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Italy - Pasta, Pizza, and Ancient Monuments

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by Günther Eichhorn

Itinerary

Italy Map

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In May 2016 I visited Western Europe on a trip through Italy, with visits to San Marino (the only country in Western Europe that I had not visited before) and the Vatican. I had been to all the places before, but that was in the 1960s, more than half a century ago. I was looking forward to seeing these places again.

I booked all hotels in advance through Expedia and rented a car in advance. All this worked out very well.

Itinerary

After a visit to Germany, I flew into Rome and picked up my rental car. I drove to Pompeii right away for two nights. On the first day there I visited the ruins of Pompeii, on the second day I visited Herculaneum.

The next day I drove south along the Amalfi Coast to Paestum and visited the Greek temples there. In the afternoon I continued south to stay in a small hotel in Laureana Cilento, a small, scenic village on top of a mountain.

The next day I drove north to San Marino for two nights. The weather during the drive was cold and rainy, so was the morning of my day in San Marino. Fortunately, the weather cleared up around noon and I had a nice afternoon visit of the castle of San Marino.

After my visit to San Marino, I drove further north to Venice for three nights. I spent two full days walking all around Venice.

After my visit to Venice I drove to the west coast of Italy to Pisa for one night, visiting the Leaning Tower and the old downtown of Pisa.

From Pisa I drove back to Rome and stayed there for the last three nights. In Rome I again walked three days all through the city.

Observations

Some things have changed, some stayed the same as I remember them from half a century ago. Food is still very good, but it is somewhat expensive by now. Especially beer is very expensive. The sights are as exciting as they were half a century ago. But more sites require entry fees, including many churches.

Traffic used to be insane, with cars driving on sidewalks, and motor scooters disregarding all traffic laws. Theft was rampant, everybody cheated on bills (restaurants, hotels, gas stations).

This has changed. Traffic is heavy everywhere, but much more disciplined than it used to be. Traffic in Rome is very heavy, and there is still some aggressive driving in the city. Passing is aggressive everywhere. It sometimes is scary how cars are passing, disregarding any no-passing signs. Motor scooters are still a bit of a nuisance due to their dangerously weaving through traffic.

You can now rely on restaurant bills to be honest (if somewhat high). I was warned about pickpockets in Rome, Pisa, and Venice, but I don't know how bad this really is.

There is lots to see in Italy, it is certainly worth a visit.

I have put the pictures in individual pages for the various cities that I visited.

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn

Pompeii
Pompeii
Herculaneum
Herculaneum
Amalfi
Amalfi Coast
Paestum
Paestum
Laureana Cilento
Laureana Cilento
Venice
Venice
Pisa
Pisa
Rome
Rome

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn


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