S: Italy and Greek Isles Cruise - 2009
BC: A wonderful trip to add to our lifetime memories. Arrivederci!
FC: Italy and Greek Isles Cruise - 2009
1: Hotel "l'Antico Pozzo" in San Gimignano | "L'Antico Pozzo" means "ancient well" and below the lobby was the well and some old wine storage facilities. | Our room was on the 2nd floor with large windows opening onto the street below. | Our hotel entrance by night and day.
2: San Gimignano | San Gimignano, a small hill town in the heart of Tuscany, is known for its many towers, originally built as status symbols by wealthy residents.
3: We rented a small car in Florence. No parking within the walls of the town, so we had to park on an outside road and walk. | At night, after a wonderful day of sightseeing, we looked forward to relaxing in the piazza listening to opera singing.
4: More San Gimignano
5: Greve in Chianti | Lunch with a view. | Greve is a small town about 45 minutes northeast of San Gimignano. Roy enjoyed the different varieties of | olives at the market.
6: Reserva di Fizzano | This is where Olive Garden sends their managers and chefs for training. Stephen went here two years later. | The Reserva di Fizzano guest house.
7: Monteriggioni | Monteriggioni is a small hill town on the way from San Gimignano to Siena. It is enclosed by a unique fortress-like wall. The piazza featured some shops and a small church. A perfect place to enjoy a gelato and listen to local musicians.
8: Siena | One of the larger villages, Siena has busy streets and high-end shops. It is the home of the "Palio", a dangerous horse race around the piazza in the center of town. The chess game was on one of the streets leading to the piazza.
9: Colle di Val d'Elsa | This small hill town was only a short distance from San Gimignano. It is well known for its glass and pottery artisans.
10: Sorrento | After a train ride from Florence, we arrived at our hotel , "Il Nido" (The Nest), overlooking the Bay of Naples on a hill above Sorrento. The bikes are in front of "The Antique Wall", our meeting place for the hotel shuttle. Over 200 steps lead from the Piazza Tasso (main city square) down to the docks. By chance, we ran into Dan and Susan Stump's daughter, Jennifer, and her husband at a restaurant in Sorrento.
11: Capri | We toured the picturesque Isle of Capri with Jerry who recruited us at the ferry dock in Sorrento. The Blue Grotto was a highlight of the trip.
12: The Amalfi Coast | Views of Positano from above and below. | We took a bus from Il Nido to Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello along the winding road on the hillside above the Amalfi Coast. Our return was by boat for a different view of the beautiful coast. | Waiting for the bus.
13: At the Amalfi docks | Dogs like to shop too.
14: Venice | After settling in on our ship, the Grand Princess, we spent an afternoon in the incomparable Venice. | On a vaporetto (water bus). | St. Mark's Square
15: The Rialto bridge.
16: Split, Croatia | We walked around the city center of Split. The waterfront was very modern. The large market area offered a wide variety of goods and produce. The bronze statue in front of a library was imposing. After our self-guided tour, we had time to relax with wine and coffee before reboarding.
17: Corfu | CORFU | A beautiful place to visit. | Corfu is an island in the extreme northwest of Greece. We visited a Greek Orthodox monastery that overlooked the sea and spent some time in the main town, Corfu, and on one of the beaches.
18: Katakolon (Olympia) | This is where the ancient Olympic games were held. The ruins are the remnants of spectacular venues. Roy and Bob briefly considered a race, but thought better of it.
19: Athens | View of Athens from the Acropolis. | Two tired tourists | It was a strenuous hike to the Parthenon. Later, we shopped and ate at the Plaka, a market below the Acropolis. | Is that you, Joi?
20: Mykonos | Mykonos is a beautiful island for sightseeing and shopping. | We sent this to The Daily Record
21: Kusadasi (Ephesus) | The Virgin Mary's house and prayers written by the faithful. | The Celsus library and other ruins at Ephesus. | Roy was the only one to take the tour of Ephesus that included the ruins and a stop at a Turkish rug factory.
22: Rhodes | We took a bus ride to the top of the island and had lunch at a very nice hotel. The views of the shore and sea were beautiful. | The entrance to the harbor where the "Colossus of Rhodes once stood.
23: Santorini | Judi's dream island. Eia, a city that looks like snow on the mountains from a distance, was one of the most beautiful places we've ever seen. | Roy walked up and down the steps leading from the city to the sea.
24: At Sea | We had one day at sea on the way from Santorini to Naples. The guys played trivia (they were the champs) and the women played bridge. During the cruise, we celebrated Richardson's 50th anniversary.
25: Pompeii | Mike and Roy took a tour of this ancient city that was buried by ash from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Experts estimate it is only 10% excavated.
26: Rome | After disembarking, we enjoyed a lovely day in Rome guided by Mike and driven around be our private driver - the only way to go when you have but one day to see everything. | Ratus visited the Spanish Steps with us. | St. Peter's Square at Vatican City.
27: At the Colosseum | Tossing three coins into the Trevi fountain means that you will return to Rome someday. | Castel Sant'Angelo | Last stop - gelato!