Italy

roma5We landed in Rome and stayed at the Hotel Teatro Di Pompeo, a charming getaway tucked behind Campo de’ Fiori. Kudos to my travel agent, Andrea, for finding me this place. Rome is just as I imagined with ancient ruins and iconic architecture. Just like in those old movies with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.

Venice and Florence

italy3aVenice and Florence did not disappoint. These world-renowned cities offered old-world charm, marble palaces, incredible art and, of course, a wealth of fine restaurants. These cities did not disappoint. The ancient ruins, iconic architecture, world-famous artwork, legendary museums and the most wonderful restaurants. I remember one in particular, Anice Stellato, not one of the most extravagant but certainly one of the most unique with rustic wooden tables, tin lamps and the best seafood.

After several delightful days we reluctantly moved on to the north, visiting Milan, which is famous for it’s shopping and fashion.  We literally shopped until we dropped at the Serravalle Designer Outlet and La Rinascente department store. I’m not much for sightseeing but I couldn’t pass up a chance to see da Vinci’s most famous mural “The Last Supper”. Then it was on to Turin, a stylish little city with elegant tree-lined boulevards that reminded me a little bit of Paris.

Central Italy

In Central Italy we stopped in Bologna, a city with two distinct halves. One booming with hi-tech and magnificent restaurants and the other with a gritty blue-collar feeling that made it seem more down-to-earth. We stayed in the center of the city at Albergo Centrale Bologna. It was close to everything and really very affordable. Another great find. Thanks, Andrea! Last, but certainly not least, was Naples, Italy’s third-largest city. I expected urban sprawl and graffiti but discovered breathtaking frescoes, sculptures, and panoramas. I really enjoyed our visit to these famous catacombs, the Catacombe di San Gennaro, which date back to the 2nd century. Decorated with early Christian frescoes, they’re riddled with tombs, corridors, and vestibules. This is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.

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We traveled so many different places all over Italy. It’s a charmingly diverse country rich with art, architecture and delicious cuisine. Above all this, what stands out the most are the people. They are so friendly and helpful. Each one like a character you’d expect to find in a movie, like “Roman Holiday”.

 

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