Italy Journals

Mediterranean Cruise from Rome to Barcelona

A November 2009 trip to Italy by NiceGinna

A "Welcome Aboard" glass of champagne Photo, Italy, Europe More Photos
Quote: We booked a 12-day cruise to re-visit several much enjoyed places and to see a couple of new ports. We would even be sailing right by our place in Nice! We started in Rome, then Sorrento, Tunisia, Malta, Taormina, Livorno, Portofino, Monaco, Toulon, and ending in Barcelona.
A
Quote:
This was our fourth cruise and we opted to return to the smaller ships - carrying about 700 passengers - instead of the larger ships - around 2500 passengers. We found that this was more our style. This time we chose Azamara (ship, the Journey), the same ship as Oceania was (our first cruise) (all previously owned by Renaissance which went 'belly-up'. What we really like about cruising:1. Of course, the most obvious, never having to pack up and move. This really makes for a relaxed vacation.2. Seeing many ports. We chose an itinerary that hit several places we'd been before but wanted to return to and also a couple of new places. Our choice of cruise is definitely...Read More

Capri (General)

Story/Tip

Approaching Capri on the hydrofoil Photo, Capri, Italy
Quote:
Our cruise ship docked in Sorrento for two days and we decided to use the first day to go to Capri, a place we had never visited. Because our cruise was so late in the year, we weren't sure if there would be transportation from Sorrento to Capri - would we have to go to Naples? No, there were hydrofoils available regularly. At the dock where we booked the trip on the hydrofoil, we ran into Jerry, an older Italian guy who was shilling for people who wanted a tour of the island. For 20 euros each, we decided to do this. When we got to Capri, we and about 8 others (Jerry called us "Jerry's Kids") got in his little van which took us up to Anacapri where there is a chairlift up Monte Solaro where ther...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 21, 2009

Bardo Museum

Attraction | "The Number 1 Site in Tunis is the Bardo Museum"

Bardo Museum Photo, Tunis, Tunisia
Quote:
Our cruise excursion in Tunis was supposed to encompass the Bardo, Carthage, a charming village, and the souk. But belatedly it was discovered that the day we were to arrive was a Muslim celebration that included cutting the throats of goats and it was decided that we wouldn't want to see all the blood flowing. We therefore sailed from Sorrento to Tunisia, a longer trip than the original from Malta to Tunisia, and we had a shorter stay than planned. We had to choose only one of the wonderful sites to visit. For us, it was an easy choice: The Bardo Museum, listed in "1,000 Places to See Before You Die", is housed in a 13th-17th century palace and contains one of the finest collections of Roman mos...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 24, 2009

Bardo Museum
Cite El Habib
Tunis, Tunisia

Grand Harbour

Attraction | "Sailing into the Harbor is the Highlight of our Visit"

Grand Harbour Photo, Valletta, Malta
Quote:
Malta, with about 7000 years of history is fascinating. But just arriving in the harbor at Valletta is breathtaking, with views of ancient walls and historic buildings. Just take a look...

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 24, 2009

Grand Harbour
Malta
Valletta, Malta

Valletta Archeological Museum

Attraction | "The Museum Covers the Ancient History of this Mysterious Land"

Valletta Archeological Museum Photo, Valletta, Malta
Quote:
Sadly we didn't have time to visit the archeological digs on Malta; we will definitely be back to spend more time here. But we did stop at the small, but interesting, archeological museum along the main street in Valletta, housed in one of the buildings built for the Provencal Knights of the Order of St. John in the 1500's. The history goes back about 7000 years, even before the Egyptians! I was most captivated by the headless women figurines but there were also altars, tools, and decorative items. The "Sleeping Lady", a small carving of a woman lying on a pedestal, is considered the masterpiece of the collection from more than 4000 years ago.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 24, 2009

Valletta Archeological Museum
Triq Melita
Valletta, Malta

Cafe Cordina

Restaurant | "A Family Restaurant since 1837"

Cafe Cordina Photo, Valletta, Malta
Quote:
We met Linda and John Cordina by chance when we were spending a weekend in the Piedmont area of Italy. They invited us to get in touch when we got to Valletta so we booked a table at their restaurant, not knowing that this was THE place in central Valletta. The restaurant is housed in what was the Treasury Building for the Knights of St. John, built in the 1500's, and later a Grand Hotel. There was a lot of damage during WWII, but it has been beautifully restored. The barrel ceiling is covered with paintings by Giuseppe Cali depicting the leaders and eras of Maltese history. The Cordinas' son is used as a model in a couple of the paintings.We enjoyed a wonderful lunch on the terrasse,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 24, 2009

Cafe Cordina
244 Republic Street
Valletta, Malta
+356 2123 4385

Taormina (General)

Story/Tip

Piazza IX Aprile Photo, Taormina, Italy
Quote:
Taormina was one of the reasons we booked this particular cruise. We had been here before for a few days but it was probably 15 years ago! We arranged through the cruise to take a shuttle bus to the town itself, but other enterprising cruisers just took a local bus for a lot less money!Sicily is a world unto itself, as much Greek, who settled in the 8th century BC, as Italian. The coloring of the people, the foods that they eat, and their customs and culture is shaped by the many people who have occupied this land: Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, the Normans, and more.We were very lucky in the weather, docking on a warm and sunny day. The bus took us to a parkin...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 21, 2009

Ancient Greek Theatre

Attraction | "The Main Attraction"

Ancient Greek Theatre Photo, Taormina, Italy
Quote:
The reason most people go to Taormina is to see the remains of the wonderful Greek Theatre. It dates from the 3rd century BC and was later redone by the Romans who used it more for contests than as a theater. One can imagine sitting here, with the cool breezes, enjoying a play or show. The views of the sea below and Mt. Etna from the upper tiers are outstanding.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 21, 2009

Ancient Greek Theatre
Centre Of City
Taormina, Italy

Mount Etna

Attraction | "Mt. Etna Always Hovers in the Distance, Always a Presence"

Mount Etna Photo, Taormina, Italy
Quote:
Mt. Etna is the highest point on the island. The last time we were here it was very active; this time it was quieter but still a looming presence. We didn't go up - one can - but everywhere we were we watched for it.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 21, 2009

Mount Etna
Sicily
Taormina, Italy