If you haven’t guessed already, I’M BACK BABY!
Okay, granted I should have done this as my first post when I came back, but there was a tag I was dying to do. Then I decided to wait until today so that I could include my Counting the Stars post. Really, I’ve been back for just over a week.
So where did I go?
ITALY!!!!! AND ENGLAND!!!!
First off we flew into Rome, where we stayed for a total of 5 nights, 4 days.
On the first day, getting lost numerous times throughout the day (or the whole holiday, rather), we went to Piazza Venezia, the Colosseum and a church with Michelangelo’s Moses.
Then on the second day we went to a Renaissance house (the name escapes me), did a tour of the Vatican, which took most of the day, before going to the Pantheon after lunch. On the third day, however, we had a day trip to Florence! Unfortunately, this was the day I got sick. I ended up sick for quite a large chunk of the holiday – I just couldn’t get better (or at least not fast enough).
Then on our last day in Rome, we went to Castel Sant’Angelo which is actually the Mausoleum of Hadrian. I can’t remember what we did after that, but then we went to Pizza Navona (one of my favourite places in Rome) and Campo de Fiori where we looked around the markets. I REMEMBER WHAT WE DID NOW! We went to the Spanish Steps and some Roman ruins we accidetally stumbled across.
Here’s a view of Rome from Castel Sant’Angelo:
6 nights, 5 days
Super sad and not ready to leave Rome, we went to our next stop, by train through Naples and all the way to Vico Equense, which is very close to Sorrento.
We spent the first afternoon there thoroughly dehydrated. Arriving in a local Italian town on a Sunday afternoon means everything will be shut. Including water stores. Lesson learned.
The next day we went to Pompeii and Poppaea’s Villa in Oplontis. DEFINITELY GO TO THE VILLA SHOULD YOU EVER FIND YOURSELF IN THE AREA. Amazing. So well preserved. Then we spent the next day relaxing and enjoying this lovely view from our villa and the ever present view of Vesuvius:
The day after we went to Herculaneum and the museum nearby (well worth it BTW). It rained and I of course managed to look like a drowned rat. Then we spent the next day relaxing again and popping down to the beach. It sounds easy to pop down to the beach and all but we had to climb 400 Roman steps that were over thousand years old. Tiring stuff. On our last day, we took a day trip to Positano. We wanted to go to Capris, Ravello and the Amalfi Coast, but it was a little hard to get there from where we were staying. We could only manage Positano.
4 nights, 3 days
Then we had to go all the way from Vico Equense to Naples airport to fly to Venice. It was only an itty bitty flight though, and I got some good reading done.
Venice was amazing. Easily my favourite place. But we were so lucky with our timing, because while there were still stacks of tourists, we missed the great Summer hoards and we missed the floods. Seriously, wegot therein flooding season and there were already tables in piles everywhere ready to be set out for tourists to walk across.
On the first day we did a free walking tour, which was fantastic FYI. Really amazing. Our tour guide was fantastic and she told us soooo much useful information. The tour went for about 4 hours in total, which was a long time, but well worth it. On that tour, she actually took us to a bookshop. Now, I have a love/hate relationship with this bookshop. BECAUSE BOOKS. But since Venice frequently floods, the books get bady damaged. So what they’ve done is put the boks in good condition in gondolas so that they float in a flood and made stairs out of the damaged ones.
It feels wrong to walk on books. But I guess it’s great they have made use of them. The other cool thing about this bookstore is that you buy ad sell books by weight. Like tourists can bring in a kilogram of books and get a kilogram in return!
Then we went in a gondola, because, Venice. The next day we did a private tour of the canals and went under buildings like an old church, which is only accessable during low tide. Here’s a photo taken from the boat:
On our last day in Venice and Italy, we went to Murano and Burano. The glass wares in Murano are beautiful, but super expensive. And Burano would have made for some amazing photographs, but I couldn’t post them because there were people in them.
5 nights, 4 days
This isn’t my first trip to England. Being half English myself, I have family there that we stayed with in Kent. On our first day in Kent, we went to Dover Castle. Dover Castle is easily the best castle I’ve ever been to, and I have had my fair share of castles. There are war-time tunnels, hospital tunnels (also converted in WW1), the medieval tunnels, the actual caste and LOTS of other things. While I loved the medieval tunnels, the castle was the highlight for me. It had been reconstucted as it had been in medieval times and it was just amazing. Here’s a very broad view:
The next day we went to Cantebury, probably my favourite place in England we went to this holiday. AND I WANTED TO BUY BOOKS THERE BUT ARGH SOMETHING WENT WRONG. The cathedral was once again, the best I’ve been to, Notre Dame included.
Then on our last day in Kent, we went to Dicken’s World. Brilliant. It was entirely reconstructed to look like it was Victorian London. The tour was so interesting and yeah, it was great.
Then we went to London, ready to catch our flights the next day. We went out to lunch, then to the Globe Theatre and a couple of shops like Harrods. The next morning we went to the Science Museum before the airport, when we flew allllll the way back to Australia. Sniff, sniff.
Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. I had an amazing time and I wish I could live it again. I think I’m going to do my Counting the Stars in another post actually, looking at the length of this one.
I hope you guys get the opportunity to go to both Italy and England one day. I’m always happy to recommend to you places to go 🙂