Golden Wedding tour 2015
An shortened version with Filly & Grahame
Monday May 25thAfter taking the coach to Gatwick North Terminal the previous day, we stayed the night at the Hampton by Hilton airport hotel.Departed on our Scheduled flight to Venice today mid morning, here we were transported to Lido di Jesolo,on Italy's Adriatic coast, by bus ,where we stay for Two nights.Here we meet our fellow travellors at Dinner and socialise.
May 26thWe are off to the city of Venice today built on a maze of more than 150 canals and 400 bridges.The weather was very wet here in Venice with heavy rain and thunder until lunch time, but improved remarkabley in the afternoon and turned out to be a very pleasant day indeed,although somewhat tiring.Visited Marks Square , RialtoBridge,Grand Canal, Dodge Palace.The place was teaming with tourists like ourselves and made it difficult to take decent picture shots.
May 27thStart traveling South today through the Tuscany countryside to stay at Montecatni Terme for two nights,on the way we visited the "Red City " of Bolongna named after its red stone buildings which are a featured here. Palazzo Della Mercanzia, Bassilics San Stefano,After our enjoyable stop at bologna we now move on to Monecatini Terme (where we stay for three nights )which is a large spa town situated in Tuscany and is very popular resort,there are several spas in the town and the most famous is the Tettuccio Terme next to the park.
May 28thTravel to Pisa this morning for a half day excursion to see the city of Pisa and its famous leaning Tower "The Bell Tower",and the other complexes there, in the "Field of Miracles", suchas the "Baptistery"where the accustics were phenonemal, this was displayed by a gentleman who sang a few chords of music as it echoed around the building!. next to the Baptisry lies "The Duomo",a Medieval Cathedral designed by an architect named "Buscheto".and behind is the "The Camposanto",a Cemetery. Later we walk around the ancient city of Pisa which the "River Arno" runs through, and see many old magnifiecent buildings, especially in the Square of Knights where the main building is the "Palazzo Della Carovana" the palace of the Knights also the "Palazzo Dell Orologio">The Clock Tower. After an enjoyable morning we take leave of the city of Pisa and go back to our Hotel and have a free afternoon in Montecatini Terme where we decide to take the funicular to explore the ancient hill village of Montecatini Alto which lies just a walk away from here.
May 29thToday we take a full day to Florence, to see its beautiful piazzas,and buildings and statues that makes it one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. First we take a walk along the banks of the "Arno" and reach the old "Ponte Vecchio" bridge one of the oldest and most photographed bridge in this city. In the Piazza della Signoria we see several sculptures, "Perseus with the head of Medusa". Michelangelo "David" outside the "Palazzo Vecchio",(The Old Palace)the town hall of Florence. In the Piazza Santa Croce lies the "Basilica Santa Crose",where lies buried "Michelangelo"&"Galileo Galilei".Nearby at the Piazza Duomo the large gothic Cathedral of Florence named in honour of Santa Maria del Fiore, stands proudly,with frescoes by Giorgio Vasari of the"Last Judgement! painted on the dome ceiling within. Outside adjoining the Cathedral is the "Giotto's Bell Tower" another striking piece of Gothic architecture.Having exhausted ourselves after hours of walking we finale depart Florence but only after stopping off at the Piazzale Michelangelo for one panoramic view of the city.
May 30thToday we leave Montecatini Terme after breakfast and head for Fiuggi a medieval town in the region of Lasio for two nights.On the way we have a stop at the Fortress town of Orvieto and have lunch and a walk around, another impressive black and white "Duomo" dominates the town,and inside are the magnificent frescoes by Luca Signorelliof on the Last Judgement.On the corner of the Piazza del Duomo stands the Torre di San Maurizio, a tower with bell and a bronze statue that strikes the bell hourly.
May 31thAn early stert today for a full day in Rome City,we arrive outside the Vatican Palace hoping to be able to have a tour of this place but unfortunately there is already a huge queue here, and it is estimated to be two hours before admission so we decide not to wait and start on a walking tour instead. First we walk to the "Castel Sant'Angelo",the Mausoleum of Harian,now a museum,across the Ponte Sant'Angelo bridge and meander through some of the narrow delightful streets of Navona in this district, to the bustling "Piazza Navona " with itsfountains and impressive buildings.Not far away is the "Pantheon" a church built by Emperor Hadrian about 110 AD.Later we make our way to the "Colosseum" a massive amphitheater built about 71 A.D.,and then onto the "Spanish Steps"a flight of steps between the "Piazza di Spagna" and the "Church Trinta dei Monti" at the top. After a tiring day in Rome we arrive in Fuiggi late afternoon exhausted.
June 1stWe decided to have a free day here in Fuiggi which is another spa town, and recuperate from yesterday,an will take a stroll up the hill to the older part of this village and have lunch as its a beautiful sunny day again. The views from the top of the village are gorgeous and the windy narrow streets with their charming odd doorways and nooksand crannies make this a lovely part of the village to stroll in.
June 2stToday we are heading South to Sorrento where we stay for the next three nights.On our way we stop over at Montecassino Abbey situated on a hill about 81 miles from Rome,and was completely destroyed during the Second World War.Here there was a bitter battle as the German forces occupied the town and Abbey, and heavy losses were reported on all sides before the allies were able to breakthough after severl months of fighting.The Commonwelth Cemetary nearby commenmorates over Four thousand soldiers who are buried here,and the Polish Cemetary commemorates over one thousand deaths nearby. Next we visit Pompeii,a town overwhelmed with hot ash after Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D.79.It was afascinating place to see,but unfortunately the crowds were so vast it was diffult and tiresome to take it all in! and was a rather disappointing experience.
June 3rdToday we are taking a road tour of the Almalfi Coast as it winds precariously around the sheer cliffs and through tunnels and hairpin bends,finally we arrive at Amalfi and spend several hours here exploring.We are taken on a sea tour of the coast and can see another aspect of this beautiful area,the coast is dotted with defensive forts ,and caves and querky coves.
June 4thWe have decided to chill out and stay in Sorrento today,many of the other fellow travellers have gone to Capri,but we thought it was a rather expensive tour. Sorrento is a bustling town very popular with the English,and has many narrow delightful back streets and at night is a very pleasant place to stroll around and while away the time.There are not many sightsee things to do here in the town,but its a good base too stay and see Naples, Pompeii, and the Almalfi Coast.
June 5thThis morning we make our way South by coach to the Toe of Italy, Calabria, where we have to cross to the island of Scilly by Ferry to Messina.We travel through gorgeous scenic countryside and pass many quaint hillside villages and stop once at a small coastal town for lunch,eventually reaching our ferry late afternoon. The sea passage only took about 30 minutes before we arrived at Messina on the Scilly side, then on to the Hotel Caesar Palace at Giardini Naxos.
June 6thToday we have a half day tour of ancient Picturesques Taormina a town which is perched at the top of a sheer cliff,here we see some spectacular views of the beaches, and the Amphitheater against the backdrop of Mt Etna.The novelist D.H.Lawrence wrote the book "Lady Chatterleys Lover"whilst staying here.
June 7thThis is the penultimate day of our journey to Italy and we are off to Mt Etna the highest active Volcano in Europe(10,922 ft). In greek mythology the monster "Typhoon" was trapped beneath the mountain by "Zeus". Etna has erupted many times in the past the lastest being 2012. The coach gradually winds it way up the mountainside passing by old houses and ruins that have succumbed to Etnas passed eruptions, too Rifugio Sapienza at 1900mtrs, a base terminal stop for all vechicles. We alight here and take the Cable Car to 2500mtrs, here you can take a 4x4 vechicle to 2900mtrs and have a guided foot tour of the area for about �20 euros. We opted to walk from the top of the cable car,towards the summit for awhile but eventually gave up as the altitude was making breathing more labourous and the weather &visibility was closing down rapidly.Nevertheless it was a interesting days excursion and we eventually made our way back to the Hotel later that day.
June 8thToday we make our way to the airport on our final day. The Holiday has been very interesting and enjoyable, we arrive in Gatwick airport late evening ,we stay the night at the Hampton by Hilton Hotel airport, and catch the National Express home the next morning,
Copyright 2006 .Last modified 30/10/2006 created by G Windsor  e-mail