Italy

Run ragged at the hands of Rex and Cath we charged into Naples, up to Rome, onward to Florence and then the final trek to Venice.  This webpage is more of a highlights thingy as if I go sticking all 160 pictures on the website I wont have enough room to do anything else. So, it fair reeks of postcard images and Lonely Planet captions.

Naples. Nice view form the hotel room eh!. First opinions of the city didn't change one bit. It's a filthy, stinking hole of a place and at night it just gets worse.

Pompei - as you can see - is in ruins...snigger. It's fantastically big and I could rattle on for ages about each shot in great detail but will spare you. After a few hours it all just starts turning into one big heap of stones.

Just a few hours from Naples on the Eurostar has us in Rome. It's very big. I have some pictures from in and on San Pietro Bracilica - its gargantuan and the camera just cant do it justice, even after the lift up to the base of the dome your faced with another 300 and something steps!

Florence already. And I must sing the praise of Eurostar again. The bogs could be cleaner and the ticket issuing a little more like what you ask for but otherwise a comfy and hassle free trip.

Another Florence must-see is the Duomo. They started building this sucker in 1296 and completed it 150 years later! The multi coloured marble facade was built in the 19th century. The bell tower far left was started 1334 and no, after climbing the dome Rex and I couldn't handle another thrashing.

Bugger me if the climb wasn't worse than the one in Rome.

And then Venice. Various shots of Piazza San Marco (every tourists first port of call), the staggering Doges Palace, Grand Canal and Rialto bridge,Brasilica di San Marco and handy bell tower sadly all infested with pigeons but amazing never the less. 

For me the highlight was Venice. If you don’t have time to explore the whole country just go to Venice. Honestly, the accommodation is extortionate and beer is expensive but there is no contest. After dodging cars and mopeds for six days Venice was heaven.

Try to arrive through the train station; I'm sure the memory of walking through the doors to see the motorboat mayhem of the Grand Canal will never leave me.

See the Doges Palace (Palazzo Ducale, San Marco piazza) if nothing else. Prosecco, the local Champagne equivalent is excellent and well priced, pizzas - they are practically giving them away.

Didn't get round to the Gondola but there will be plenty of subsequent trips for that!

© paul houthuyzen 2012