Italy 2004

Our Itinerary

Friday, June 11, 2004
On June 11th we took the day flight to London. Departing JFK at 8:30am, we arrived in London at 6:30pm. The security lines were short and fast which was a pleasure. The airline food was mediocre at best. The movie was not that great so I spent the flight reading my new Microsoft FrontPage version 2003 manual. We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel at Heathrow. Had a "Pint of Lager" and a light dinner and then we went to bed.

Saturday, June 12, 2004
On June 12th we took the 9:00am flight to Rome which landed around noon. The check in at Heathrow was much like Times Square on New Years Eve. I have never seen so many people in one place. Once in Italy, we picked up a car at Hertz and drove to Naples, about an hour drive. By the way the Pound is now about $1.90 so be prepared for London "sticker shock".

We arrived in Rome and picked up our car at Hertz. We drove to Naples which is about an hour and a half drive. The Italians have an interesting habit of passing in the breakdown lane at 100 MPH and swerving in an out of different lane. It brings back fond memories of driving the 405 in LA on a Friday night. From Naples to Sorrento, they do the same thing but on motor cycles with shapely 20 year old girls riding on the back.

Naples is large with everything from slums to the very high rent district. The waterfront was fascinating. There were lots of large yachts. Off in the distance you can see the island of Capri. We ate dinner at a seaside restaurant overlooking the bay. It was to dark too take photos.

Sunday, June 13, 2004
We will take the ferry from Naples to Capri. We are staying at the Grand Hotel Quisisana Check out their website by clicking here

We departed Naples around 9:30. Instead of taking the Capri ferry from Naples, we instead drove to Sorrento and took the ferry from there. Sorrento is well worth seeing. A very charming seaside resort. We seemed to have timed it just right as we arrive 15 minutes before the ferry departed. There was long term parking right at the ferry dock. The ride to Capri is about 20 minutes on the high speed catamaran ferry. No more Italian. From hear on our you only hear English (the default language of the tourist trade).

Cynthia over looking Sorrento

Capri Harbor

The walking streets of Capri near out hotel

Cynthia at our lunch in the town square

The view from our hotel room terrace

The stretch Limo convertible taxis

A group of girls from SMU who were at the table next to us at dinner

Evening in the town square

Monday, June 14, 2004
Capri - Our 40th Wedding Anniversary
We are going to take a boat ride around the island which includes a trip into the Blue Grotto.

Cynthia on the Incline Railroad that goes from the Town of Capri on the top of the island down to the seaport

On the incline railroad

At the seaport

Our boat around the island went though that tunnel in the rock

At the entrance of the Blue Grotto the tour boats wait to off load passengers onto small rowboats that then go into the grotto

Going into the Grotto

Be sure to bring money as there is a toll that must be paid to go into the tunnel, and the rowboat operator wants tip.  Also, per the girl in the next boat, you sit in the bottom of the rowboat as the head room clearance is very tight when entering the grotto

In the Grotto

Lunch back at the seaport

Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Today we went to the other town on the island, Anacapri which is about a 20 minute bus ride from the main town, Capri.

A shoemaker who custom fits sandals to the buyer's foot size

Cynthia purchasing a towel that has the recipe on it for Limoncello - a local drink

The shopping street in Anacapri

Looking back at the harbor from the bus going up the mountain to Anacapri

The square back in the main town of Capri

Even cats live well in Capri

Cynthia with her just-purchased-Italian eyeglasses

Wednesday, June 16, 2004
We took the ferry from Capri back to Sorrento and picked up our car. Then we drove 15 miles or so to the town of Sant'Agata Sui Due Golfi where we stayed in a hotel/restaurant by the name of Don Alfonso 1890. Check out their website by clicking here

While departing Sorrento, we passed a wedding that was about to start.

Don Alfonso 1890

Our room was an apartment behind the restaurant

Inside the restaurant

One of the many courses. This is sliced duck.

This is a portion of the dessert. There were several
glass trays with little items such as this.

Thursday, June 17, 2004
We arrived in Amalfi after driving a good portion of the Amalfi Drive which is a winding road that stretches along the coast from west of Positano to Amalfi and then it continues on to Salerno where it ends.

In Amalfi, our hotel room is circled in red above. The view is fantastic.

A view out of our room looking beyond the right side of the prior photo

The beach in Amalfi

Another look at the main shopping area down town

Cynthia on the shopping street

Friday, June 18, 2004
We took the ferry boat that visits various ports along the coast and we got off in Positano. We spent most of the day here and had lunch and then took the boat back to Amalfi.

Entering Positano from our ferry boat.

One of several local artists.

The shopping street in Positano.

More of the shopping area. Note the hanging garden roof over the walkway.

A seaside restaurant

Saturday, June 19, 2004
Today we went to Pompeii. After that we went to Mt. Vesuvius.

Archeologist digging up new areas on the edge of Pompeii

It is possible to drive up 80% of Mt. Vesuvius, but the last part must be done on foot, and I did it.

This is a scanned picture from a postcard that shows the crater

Sunday, June 20, 2004
We arrived in Rome after a long drive from Amalfi. We stayed at the Hotel Madrid in Rome

The Spanish Steps - a major tourist hangout

There are these human statues all around Rome. They spray themselves with a dust-gray paint and stand still while their photos are taken. Then they expect a cash donation.

The Trevi Fountain (Three Coins In A Fountain - for those you old enough to remember that 1950's song.)

Cynthia looking up the next day's activities

Monday, June 21, 2004
Rome

The roof breakfast area of our hotel in Rome

The Vatican - Note that there is tight security at the Vatican. Try to get there early. It is like an airport. They X-ray the hand bags and they make you walk through a metal detector before you get even close to the building.
Since I last visited the Vatican they have stream cleaned the entire outside. Previously, the stone was very dark from pollution.  Now, it is beautiful.
Ladies, there is a VERY tight dress code. The neckline must be high and you MUST have sleeves at least a 1/3 of way down from your shoulder to your elbow.  We saw many women being turned away for improper dress before they got a chance to enter the building. No open backs. No short pants.

The Pieta

Inside St. Peter's

The remains of St. Peter

The Victor Emmanuel Monument

The Roman Forum

The Coliseum

Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Fly from Rome to New York