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Trip Report Italy 5 weeks 2 October to 4 November 2015

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It was ambitious. Daring even. For an older couple to embark on a first trip to Italy no language and no idea. Booked entirely on line. Informed by travel forums, books and dreams.

And it went perfectly.

When I say this to people Rob comments that the flight from Rome to Catania was 15 minutes late. I remind him that we landed on time. That was it. That was our big travel disaster.

We flew Emrites 22 hours Sydney to Rome, one hour stop in Dubai the. 7 to Rome. So 14, 1 then 7. Same return in reverse. The flights were packed. Service good enough. Food good. We arrived in Rome on time...customs was chaos...and I hadn't realised beforehand that people push in. Over the course of five weeks we learnt to hold our ground. Our driver was waiting (agreed price 52€) and checkin at our hotel was efficient and friendly. Room was lovely. We found a great restaurant late like 11pm who were happy to serve us and the food and wine was brilliant.

The following day we had a plan but got quickly lost. If you saw an older couple arguing on a corner in Rome... Him holding a map that he insisted was wrong..and me tired and very hungry...that was us. No one seemed to care. As it turns out I was getting quite sick as you do when you finally take a holiday and allow the stress to leave your body...stress it seems keeps you immune to bugs.

Rob redeemed himself by selecting finally after six hours of walking in the heat (October) without water... a fabulous restaurant. All guides all TripAdvisor recommendations well forgotten. A tourist trap would have done. Anything food water and wine. We had one of those lovely and surprising moments. We had been sat right next to and I mean right next to another couple. Both more outgoing than us. Loud and joyful American. Since it felt like we were dining together then we decided we may as well do just that. Fascinating people with amazing stories to tell. It was both delicious and fun. We planned to go back when we returned to Rome but that didn't happen.

Earlier that day we had found the Trevi scaffolded but still beautiful, I thought, the Pantheon, the Colessio ( when we finally knew we were going in the wrong direction) changed direction to our desired destination walked along the river to Campo Di Fiori then back to uptown Rome. Six hours of walking a little arguing and finally amazing food wine and company.

Later that night after our great lunch we chatted with some lovely Aussies finishing their months long holiday in Europe.

Arriving late in Rome on that first night meant we slept really well and did not suffer any jet lag. Or maybe that was just excitement.

The next day we left for Tuscany..Cortona to be exact.
On the day we left Rome I wrote "if I had thought that would be our only time in Rome I would have been desperately miserable. Knowing we had a week at the end of our holiday made it bearable, only just, to leave" .

I love the Rome railway station. Happily paid to use the McDonald's toilet. But I will tell you that our platform which was not announced until very close to departure was quite some distance and we literally ran dragging our too large and too heavy suitcases (tip one).

Next... A week in Cortona...

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