Page 22 of RENanDREW Travel Blog Posts


Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome May 22nd 2010

HE SAID... We woke early in preparation for our 7.30am train to Rome. The first train to Foligno (the next stop past Spello) was short, lasting only 15 minutes. After a brief stopover at Foligno, we caught a second train to Rome, arriving at 9.30am. We walked to the same hotel we stayed in three weeks before, dropped off our bags and headed out on a second orientation tour, this time in warm sunlight. We caught the underground to the Spanish Steps, walked to the Fontana di Trevi and then revisited the Pantheon, Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II and the Colosseo before jumping on the underground back to the hotel. Walking in Rome is different in the heat of the sun, and we were glad to catch the city in different weather. We lunched on pizza ... read more
basilica di san pietro
the pope!
basilica di san pietro

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Assisi May 20th 2010

HE SAID... We woke at 6am in preparation for our 7.30am bus trip to Assisi. A powerful espresso at the hotel jump-started us for the windy bus trip through the Umbrian hills to Perugia. After a quick stopover at the Perugia bus depot we continued on to Assisi, arriving in Santa Maria degli Angeli (a small town about 4km from the old Assisi township) at 10am. Seriously short of underwear, we scouted Santa Maria degli Angeli for a self-service laundry before catching a bus to St Francis’ hometown. We wandered the streets of Assisi with busloads of bored (yet playful) students on enforced school trips, lunched on pizza and red wine and were awestruck by the panoramic views and claustrophobic corridors of the Rocca Maggiore. One of the many things I’ve inherited from my father is ... read more
lion of santa chiara
little chapel for santa chiara
assisi

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Gubbio May 18th 2010

HE SAID... We arose early and walked to the train station to leave for Gubbio at 7.15am. We shared a carriage with a bunch of schoolkids going to Bologna and then travelled along the Adriatic Coast to Ancona. Most of the coastline had been manicured within an inch of its life, and the tractor-raked beaches with thousands of deck chairs and umbrellas in perfectly symmetrical lines were far from the wild and untouched beaches I have known all my life. I hate unrestrained coastal development. This was to be our longest train trip so far, arriving at the industrial port of Ancona at 12pm. After a quick stopover at the station, we boarded a second train, backtracked slightly up the Adriatic Coast before heading west into the heart of Umbria, arriving at Fossato di Vico at ... read more
ulisse letizia
piazza grande
rooftops of gubbio

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice May 15th 2010

HE SAID... We arose very early (6am) to pack and eat a 7.30am breakfast in preparation for a travel day that involved a 40 minute bus to Como, a 50 minute train to Milan and a 2 hour train to Venice. We arrived in a rain sodden Venice around 2.30pm, checked into the hotel and then headed out for an orientation walk that started in the Jewish Ghetto, rambled through to (and across) the Ponte di Rialto and ended in the Piazza S Marco. Incessant rain in tourist capitals means molto umbrello, and I nearly lost my eye on numerous occasions as obnoxious tourists oblivious to anyone and everyone rampaged through the streets with one single point of focus - themselves. We made our way back to the hotel, arriving at 6.30pm thanks to the brilliant ... read more
venetian masks
basilica di san marco
doggies wait while owner goes to mass

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Lake Como May 13th 2010

HE SAID... We arose very early (6am) for a 7.45am train to Milan. We arrived around 10am and had a short orientation walk before heading up to the roof of the Duomo. It was a fantastic view of Milan’s sprawling cityscape, and the feat of engineering required to build the cathedral was mesmerising (although I continued to ponder the cost in human lives that was spent constructing such colossal monuments). We wandered around the city, stopped for a coffee and then met Michael, Milroy and the kids (Ren’s cousins) in front of the Duomo at 2pm for lunch. The sun finally struggled out from behind the rain clouds and started burning down on top of us, so my scarf had to double as a headpiece (which changed my appearance entirely - I now looked like a ... read more
duomo
lake como villages
bellagio streets

Europe » Italy » Piedmont » Asti May 11th 2010

HE SAID... We woke fairly late again and headed back to the lead singer’s café for coffee and free wifi. The heavens opened and we scurried back to the hotel to check out by 9.30am. We caught a train to Santa Margherita, picked up a take away lasagne and headed up to a hilltop garden to lunch in the rain overlooking the Mediterranean. An absolutely amazing way to travel - steadfastly refusing to give in to the weather. We then walked back into the city centre and caught a boat to Portofino, climbed the slippery steps to the castle and cathedral and then headed back on a 5km walk to Santa Margherita. We arrived at the train station at 5pm for our 5.30pm departure, and played table soccer to fill in the time (we were soundly ... read more
santa margherita
portofino
monferrato hill town

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Cinque Terre May 9th 2010

HE SAID... We woke very early for our train departure to Levanto. It was a three hour trip involving two trains, and within no time at all we were on the Mediterranean coastline. We dropped our packs off at the hotel in Levanto and backtracked to the first village of the Cinque Terre. It was warm and overcast, and after walking a small distance along the first stage of the walk (lovers lane), we discovered to our dismay that the entire length of the Cinque Terre coast walk (blue track) was closed. For many in our travelling group it was the very reason they had come to Italy, and the mood nosedived for the first time. People had adjusted to the rain and cold mornings/nights, but this was beyond redemption. Nature had stopped our travel plans. ... read more
levanto streets
start of lover's lane walk
lover's lane...the easy path

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Lucca May 6th 2010

HE SAID... On arrival we walked the cobbled path into the fortified village of Lucca and made our way to our apartment, a roomy four storey conjoined building that we shared with our guide and two others. We had our own private balcony looking over Lucca, which was unexpected and simply unbelievable. We headed to the supermarket and stocked up on food and wine and then walked to our restaurant, which was run for (and by) disabled kids. My pasta with rabbit sauce was absolutely brilliant, as was our walnut, mozzarella and gorgonzola pizza! The house wine was sensational (as always), and I capped the meal off with a grappa (that warmed me up for the walk back to the apartment in the rain). Looking forward to the bike ride round the walls tomorrow! We arose ... read more
piazza dei miracoli
baptistry and duomo
lucca city walls

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence May 4th 2010

HE SAID... We arrived in Florence in the late afternoon - it was a great train journey through the Italian countryside. There was a light drizzle on the walk to the hotel, which increased throughout the afternoon/night. We checked in and then headed out for an orientation tour, which ended at our restaurant. By then the heavens had opened but our spirits were far from dampened. The meal was fantastic and the would-be magician waiter made it all the more enjoyable. Our group leader let us in on a secret as to how he remembered people’s names, but it all fell apart when he confidently informed us that Ren was Mel. On the walk back we slipped into a church opposite our hotel to listen to an organ recital. Florence is a truly beautiful city, even ... read more
duomo
walking up the dome
walking cheek to cheek with the frescoes in the Dome

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome May 2nd 2010

HE SAID... We landed in Rome and caught the train from the airport, arriving at Termini at 12.30am. It was warm and raining as we set out for the hotel. We got lost in the rain and eventually had to ask a café worker for directions. We were only 100 metres away from the hotel street, which we had already checked once - the packs were heavy and we were tired. We reached the hotel at 1am, unpacked, showered and went straight to bed at 2am. At the end of a long journey from Seoul, we had finally arrived in Rome. We woke early and headed out at 7am for a café latte and pastry, and then walked the city to a few places of interest. It felt strange to chance upon the Pantheon. It was ... read more
trevi fountain
spanish steps
piazza popolo




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