disciples on the inner walls of the altar are masterpieces of Byzantine art. This is all wonderful but isn’t really why Cefalu is so popular-just an hour from Palermo, the small town swells in numbers during the summer months with tourists from Sicily, Italy and the rest of Europe seeking the beachlife. There were thousands of them sun baking on the sandy shore, not unlike a million penguins in a colony, crammed on an arctic ice shelf. I explored the narrow winding lanes and the impressive Cathedral in the agreeable old quarter, walking as far as the stone seawall along the town’s northern edge on its headland. Just below and outside the wall was a narrow path built over the buffer rocks that I trod on while the sea gently crashed alongside. Taking a long lunch in the shade of a beachfront cafe, I watched as a multitude of Caucasians foolishly surrendered their nice white complexion and following a double gelato, returned to the train station for the 3.15 pm Regional to Palermo. I spent the next few hours at the hostel, sleeping and writing, until the sun became less harsh and embarked on my evening explorations a little after 9 pm. I walked north along the commercial Via Maqueda, past the showrooms of Ferregamo and Bulgari to Teatro Politeama, fronted by the sprawling Piazza Re Ruggero Settimo. Walking east on Via Amari by the posh restaurants until the harbour, I turned right and followed the main road south to the marina and Castello a Mare. The maze of streets behind the marina - Palermo’s principal nightlife venue- was milling with well dressed young people solicited by the succession of bars and restaurants with live music and giant teles screening the football. I stopped for drinks (diet cola) and dinner (antipasti and cheese platter) at one of the establishments showing the France versus Honduras game and was congratulated by a patron when it was over, perhaps assuming I was French. How is that even possible? Between the two don’t I look more Honduran? I was back at the hostel and in bed a little before 1 am. * 16th of June, the last full day of my Italian experience. After 19 days, 10 train segments, 7 regions, 5 hostels, 2 blow-outs, 1 wedding and half a hook-up, it was almost the end. Speaking of hostels, here are my recommendations for smashing hostel etiquette: Leave the bathroom looking, feeling and smelling exactly as you received it- spotless, dry, devoid of personal property and odourless. A helpful tip for the odour predicament is to end your morning routines with a shower. Steam and shower gel do well to neutralize embarrassing smells. If you have to use the bathroom for a major output movement more than once a day then couple every episode with a shower; there is no downside to taking many showers, especially for you hirsute lot. Use toilet paper to wipe the sink and floor dry, and please, for heaven’s sake, dry your sorry underwear elsewhere. Likewise with the kitchen. Wash and dry all the utensils and cutlery you use and place them back in their racks. If you buy food from outside that needs to be stored in the refrigerator then don’t be jackass and label your name on it, it’s food, it’s to be shared. However, don’t also be a jackass and consume any food a bigger jackass has labelled for himself. Smile and be courteous even though many lodgers are not. Nonetheless, approach being friendly with caution, refraining from pursing conversation when the opposite side shows disinterest. You’ll know this instantly. Listen to music through headphones if the other boarders in your vicinity are asleep and be mindful of silencing morning alarms as soon as they go off. For some reason Wendy had a 5 am alarm that managed to wake all the dorm residents but her. Marco, who returned late every night following his kitchen duties, used to be livid. If you feel the need to release a gaseous build up from your bowels then this is what you do: run out of the hostel premises and into the mountain range in the neighbouring district and look around. If you’re sufficiently satisfied that there isn’t a soul in sight then calmly execute its liberation. Just like they do in their own personal spaces, most female boarders dress comfortably at hostels and this entails loose, minimal clothing. I know it’s the tendency for any male worth his salt to want to take note of skimpily dressed women, but gentlemen, do not stare, nay even look, under any circumstances, at female hostel guests as they go about their activities. Slyly put cun if you have to. Oh yes, and fellows, be cognisant of morning wood and take appropriate action. Right. On the ancient sea route between Greece and North Africa, the city of Akragas was established by Greek settlers in 582 B.C. Described by the Greek poet Pindar as “the most beautiful city built by mortals”, it rapidly rose in prosperity and importance to become one of the most important colonies of Magna Graecia. The current archaeological site of the ancient sprawling metropolis is located by the city of Agrigento on the south west coast of Sicily, two hours by train from the Capital. In accordance with the tumultuous history of the region, the city was the possession of a succession of empires until Sicily was adopted by plebiscite into the Unified Kingdom of Italy in 1861. Agrigento lies perched on an expansive ridge by the edge of a plateau with superlative views of the Mediterranean Sea. However, apart from the town’s visually delightful old quarter straddled around picturesque Via Athenea and its medieval architecture, the remainder of the modern town is an uninspiring cluster of boring concrete buildings. I had also read in the Rough Guide that this was one of Sicily’s poorest regions and therefore a stronghold of the Mafia and with that knowledge debated if every white male with dark hair and sunglasses was a Cosa Nostra operative. Arriving a little after 10.30 am, I first explored the medieval section stretching west and uphill along Via Athenea before taking a bus to the site of the ruined Greek city a few kilometres away, the largest such archaeological area in the world. The main road divides the expansive location into an east and west section and if you’re really a Greek freak you’ll need a few days to explore both sides in detail. For the instant gratification brigade there’s the Valle de Templi or the Valley of the Temples (entry 13 Euro), a part of the ancient Akragas site on its southern boundary and its poster boy. This series of seven Doric style temples in varied states of ruin can be seen in several hours, but if you can’t be buggered to do even that, then just explore the eastern side of the temple series of which the Temple of Concordia is the jewel in the crown. This temple, dedicated to the Greek goddess of harmony, was built between 440 and 430 B.C. and is the best preserved specimen of ancient Greek architecture in the world, owing its excellent state of preservation to its conversion to a Catholic church in the 6th century A.D. The deserted beach town of San Leone at the edge of Europe and 4 kilometres south from the Akragas site was where I took lunch at a restaurant by the sandy, rather dirty and unattractive beach before taking a public bus back to Agrigento Centrale and the 5.15 pm Regional to Palermo. I spent the remainder of the day at the hostel, writing with my legs up on the couch in the common area, extremely tired after the long, hot day. With the 4.15 am airport shuttle for my 6.55 am flight to Rome originating from Teatro Politeama, a 20 minute walk away, it was lights out for me at midnight. * Immigration and security procedures completed, I’m seated by Gate 7 as UL582 is being prepared for the nine hour flight to Colombo. I’ve decided to splurge on my last lunch in Italy at a posh restaurant, excellently located with a panoramic view of Fiumicino Airport’s two intersecting runways. I also notice that the restaurant employs a very hot waitress.