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Our trip to Paris,amalfi and Rome,sept 11 to oct 3.

Our trip to Paris,amalfi and Rome,sept 11 to oct 3.

Old Nov 8th, 2009, 06:00 AM
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Our trip to Paris,amalfi and Rome,sept 11 to oct 3.

This report will be related to our trip to Paris, the Amalfi Coast(A.C.) and Rome, where we(DW and me, José) spent a week in each of those places.English is not my first language, and I will try to be short and ask for your indulgence for any mistake.

This is our fifth visit to Paris(last in 1995);second to Rome and Capri(1981) and first to the AC.We planned a trip to enjoy the places, without any “must do”; in order to visit what we like and with the hope of not feeling hurried at allv (we are near 60).Let me tell you that everything went ok, and this was a wonderful trip.

1)Traveling and Hotels.
--Montevideo-Madrid-Paris via Iberia ;uneventful and with a good and quick connection at T4 in Madrid.Luggage sent directly MVD to Paris, arrived without problems at Orly West.
--Orly West to hotel: Orlyval, RER B to Saint Michel and Taxi; full cost some 26 euros;easy but no so cheap in the end.
--Hotel: Hotel Des Arenes (rue Monge); at the Arenes de Lutece.Small room(you can bet on a small room in Paris),really small bathroom.Breakfast just ok, coffe or tea or chocolate, pastries, toasts, spread cheese, confiture, and yoghurt(one per person please!!!);orange juice from a machine.Metro is near(Cardenal Lemoine station).
The best: A Carrefour at less than 100 metres!!!!! Like finding gold!!!; good products and excellent prices! Italian prosciutto and cullatello; nectarines out of this world, water at 0.90 and coke at 0.65…cookies at 0.90 to 1.40 per box(tuilles aux amandes, apricot filled cookies).
--Hotel to Orly Sud: for only 40 euros, we choose a shared Van, excellent and without any transfer, door to door hotel to airport,the transfer was a little tour in Paris.
--Paris to Napoli via Easy Jet: Flight starts wit more than one hour of delay, uneventful flight, arriving at 3.20 pm.
--Curriere bus to Sorrento, leaving at 4.30 pm arriving 6.10 pm.
--Sita bus Sorrento to Amalfi leaves at 6.30 pm and arrives at 8 pm (pouring rain in Amalfi).This way of transfer from Napoli to Amalfi,is good and really cheap,because of our time table we cannot repeat when going Amalfi to Napoli.
--Hotel in Amalfiharon House; really more a B&B than a hotel.Really good; modern and ample rooms, excellent bathroom; really good breakfast (meats, some fruits; 2 or 3 different cakes(caprese cake, my favorite), pastries, toasts, marmalades, honey, bread, cheese, cappuccinos made to order!!;by far, best value for the money!!!
Of course, not views, the hotel is in the city, not in the lungomare; but it is 100 mts from the Amalfi Cathedral, and the Sant Andrea Fountain; 200 meters from the lungomare,the Sita terminal and anything that is important in Amalfi.
--Amalfi- Napoli-Rome: because of the time of our train Napoli-Rome; we had to take a car from Amalfi to Napoli; wich takes the highest route possible(via Pogerola, Agerola); realy unforgettable trip,100 euros.
--Train Napoli-Rome: normal,some 2 hours.
--Flight Rome-Madrid-Montevideonce again uneventful,T4 works fine and we see Demons and Angels!!!!!(more Rome!!!).
Nextaris.Please,as this is a word file,some symbols may appear; please,read Paris,Sharon(forget the little faces!!!)
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Old Nov 8th, 2009, 06:17 AM
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So far, so good, José! Don't worry about mistakes, no one who matters cares!
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Old Nov 10th, 2009, 07:07 AM
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Before installing the Paris report,I will finish the section of "logistics",with comments on our hotel in Rome:
--Hotel in Rome: Ara Pacis Hotel, via Vittoria Colonna.
Mmmmmm mixed feelings!!!!
--Good: LOCATION; we walked everywhere, very safe zone, close to anything;200 meters from the shuttle bus stop to the airport(we were 6 persons on the bus; ticket 7.50 euros each!!!).Breakfast is good, bread, pastries, meats, honey, variety of coffee from a machine, juices from another machine.
--Bad: the hotel looks really “old” or “tired”, but rooms are clean if definitely small and bathrooms are also old,.
Not a disaster, but at 160 euros we expected much more.Will we return? No, better look for other hotels with more time, we are sure there are better value for the money out there.
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Old Nov 10th, 2009, 11:57 AM
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--First Week: PARIS.
This is our fifth visit to Paris; and we intend to walk everywhere, stopping at will, enjoying the city.
-Day One,saturday(September 11th):We arrived at Orly West after a 14 hours flight(with a transfer at T4 in Madrid); not so tired and really happy of returning to Paris after 14 years.
We took Orlyval, RER B and a taxi to our hotel in Rue Monge, and in a matter of minutes after check in we were out to explore rue Monge, and we walk to Blvd. S. Michel, Notre Dame(organ music, a pleasure, really moving).I can think about the persons at the cathedral centuries ago, illuminated by candles and hearing this music…they should have felt the presence of something superior…
A very good experience; then we proceed to Ile de S.Louis, plenty of tourists!!, then,to the Pont Neuf to see the place where we will, any day, take our boat to cruise the Seine.
Back to the hotel and a stop a Carrefour, and what a surprise!! Prices are quite normal…and quality is generally very high.
We have a window towards Arenes De Lutece,and tonight there is some kind of show, but we didn’t hear anything and slept very well!!
-Day two,sunday:have breakfast at the hotel,and start to walk rue Monge,searching for the market in rue Mouffetard,but previously we go the Mosque,take a look at gardens(somewhat like the ones at the Alhambra),then to rue Mouffetard,really nice with a sunday market where we tasted cheeses,bread and let the time goes by..,all fruits and products really fresh and at reasonable prices.
Being near to two important churches, we go to Saint Medard and Sainte Genevieve(sp?),attend the mass and hear the organ, and a woman singing really well…the presence of many youngs call our attention, as we are not used to see much teenagers at our churches…
Our steps took us to the Panteon(closed),anyway we enjoyed the views and sunbath a little at the stairs(a beautiful day…sunny).
We proceed to Jardins de Louxembourg, one of our preferred places in Paris,and as usual we seated near the flowers, look at the sparrows and well fed pigeons,take some pictures,and talk when we met 35 years ago and when we married,almost 33 yars now…we didn’t then think that we will ever visit Paris…5 times…
Being lunch time we went to the Latin quarter,where there are dozens of cheap restaurant and select Le Marathon; we ask for the “menus”.DW asks for moules mariniere, grilled chicken and ice cream,I go with soupe a l’oignon, steak au poivre and apple tart, rosé wine and water,of course bread is delicious, 32 euros, not bad at all….
We walk towards Musee du Louvre and rue de Rivoli( shopping starts), Visit la Madeline and L’Opera, then come back through le Palais Royal and take a look(just a look) at Le Grand Colbert and Le Grand Vefour…mmmmm who knows?, if there is a sith visit may be we dare…
Near 8 pm we are caming back to the hotel and day 2 is gone…
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Old Nov 10th, 2009, 01:43 PM
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Enjoying your report - always love to read about Paris! Thanks for sharing.
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Old Nov 10th, 2009, 01:47 PM
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Old Nov 10th, 2009, 04:33 PM
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Wonderful! DH and I have been married 31 years and are 1 ahead of you in trips to Paris but I'm loving reading about your trip! Agree how nice it is to take time to savor things after those first "I must see everything NOW" trips.

More Please!
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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 09:09 AM
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-Day three, Monday: We buy a Metro carnet(10 tickets) ,and easily arrived a rue Lepic;then, started our walk at Montmartre, enjoyingPlace du Tertre the Basilica; and the views, of course.
The views from Montmartre are always glorious, and we seated at the stairs,looking at all the tourists(many from China and Japan of course).
We came back to Place du Tertre to buy some souvenirs,and a memory card for my camera(I forgot one at home); 2 gigas at 20 euros…arghhhhhh.Then,we start our descent, and suddenly DW sees ….bargains….shopping mode for one hour(real bargains for her),and we go to Moulin Rouge and take Rue Lepic one more time, arriving at Café des Moulins(remember Ameli Poulin?)..Our lunch is baguettes and tarte aux poires, on the go; and we return to the hotel
After a little nap, on the road again; for a visit to Sephora and Mac(dear niece,(DN),Fatima,a fashion design student, hear that we were going to Paris,Paris being his second preferred city,the first is New York, and give us a long list of the cosmetics she “absolutely” needs, otherwise, her life will be ruined.
Can you sense the aroma of burnt euros?????..
We take a light dinner and the day is over.
-Day four,Tuesday :took the Metro to Invalides and started a long walk though Invalides, Eiffel Tower,Trocadero, Av. Kleber, Arc de Triomphe,Champs Elysees,Concorde, Tuilleries, Forum des Halles, Centre Pompidou, boul Sant Michel to the hotel.
We enjoyed the tower almost without lines, as it is relatively early, suddenly,a young couple starts to run chasing one of the million of immigrants selling little Eiffel Towers; they have been so naïve as to give him a camera and asked him to take a picture!!!!; of course, no picture, no camera, no police(gerdarmerie is present, but they do nothing, as, I suppose,they are here only to prevent terrorism).Poor young couple, a bad and expensive moment!!!).
At the Trocadero DW took a funny picture of me hugging one of those giant Michelin inflatables on show.
Looking for a place to lunch(we finally have lunch at Quick Burger, good hamburgers with crispy onions); we find a Starbucks, where there used to be a beautiful Café, where ,in the past, we had pastries we will never forget.
We like Starbucks, but we regret we cannot have those tarts aux poires that were really sublime!!!
We really have very good moments resting at the chairs at Tuilleries, people watching and inspecting some sculptures, very funny that were on show on the gardens.
When we reach the Saint Michel area, we are really tired and we look for a table outdoors, overlooking the Seine and Saint Michel, ask for two cappuccinos(11 euros), and have a great moment, people watching, resting and talking about our preferred city .
Its incredible how much we love this city, and how much we love to remember what we did in very previous visit.
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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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We happened to be in Paris around the same time you were and I have to agree---it is incredible how much we also love Paris and how we like to remember our previous visits.

Good report. Looking forward to the Italy part.
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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 11:24 AM
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Too bad about the camera scam. You guys have been doing some serious walking!
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 03:59 AM
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After 14 years, quite a few things must have changed, yet the overall look of the city remains admirably stable.
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 10:09 AM
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-Day five, Wednesday: Today, we will visit some places we have never been previously, Jardin des Plantes and Bastille.
An easy walk from the hotel and we arrived at Jardin Des Plantes, a beautiful place, very quiet.We arrived at the Seine and walk in the left bank; following the signs for a garden of sculptures.Really disappointing…nobody takes care, statues are very few and ugly….Paris has better attractions…
Then, we proceed to Bastille, and we saw the signs remembering those fallen in the insurrection of the Police de Paris in WW2,really moving.

Took some pictures of the Column at Bastille Square ,and go towards Place des Vosges…almost alone, we take seat and enjoy the views, magnificent architecture …

We continue walking,and DW finds shoes for sale!!!!!!…mandatory stop and some bargains are added to our luggage.We go to the hotel to left the new shoes and start our evening stroll to Laduree(thé a la rose for DN, this girl knows the good things of life!!!!); then we stop at Fauchon in order to buy a “surprise” for DN…a beautiful box of bombons, illustrated with monuments of Paris!!!
We visited Printemps and Gal.Laffayette; buy Laduree macarons as a desert for tonight and have fun seeing the japan tourists enterin Louis Vuitton stand….those persons were really desperate…and they come out with 2 or three bags each!!!!! Out of our reach..jaja

Macarons are really good,may be on the “too sweet” side….but this is what I like; but if I must choose macarons or italian gelato…. Gelattoooooooooooooo

-Day six,Thursday:Its 9 in the morning and we are out,
to start our day at rue Montorgueil.Rue Montorgueil has a good open air market,but my big interest originates in Monet’s “rue Montorgueil”, as I am a fan of both Monet and of this particular paint,a symphony in bleu,blanc and rouge.
We walk through Montorgueil street, beautiful market, then a visit to forum des Halles ,S.Eustache church,and at at 1 pm we take our Seine cruise in the “Vedettes du Pont Neuf”.It is very cold, but we resist in the upper(open) part of the boat.Another perspective of Paris, unforgettable, really not to be missed( buy your tickets on the web, save 5 euros each and skip the lines, as there is a special window for internet tickets).When we return, on the Pont Neuf there is a plaque about Jaques de Molay, last Master of the Templars being burnt here.I found interesting that the name of Jaques de Molay has survived, and nobody cares about the French king that killed him and other Temple Knights in order to take their treasures.
Luch is chicken baguettes and fruits, and we take the Metro to Rodin’s Museum.Beautiful museum, not so big, with all the marvelous works from Rodin and other artists,and you should not miss a visit to the gardens, sublime.
Being near rue Cler we visit just another street market and return to B.S.Michel; a Caffé offers coffe and creppes beurre sucre at 2.50….we took a table and let almost one hour go by ,people watching and enjoying the creppes, they are really good, and we feel at paradise just by doing nothing….

Days seven and eight: Friday, Saturday: Friday,Today we start at the Metro to La Defense,a very special place that we like to visit.The views special, and we like the change of atmosphere, related to the old Paris.
Metro back to Arc de Trimphe, another walk at Champs Elysees and we head toward rue Bonaparte(mmmm window shopping at its best),then a visit to the churches of S.Germain des Pres and S.Sulpice(take a look at the meridien, depicted by D.Brown in his famous novel).(more on meridians in Rome)
We come back to the hotel via S.Michel monument(outdoor table,2 cokes 11.50….).
Saturday: at 9 am, the van is in front of the hotel to take us to the airport for our flight to Napoli, going to Amalfi.

We are leaving Paris thinking that many things change, tourists arrive from all over the world, but the city remains as wonderful and romantic as ever…,and this time was special for us…we walk and walk, enjoy monuments, views and people watching, but we never feel hurried, we decided this must be a trip to enjoy at our pace, without the pressure of “ 2 churches and 3 museums a day”… we walk a lot but we don’t run..at it worked!!!! Also in Italy….but this is too much long and I am boring everydoby….nexy instalment:Amalfi coast…
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Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 09:57 AM
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Amalfi Coast:

--Day One,arrival fromParis via Napoli/Sorrento:
Easy Jet flight from Paris started and ended with a delay of more than one hour. Outside the airport, we take the Currieri bus to Sorrento, for a beautiful trip, and connected with the SITA bus for the Sorrento-Amalfi leg of the trip. Everything went ok, and we arrived to Amalfi at 8 pm (pouring rain!!!!) .We arrived at Sharon House B&B wet but happy, did our check in, went to a supermarket next door to buy prosciutto,bread, juice and fruits and return to dine in our excellent room, take a shower and sleep in the hope that tomorrow we will have a better climate.The transfer via Currieri/ Sita is reliable and cheap, but takes at least 4 hours plus waiting time for the next bus in Napoli and Sorrento.
--Day two:Amalfi
We wake up to a sunny day!!!Breakfast is excellent and we start our day with a visit to the Cathedral then, return to S.H. to change to our shorts and capris and we take a walk to know the city; really small but charming with cobblestone streets, alleys and passages
That take the tourists back to ancient times.No steps or very little,we are happy of our selection of Amalfi as our base for this week.We walk to the near village of Atrani(almost part of Amalfi, going south),with excellent views, we visit the church of S.Magdalena, and seat in a little square in front of the church.There is a old man and we chat some time, and really enjoyed the conversation(my Italian roots are starting to grow inside me).Lunch is at the Grand Caffé, in open air at the lungomare; 1 pizza,1 bruschetta,2 beers,20 euros.
We take a nap, then walk to the port ,buy our multi day passes for the Sita bus( this ended being a real bargain, as we used Sita as hop on hop off for all the A.C.),look at the mountains,the old cemetery,and,as rain is starting again,we go to the hotel,to dress for a (free!!!) piano concert at the old church(really good,plus we also take a look at many ruins they are excavating).
--Day Threeorrento.
Small rain, and we decided to go to Sorrento(start using our passes),a trip of 2 hours after breakfast proved too much for poor DW, she experiments motion sickness, but recovers quickly.We walk in Sorrento, really like the city, did some window shopping as all shops are closed 1pm to 4 pm, and return to Amalfi.
We rest a little and take our routine walk in Amalfi, searching for a restaurant.Selection for dinner is Il Chiostro,we go for the 20 euros fixed menu( bread, marinated anchovies, the best olives in our life; spaghetti ai vongoli for DW and schalatelli marinara for me; grilled fish for DW and scalopes with lemon sauce for me, fruit for DW and sorvette di limoncello for me,a garrafe of white wine,4 euros , for a total of 44 euros.One of the best meals in Amalfi,excellent food and wine,and a cozy place!!!
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 11:16 AM
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--Day four: Positano and Ravello.
Start the day going to Positano.Panoramic views, good driver in the bus and a beautiful place to visit.Expensive also, everything is more expensive than in Amalfi.
We walk the alleys, enjoy the views, visit Sta Maria Assunta, do some window shopping and return(standing) to Amalfi.We had a light lunch and took the red(open top) bus to Ravello(the trip, one way, is free with the 3 day pass for the SITA busses).
The city of Ravello is amazing,and views are unique.We visit Villa Ruffolo, walk a little in the city and decide that “Villa Cimbronne is just another villa” and didn’t go there(more on this later).Villa Ruffolo is charming, for the views and the gardens, and we are sorry we missed the season for the concerts.
We think the visit to Ravello is a must for anyone visiting the A.C.
Returning to Amalfi, we meet our new love Dolceria Savoia…..mmmmmm…..best dolci and gelatti in Amalfi.
We became regulars, and until our last day, we went there to buy some pastries, and after dinner to have our gelatti.Pastries are not expensive, and gelatti are relatively cheap,at 2.50 euro each,two flavors and really big.
Dinner is another hit: restaurant and pizzeria Sant’ Andrea, just by the stairs of the Cathedral.We seated in open air,with views to the square of the city,temperature is good and pizza Margheritta(for DW) is excellent and my Antipasto Assortitto is… mmm …out of this world.Olives are as good as ever(some six are included with the antipasto..je je….wait for more news).
--Day Five: We started in Salerno, arriving early,and we were able to do some shopping for DW and DN.We come back to Amalfi, then go to the Grotta dello Esmeraldo..so so,5 euros each…not to go there twice..
Then,DW suggests..what if we go to Ravello to take a look at Villa Cimbronne?…right on target!!!!!
We go to Ravello, then to Villa Cimbronne and enjoyed the best views of the A.C. even better than the views in Villa Ruffolo…beautiful gardens, Terrazzo dello Infinito, a real hot spot not to be missed, definitely not “another villa”.
--Day Six: Pompeii.
We took the bus for our tour at Piazza Flavio Gioia; and before arriving at the highway, we went south, to pick up other persons.
In less than one our we arrived at Pompeii, buy our tickets and start the visit…very interesting…another place you cannot miss if you are in the A.C.
We have lunch in Pompeii(as did everyone in the tour), lasagna, white wine, ice cream.13 euros each, at the restaurant Tiberius.
We returned to Amalfi,rest a little,walk the city,and have a light dinner and dolci and gelatti at Savoia(you see a pattern here?).
--Day Seven:Capri.
We took the ferry to Capri,via Positano(this is the way to see Positano!!!!).We have been to Capri many years ago,and we enjoyed it as if we have never been there.We wento to Capri,Anacapri,Piazzetta,August’s Gardens…take a look at hotel_Quisisana and the luxury shops in the neighborhood,have some gelato, and rounded a very good day returning to amalfi and having dinner at Ristorante Sant’ Andrea again.This time DW had ravioli panna e prosciutto(yummy, creamy, she even shared one with me!!!!),and I have(once again) antipasto assortito,but I tell the waiter that “here in Amalfi olives are soooo god”, and here comes my antipasto with as many as 12 or 14 olives!!!!!! As usual,no dessert,we pay some 30 euros(beers inclusive) and go to Savoia for gelatti.Passegiatta and return to the hotel to prepare all things for our departure to Napoli(car transfer) and then to Rome(train).

The A.C. has been an unforgettable experience for us, we found people to be extremely nice,very “italian”, welcoming, open, willing to help….and the views and food cannot be missed.
Tomorrow we will go to Rome,a city we visited in 1981….big expectations…as the bar keeps rising after Paris and the Amalfi Coast.
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 11:35 AM
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I am loving your report, brings back many good memories . Looking forward to reading about the rest of your fabulous trip.
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 12:48 PM
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We couldn't believe how winding the road was! Back to Paris, we have not visited La Defense yet. Are there many shops there or more businesses?
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Old Dec 1st, 2009, 03:17 AM
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tdk320n:
Thanks for your comment! Rome to follow this week.

TDudetteid you see the SITa drivers on those winding road? They are able to drive,smoke,talk on the cell phone and have a conversation with a friend in the bus!!!
Related to La Defense: We like the views,La grande Arche and yes,there is a huge shopping mall including everything you need or want;restaurants,boulangeries and patisseries also.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 01:06 PM
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ROME.

--Rome,day one:
Its saturday,and at 8 15 a.m. we left Sharon house to pick up our private transfer Mercedes to Napoli;our driver ,Andrea, is professional, very friendly, and took us though Pogerola and Agerola, some 1000 metres or so high, for really unforgettable views on the A.C.
As you can guess the trip in a Mercedes is really comfortable, and we reach Napoli without any troubles and perfectly on time for our train to Rome.
The trip is uneventful,and lasts only 2 hours.We arrive at Termini,go to the taxi line and wait some 5 minutes in line.Arrived at Hotel Ara Pacis, we found it so so, but location is superb.
We register,go to our room and quickly leave for a little exploration of the zone, and into the Vatican.
Some two or three blocks from the hotel is Piazza Cavour, where we see a bus stop for the Airport bus(a real bargain and very convenient).
We go to Vatican city(not Saint Peter),Castel Sant’Angelo,Via del Corso,Via Condotti,Piazza Spagna, and Piazza del Poppolo, where there is a concert backed by Coca Cola and MTV(lots of young people, good ambiance).Via del corso,Via Condotti and Piazza Spagna are full of both locals and tourists, and everybody seems happy and in good mood.We just walk and people watch, in appreciation of the good location of our hotel and taking mental notes of attractions to visit.
We dine 1 pasta,1 pizza and two beers for 25 euros,and this is all for today.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 01:34 PM
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Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 02:03 PM
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Wonderful, thank you. Your English is perfect!
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