A few years ago I went to Italy. It was a week stop in between other European countries. I think we had an amazing program so I thought I’d share it with you.
We flew from Sydney via Dubai and then onto Rome. Emmertis is a very easy air carrier to fly with, often you don’t even need to change gates at international stop-overs! Dubai airport is clean and easy to navigate.
But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Rome airport is not the same. It’s stressful, complicated and to put it nicely… inefficient. Three A380’s landed at the same time as us and there was one immigration gate open. Yep, thats right, one little man who was meant to check, validate and stamp thousands of passports. But don’t let that put you off. Just be prepared. If you have kids, charge the ipads and have plenty of bribery food. – You’ll be fine! 🙂
Three hours after arriving we left the airport minus a bag and a wallet but we were happy to get out of there.
We shoved everything onto a bus and drove the few hours down to Naples.
Despite the feeling of near death as we crept gut wrenchingly close to the edge along the cliffs of Naples we made it. And Oh it was so worth it!
We spent the afternoon walking around our little town and resting. Coffee and gelato were on the menu. Bliss.
The following day we were off to Herculaneum. It’s worth doing some research / getting some background before you head in.
It’s one of those things where, for tourists it’s wonderful but for the preservation of the site, it’s terrible.
You can walk on the ancient paths, touch the walls and the tiles. Infact, it’s so unpatrolled that some people have pulled off ancient tiles to take home as momentos. Despite this, Herculaneum is fascinating. It’s small enough to do in an hour or so but big enough that you get an idea for what happened
The following day we were off to Pompeii.
Travellers tip: If you’ve got a grandma bladder, Go to the toilet before you arrive at the site!
Pompeii is strangely beautiful. it has the same preservation issues as Herculaneum but on a far bigger scale. There is one overpriced, understaffed cafe with toilets that are fine if you are desperate. Some areas are well preserved and all areas are fascinating. At Pompeii you can see cast bodies that have been preserved from the moment that people died.
It’s worth going. It’s worth taking your kids to.
Travellers tip: Get there as soon as the gates open. The queues are shorter, the temperature is cooler and they are more likely to have some maps left.
From Pompeii we were off on a train to Sorrento. If you go anywhere, Go here! We spent the afternoon/evening wandering around, drinking coffee, swimming in the mediterranean, and having dinner. Sorrento is gorgeous. And really quite relaxing after a big day at Pompeii.
We’re heading back into Rome today. First stop on our list is the Roman Forum. Again, do some research before you head in. It will make the experience much more interesting. Be sure to get in a tour. Everything is much easier if you have someone telling you what building each one is. It’s easy to spend 1-2 hours here, but can be done quickly if need be. Buildings are in fine condition. There are stairs and hills, strollers are fine by easier to avoid bringing one if possible.
From the forum we’re off the church of bones. It’s exactly what it sounds like.. a church made of real human bones. Lamp shades and chandeliers. It’s creepy but can be easily walked through in 5 minutes. No photos in here.
Go out for dinner and have a rest. It’s been a big day of walking today and tomorrow promises to be the same.
Welcome to our last day in Rome. We’re off the the colosseum today. If it’s summer, t-shirts and shorts are a must. There’s something about standing still and listening that really makes you feel the heat. If you have little kids or aren’t to keen on hanging around the colosseum to long, don’t go on a tour. They are informative but always long.
Traveler’s tip: Bring lots of water here or risk paying high prices to gypsies.
From the colosseum were off to the Vatican. No matter what time of year you go, don’t expect queues to be short. If you like catholic history you’ll love this place. If Catholic history isn’t your fav, it’s worth heading in just to see the sistine chapel. No photos or talking in here.
Travellers tip: Pre-book your tickets!!
Our last stop was the trevi fountain. Guaranteed swarms of people but worth going. A gelato at the trevi is a must. A good place to pick up key rings or presents to bring home.
Travelers tip: The trevi Fountain is a pick-pocketers paradise. Passport, phone, wallet, money (anything of value) goes in a travel pouch, under your shirt on your body. Don’t risk it!
I hope this is helpful if you’re heading to Rome.