A return to a holy place for a wholly holy person

Bit of a tongue-twister that and no, I don't mean myself as I've never been here before! So sadly it's my last full day in Italy's capital and I have to say, I've really enjoyed it. Today then will be about the tourist attraction - Vatican city! As I briefly spoke about in a previous post, I've not needed to use the metro once due to the frequency of the Rome bus service but today I paid my £1 to get to T ...

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Day 2: An Italian education...

I had a fantastic day today but the formula remains incredibly simple: Mid 20s sunshine, a mixture of on-foot and bus transportation, some tunes, a positive mental attitude and a plan. Oh...and being wined and dined for by two Italian ladies... Uncle Andrea - you underestimated me in your last comment by stating singular, not plural :-) With regards a plan, thanks to a comment from a cousin I didn't need to p ...

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'When in ....'

I known you know the saying - don't make me spell it out... So a friend and ex-colleague guessed that I would take on Bulgaria next -another classic Eastern European capital with decent forward routes for afterwards. That would have been on the cards (and hopefully still is) but I found myself with a number of reasons to first come to one of the World's most expensive cities.... 1) I've actually not been here before. Our f ...

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Napoli: A city of two surprising halves...

And so my journey 'down south' continues folks. When my Rome friends discovered I was off to Naples, their words in unison were along the lines of "Naples is beautiful but always keep your eyes open". Ah, more warnings I see although these were from Italians that have lived in this country all their lives so I was certainly inclined to take note. I left Rome Termini in the direction of Napoli via this beast: ...

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Napoli: The birthplace of PIZZA!

For the few of you that didn't know that, you do now. "When you go to Naples you must order Pizza as it's the best in the World". This I was told a number of times and as a pizza lover back home       in the UK, that was something I was a little sceptical about. After all, how many different ways are there to prepare and cook a pizza!? Would such high expectations yield another anti-climatic experience? ...

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Salute from sunny Sorrento

Lots of people including my Mother and Kate's Father had said I should visit Sorrento as I was already this far south. As you can see, we didn't disappoint. Kate had done her research and discovered   that if we stayed on the outskirts, there were bargains to be had on the accommodation front so that's what we did. Currently then our residence for the short terms is the commune known as 'Piano di Sorrento' which was close enough ...

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A familiar face and my biggest test yet!

As I eluded to in yesterday's post, I did indeed head to the airport this morning but it wasn't to board a plane. Instead I sat patiently in the 'Arrivals' area waiting for a familiar face. It was         certainly a strange feeling me being the 'local' and welcoming a foreigner to the town :-) So as a lot of you will know, last month I met with ...

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A day trip to beautiful Capri

As per a blog comment yesterday from a friend back home, a day trip to Capri transitioned from a consideration to an absolute definite and I'm glad we listened. We found an indivdual price for around 30 euros return by a shuttle boat which appeared to be the best price we could find. Speaking of average, that amount is close to exceeding my daily allowance but I was happy to relax my budgetary regulations for this special trip and pus ...

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Pompeii and the mighty Mt. Vesuvius!

But neither of these were my favourite experience of the day for that would come later in the evening. As some of you may know, Pompeii is of historical and modern day tourist significance due to the carnage the town and its people saw over 2000 years ago. I say modern day but really this has been a tourist attraction for over 200 years and of course it is now a UNESCO World heritage site. So in case you didn't know, Pom ...

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I've left Italy but where am I now?

I'll reveal my latest location tomorrow but in the meantime will continue to drop some clues within this post. I will tell you though that today yielded my best and most proud photographic images since Athens so I hope you like them! First though, here's a quick teaser of the view from my room this very morning: ...

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My 30-summit birthday in Corfu

Or Kérkyra as it is spelt here. Ever since I departed Athens those weeks ago, I knew it was a case of when not if I would return to Greece. Honestly folks, I really can't say enough about how lovely   the people are, how relaxing their way of life is and what a peaceful existence they as individuals exude. I felt this in the capital city and I feel it here on one of their islands too. The friendly, helpful ...

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Bonjourno Milano, remember me?

This isn't the first time I've visited Milan but I've seen more here in these last two days than I have in all other previous visits. In saying that, there isn't really that much to see here and that's especially true if art, museums or designer shopping outlets are not your thing. Put it this way, when visiting the mighty San Siro (a football stadium) ranks highly in 'What to see in Milan', well, you set your expectations accordingly ...

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Should he stay or should he go?

Votes are in, the decision has been made... Prior to my visit to Poland back in early August, my good friend Ben contacted me asking if I would be back in the UK any time soon to attend his daughter's Christening. I regretfully informed him that I had no plans to return just yet but shortly after his contact, a thought struck me - I wonder if my niece was also soon to be christened? ...

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Fine dining (and more) in Sestri Levante

Having recently moved south from Milan, it dawned on me that I've been fortunate enough to visit several regions of Italy already this year. That's significant because food, like many things in Italy, are regional - not necessarily national. Take one of my favourite Italian dishes - Anolini. This is well known in Parma but I'd imagine much less so and even unheard of in much of the rest of Italy. I sill have the fondest memories of my ...

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Sun, sea and south Sardenga

Or Sardinia as I believe it is spelt in English? Either way, it's an autonomous region of Italy. I'm both excited and a little relieved to say that a few days ago I successfully touched down on this, the second island of my five island Mediterranean challenge. Apologies it's taken me slightly longer than normal to post, it's just that where I've been staying is in the countryside meaning there's a lot more chance of seeing goa ...

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Two days of travel = no days of fun!

Many of you won't understand when I say I don't consider my travelling as a 'holiday'. Regular viewers, however, should know what I mean by that as instead of lazing around, I'm always on the go wanting to learn, see and enjoy new things. That's why I am so appreciative I was able to stay with Uncle Rob and indeed enjoy a mini holiday to see some of what Sardenga is well known for - its crystal clear, glass-like effect sea water. ...

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Thinking of visiting Sardenga or Corsica?

    Informational post for travellers or holiday makers wanting to visit either island. Regular readers feel free to skim t ...

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Two days in Pisa, Tuscany

Having arrived in Pisa means of course that I've successfully made it back to the mainland. As a budgeting backpacker, I have to admit I was happy to be back on less expensive, less exclusive land. As I mentioned in my 'Thinking of travelling to Sardenga or Corsica?' post, I'd love to come back to these islands but it would have to be ...

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Highs and lows in Florence, Tuscany

I've arrived in the most inhabited city of Tuscany - Florence (or Firenze in Italian). That's actually useful to know as you'll be waiting for a long time in the train station if you're looking for 'Florence'. Here is the adjoining building attached to the rear of my hostel:   ...

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Love conquers all

Sadly this doesn't involve me but as it's such a wonderful story, I felt compelled to write about it and share this short romantic tale with all of you.  Perhaps it might even make you smile if you're having a bad day. It involves the owners of the hostel/b&b I've stayed at this first week here in Palermo. To start the story we need to rewind only 18 months ago. ...

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Sicily and beautiful Italia

"...is both beautiful and it's cheap" - is what I have been told numerous times in these last six months and by mainland Italians. Is there a better combination!? I discovered I was able to confirm half of this at the earliest opportunity possible - from on-board the plane! I remember thinking to myself even bleary eyed in the morning that the vista from a couple of thousand feet up in the air showcased the most beau ...

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Dazzling sights and dazzling heights...

In Cefalu. Cefalu is an hour's train ride east of Palermo at a cost of 12 euros return. This relatively close distance means it's still part of the province of Palermo. Actually I had such a nice afternoon a few days ago that I've chosen to revisit it but this time round I've come for more than a wander as I have a target in mind. This target: ...

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Taking on Mount Etna!

Apologies for the reduced posts last week folks - it's just that I've experienced the worst two Wifi connections since I've been travelling. As such, I'll incorporate two consecutive (but very different) days into one mighty Catania-based post as that is where I now am. Take your time over this one and (hopefully) enjoy the read. So after a very memorable and unforgettable week in Palermo, I departed in the direction of Catan ...

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