What a trip! We started in Venice and ended in Catania, Sicily.
Our trip began in Venice. We stayed at the Palazzo San Lorenzo for 5 nights. This hotel was in a great location right in Venice. A short walk to everything, if you didn’t get lost.
The first day adjusting to the time difference is always the hardest. We went to bed early and got up the next morning without much of a problem.
Day 2 was a boat trip to Murano Island, where we watched glass blowers. Then we toured the store where we saw a multitude of glass blowing’s of all varieties. From there we took another boat to Burano Island. We toured this peaceful island and had a lovely lunch before heading back to Venice.
The rest of our group arrived on day 3! The next day was filled with a tour of Doges Palace and a look around St Marks Basilica before heading to more glass blowing in Venice. There is a lot to see and do in and around Venice! I would recommend at least 3 days if you’re going to stay here.
Next, we moved on to Florence! We wandered around the neighbourhood and found a really nice restaurant. Did I mention that we had pizza or pasta almost every night? We never got tired of it.
The next day was our tour of Academy of Fine Arts with the original David. Also, we walked and saw most of Florence, including Ponte Vecchio. After the tour, we stopped for lunch and a little shopping!
This day was for touring. 7 of us went to Cinque Terre, while 4 went on to Pisa, San Gimignano and Siena. I’ve been to the other 3 cities before, but not Cinque Terre. What a wonderful day it was. We saw, ate and swam!!
Our last full day in Florence was spent viewing the city from a higher vantage point. And of course, shopping, eating and riding the carousel
On to Rome! We had 3 days here, so we wanted to see everything we could. Our first day consisted of taking the train and then walking to the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain.
We started our next day with a visit to the Vatican. Here we toured the Vatican museum and finished with the Sistine Chapel. It never ceases to amaze me each time I see it. Afterward, we did a visit to St Peter’s Basilica. We ended our tour at the Colosseum. Such an amazing site!
The next day was free to do what everyone wanted.
On the train to Naples! We are heading for Sorrento. From the train station in Naples, we took a van transfer to our hotel. Sorrento is very small compared to the places we’ve been so far. We settled in to our hotel, and went for a walk through the streets.
The next day was free. We went shopping and wandering the whole day.
Today was a visit to Pompeii. I personally love that place. It is ever changing, and there is always something new to see. Our guide knew a lot about Pompeii, and was able to fill us in on what happened back in 79A.D.
For the afternoon, we visited a farm and had the most beautiful lunch. We ate a lot! We learned about the different kinds of lemons that are grown, Cheese that is made and of course we had a little wine. All in all, it was a very good day.
Our last day in Sorrento consisted of a beach day. As well as dinner with the group. 5 of them are flying home the next day.
While 5 of our group went home to Canada, the rest of us flew to Sicily. With only a one hour flight to Palermo, we were on the beautiful island in no time. Our time in Palermo was well spent. Our second day consisted of a stop at Monreale and a visit to Cefalu. The church at Monreale was beautiful. We followed the stairs over the top for some views that were breathtaking.
Our stop at Cefalu had us stop for a lunch break and some of the group went swimming afterward. Did I mention gelato?? Cefalu was also a great stop for that.
We had dinner at our hotel tonight. It was likely the best dinner we have had. Who am I kidding, they were all good.
The next day had us stop at the Marsala salt pans for some photos and a quick visit. Also on our day, was a wine tasting at Donnafugata winery. It was very good. We all bought some wine from there.
From the winery, we continued to Agrigento. We had a one night stay here as we were going to see the Valley of the Temples the next morning.
The valley was spectacular! Probably the most impressive was the Temple of Concordia. These ruins have been uncovered since 1783. It was quiet throughout.
We headed for Catania, our final stop for this tour. Wandering around the city was easy.
Our next day took us to Savoca, where they filmed the Godfather 2. Here we visited the Bar Vitelli as well as the church. For a small place, they had a lot to offer.
After that, we took a tour of Taormina. We walked and took photos and shopped! Oh.. and had gelato.
Our last day was a beach day. With views of Mt Etna in the background. We couldn’t have asked for a better trip, or a better group of people!