May-June 2005 Grecian Island Cruise and Italy Tour (Click photos to enlarge)- See Calendar below for information on the cruise
Italian Mosaic Trip by Brendan -- Marvel at the ceiling paintings in Rome’s Sistine Chapel, the statue of David in Florence and St. Mark’s in Venice; cross the Bay of Naples to Capri; explore Pompeii and AssisiSee Don and Sue's Photos
May 19, Thursday. After our Grecian Cruise, we took the train from Venice to Rome. Trains are rather different in a nice way. It was a good trip. It is interesting to watch the Italians talk as they use their hands so much. I love the expressions. The countryside is absolutely beautiful. All green and lush. We found we were staying in the Euclid area of Rome, which was a really nice section near the Borghese Park. We found an excellent restaurant that served the traditional Italian dinner. We start with wine on the table and a full plate of anti-pasta including three kinds of salami, brochettes (tomatoes on toast), cooked eggplant, cooked zucchini, braised red bell peppers, fried rice balls, fried spinach balls, mozzarella, ricotta, prochuito ham, melon, and bread with olive oil. The second course was pasta. The third course was a different kind of pasta, and then the forth course was meat and potatoes, and dinner ended with a salad and finally desert. All our meals have been like this. Thank God we are walking all over Italy.
May 20 - Rome, Italy Friday. What a kick as the metro was on strike. This means every vehicle in Rome is on the road. We took a special van to the bus for a tour and the driver was yelling out the window and honking the horn every where. We had to stop several times so he could get out and tell people off as he could not even turn the corner when the other drivers would suddenly stop or simply park in the street. We toured the coliseum, the Roman forum, and St. Paul's basilica. All marvelous to see - so St. Paul's is the picture as it was my favorite that day. Everything was in ceramic on the outside of the church and much inside also. When it is done in ceramic and not paintings we can take photos. They had a beautiful rose garden and the brothers would take the rose petals and make rosaries that held the rose smell. We bought them for gifts.
Day 1 - May 21, Saturday: - Travel for most but for us - Rome, Italy tour on own We attended mass in the local Euclid area church, St. Agnes, which was also beautiful. We took the metro and went to the Vatican to St. Peters basilica. The church is the largest in the world with many chapels. We also saw Pope John Paul II's tomb in the catacombs. It is all mosaics in the church so you can take all the photos you want. The pope in the 1500's was afraid all the paintings would be lost so he had the mosaics made. Most are about 20 feet high and they are copies of the famous artists work. The street vendors along the metro and walk ways were fascinating. That night we went back to the Italian restaurant.
Day 2 May 22 Sunday:- Rome, Italy tour on own and then - A simple day of moving and a taxi ride to the tour hotel. Time to rest or start exploring. At 6 p.m. meet the Tour Director for a special Welcome Dinner with wine. After we checked in and met with the tour group, we went to a opening dinner and another big Italian dinner with musicians this time. Lots of fun.
Day 3 - May 23 Sightseeing with your local guide starts with a visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel (arranged next morning if closed today). Continue to St. Peter’s Square and Basilica. Proceed across the Tiber for a stroll along the Via Sacra in the Roman Forum, and finally visit the Colosseum.
Day 4 - May 24 - Rome / PISA / Florence.
North to Pisa for pictures of its amazing Leaning Tower. Continue to Florence, the capital of Tuscany.
Day 7 May 27 Lake Maggiore**.
A day to sleep in, join the locals in lakeside promenade, catch up on your postcards, or take an optional excursion to the Baroque palace and peacock gardens of enchanting Isola Bella (open Mar. 27-Oct. 24, subject to change).
Day 8 May 28 Lake Maggiore** / Lugano, Switzerland / Venice, Italy.
Morning visit to Lugano in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. Then east to Verona, medieval setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, to see Juliet’s Balcony and the well-preserved Arena. Tonight, reach Venice.
Saturday: We drove to Lugano Switzerland where they speak Italian. We visited a watch store and they gave us a Swiss spoon. We enjoyed the shopping square and walking around the lake. We visited a watch establishment where they gave us a spoon momento of Switzerland. We drove east to Verona which is a medieval setting for Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet. We saw Juliets Balcony and the Arena. There were many love messages on the courts walls left by visitors. We went to Venice where we took water taxies down the Grand Canal to a restaurant in San Marcos Square. It was a romantic evening but there was high humidity.
Day 9 May 29 - Venice.
Glide by private boat along the Giudecca Canal to meet your resident expert. Highlights of your walking tour are St. Mark’s Square and the Byzantine Basilica, lavish Doges’ Palace, and the Bridge of Sighs. Then watch Venetian glass blowers fashion their delicate objects in the age-old manner. (BB,D)
Day 10 - May 30 - Venice / Ravenna / Assisi.
To Ravenna to see the mosaics in the 6th-century Basilica of St. Apollinaris in Classe. Afternoon arrival in Assisi to visit the massive 13th-century lower Basilica of St. Francis.
Day 11 - May 31 - Assisi / Pompeii / Sorrento.
Today visit Pompeii, the Roman city both destroyed and preserved by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Then on to Sorrento.
Day 12 - June 1 CAPRI EXCURSION.
Glide across the bay to the beautiful Isle of Capri. See the shimmering Blue Grotto (weather permitting; otherwise visit Villa San Michele in Anacapri) and to pretty Capri village. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
It took another 40 minutes to get back to Capri. We walked up a slight hill to a cable car which took us up the mountain to the beautiful city. We hiked down another hill and saw the gorgeous gardens smelling all the flowers they use to make the perfumes. Many of the women purchased the special perfumes. We hiked back up the hill and had cappuccino and a light lunch and took the cable car down the hill again so we could take the jet boat back to Sorrento.
We had a wonderful evening four course dinner at a garden restaurant and then went to a marvelous local Neapolitan live stage musical.
Day 13 - June 2 Sorrento / Rome.
On your way to Rome, stop in Cassino for a visit to the Abbey of Montecassino. Tonight, maybe an optional festive dinner in one of Rome’s fine restaurants.
Day 14 - June 3 - Day in RomeFriday: Most of the group flew home. We spent a relaxing day walking around the city seeing new sights and found a great restaurant for dinner.
June 4 RomeSaturday: We walked to the Borghese Museums and Gardens. The art was intense and we were delighted to be able to view the masterpieces. Carol and Roseann bought matching Borghese bracelets as a remembrance of the trip. The Corletts and Kranes met John and Dorothy from Lincoln California for dinner. They where part of our group on the Mosiac Italy tour.
June 5 Rome - Fly to USAThe Kranes flew home and the Corletts stayed in Italy another day. Our lost luggage came Monday night. We loved the trip but after one month we were ready to return home.
|Italy's Main Train Tracks
|All Italy's Train Tracks
|DeVinci Rome Airport
|Welcome to Rome
|Rome's History and Monuments
|6 Corletts fly
|8 Venice Kranes
cruise day 1
K6024472, C6024468. sign on cruise
day 2 Shore Excursions
|11 At Sea Day 3
day 4 Shore Excursions
|13 Ephesus / Kusadasi, Turkey
Day 5 Shore Excursions
|14 Rhodes Greece
Day 6 Shore Excursions
|15 Athens (Piraeus), Greece
Day 7 Shore Excursions
|16 Olympia (Katakolon), Greece
Day 8 Shore Excursions
|17 Valletta, Malta
Day 9 Shore Excursions
|18 At Sea
|19 Venice, Italy
Rent Car to Rome
|21 Rome / Naples
6 pm Tour Begins
|24 Rome / PISA / Florence
|26 Florence / Lake Maggiore
|27 Lake Maggiore
|28 . L ake Maggiore** / Lugano, Switzerland / Venice, Italy
|29 Venice, Italy
|30 Venice / Ravenna / Assisi.
|31 Assisi / Pompeii / Sorrento
|1 CAPRI EXCURSION
|2 Sorrento / Rome
1) Fly to Venice and stay a day
|10 days departing May 9, 2005 on
Holland America's Rotterdam VI
Click on the Port listing to see the information on the city.