We're back, after a great, but exhausting, tour of Italy. Fortunately, we had excellent weather - it only rained one morning.
As you can see, on Day 2 I decided to start a collection of what I refer to as my "tacki magneti," fridge magnets from every place we went. Unfortunately, I didn't come up with this notion until the end of Day 2, so I missed magnets in Padua and Bologne. I'll identify them individually in blogs to come.
Just to show how busy this trip was (and perhaps you can see/guess where some of the magnets are from), here's the itinerary:
Sunday, Oct. 4 - arrive in Venice. We had a couple of hours before meeting the tour director and the rest of the group (which turned out to be a good one!), so we took a local bus into the city and wandered around. Venice is amazing, but oh, the crowds!
Monday, Oct. 5 - Venice to Padua to Bologna to San Marino (first magnet - San Marino).
Tuesday, Oct. 6 - San Marino to Urbino to Gubbio to Assissi area (talk about yer medieval wonderland of towns and castles! I was in heaven!)
Wednesday, Oct. 7 - Assissi to Viterbo to Rome. Imagine a tour bus full of reveling foreigners from Canada, the UK, Australia and the US after a dinner out with free-flowing wine warbling YMCA on the bus, which then turns a corner and...there's the Colosseum! Whew! Mind-blowing!
Thursday, Oct. 8 and Friday, Oct. 9 - jogging through Rome, including the Forum, the Colosseum, St. Peter's and the Vatican museum, including the Sistine Chapel.
Saturday, Oct. 10 - Rome to Monte Cassino to Pompeii to Sorrento (could have stayed a whole day in Pompeii alone!)
Sunday, Oct. 11 - Boat trip to Capri. Instead of joining the tour, my husband and I wandered off on our own to see the natural arch, the ruins of one of Tiberius's villas, the cliff where he had his enemies tossed and a hiking path that was one rocky, steep walk.
Monday, Oct. 12 - Sorrento to Orvieto to Siena (alas, not nearly enough time in Siena!)
Tuesday, Oct. 13 - Siena to Pisa to Florence.
Wednesday, Oct. 14 - More Florence. You wander around Florence, turn a corner and what the --? It's the Duomo! And what a Duomo it is!
Thursday, Oct. 15 - Florence to Mantua to Sirmione to Verona. Sirmione, on Lake Garda, was a magnificent surprise. Lake, Alps, sunny day - just lovely.
Friday, Oct. 16 - Verona to Vicenza to Venice. Vicenza is the one place we stopped that had no tacki magneti that I could find.
Saturday, Oct. 17 - more of Venice, including the flooding Piazza San Marco (for which they are prepared with wooden walkways - a new experience!). Also, of course, had a gondola ride.
Sunday, Oct. 18 - long flight home with a change in Amsterdam. Got home about 3 a.m. Italy time, 9 p.m. Toronto time. Yes, I'm still jet-lagged. I did gain a couple of pounds, but nearly as much as I feared, what with all the climbing of stairs and steep hills.
We took a gazillion pictures. More on that, as well as anecdotes and clothing travel tips to come!