Monday, December 20, 2010

Italy Part I

Day 1: Rome
(SG to KL)
Flight: Malaysia Airlines MH610 Aircraft: Boeing 737-400
Depart: Sat, 25 Sep, 21:15
Arrive: Sat, 25 Sep, 22:15
(KL to Rome)
Flight: Malaysia Airlines MH14 Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Depart: Sat, 25 Sep, 23:45
Arrive: Sun, 26 Sep, 06:05
06:05 Arrive Airport
06:35 or 07:03 Airport to Rome via Metro Fr1 at Eur 8
- Available at the counter as well as the Termini news stand. (Tickets sold at the departure platform are more expensive.)
- Get your ticket stamped in a yellow validation machine just before using it. Ticket expires 90 minutes after validation.
Stop at Tiburtina and change to Metro B towards Laurentina, Alight at Termini Stazione

07:40 Leave Bag at Termini Locker,
***Buy Rome Pass at information counter at Termini stazione for last 2 days in Rome

08:30 Reach Vatican Museum to Queue
Vatican museum - free on Last Sunday of the Month!
Vatican Museums - Tel. 69.883.333

Other places of interest:
- Piazza San Pietro
- Basilica di San Pietro (St. Peter's Basilica)
- Castel Sant'Angelo

Dinner at Il Boom
Via dei Fienaroli 30A, Rome, Italy
+39 06 5897196
(no 1 of 1,961 in Tripadvisor)

Overnight at Dem Guesthouse

We queued 3 hours before we got into Vatican Museum

Basilica di San Pietro (St. Peter's Basilica)

Trastevere for Dinner!
Day 2 - Naples-Pompeii-Sorrento
Wake up at 530am
Check-out by 630am
About 10 mins walk to Tour Office Meeting point.

Mini South Italy Tours - 3 days/2 nights
Date: September 27-29, 2010
Tour departure: Piazza Esquilino 6 at 7.00 am
Departure from Apian line office, Piazza Esquilino 6 at 7.00 am
Please be there 15 minutes earlier.
Italy / Phone: 081-878-2645

Naples coastal tour

Pompeii -
The thriving resort town for wealthy Romans buried under ash and mud during the devastating eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD.
The ruins provide a fascinating insight into how the ancient Romans lived and include impressive temples, a forum, one of the largest known Roman amphitheatres and luxurious houses with frescoes. Pompeii was discovered in 1748 and excavations continue to this day.

Coastal view on our way to Sorrento

Sorrento City at Night

Day 3: Amalfi

Buffet breakfast.
Amalfi Day tour with our personal driver (arranged at the hotel reception)
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

View from our Hotel at Sorrento

View of Mt Vesuvio

Gorgeous Coastal view of Amalfi Coast

The Girls and our Cute Driver..

Day 4: Capri Island Tour

Buffet breakfast.
Departure to Capri by steamer. Weather conditions permitting, visit the Blue Grotto.

The enchanting island of Capri has been long been considered southern Italy's finest jewel where the extraordinary beauty of the land and sea and the frequent presence of prestigious visitors imbue it with a magical atmosphere. Overlooking the stunning Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius, it has always been one of the favorite resting places for the privileged. Once home to the Roman Emperor Tiberius, today Capri offers a perfect get-away-from-it-all holiday destination.
- Check out the island’s magical Blue Grotto. The strange and unique refraction of light causes the water in the grotto to glow an ethereal blue. While away some hours in the charming towns of Capri and Anacapri.
- Check out the ruins of Emperor Tiberius’s villa east of Capri town.
- Return to Marina Grande and then transfer to Anacapri.
- Lunch in a typical restaurant followed by a visit of Augustus Gardens, with a view of the Faraglioni.

Return to Rome at aprox. 9:30pm

Accomodation:Yes Hotel (abt 15 mins away from Appian Way)
via Magenta, 15, Rome, 00185 Italy 800 1205131

At the Jetty

Capri Island

We were transfered to the little boat just so that we can get into the Cave to witness the legendary Blue Grotto!

Coastal view of Capri Island

The view from the ropeway

Well-paved slopes leading to the sparkling blue sea...

Day 5: Rome-Venice

Wake up at abt 5am
Departure: Roma Termini (Ore: 06.45)
Arrival: Venezia S. Lucia (Ore: 10.33)

Check-in Plaza Hotel at Viale Stazione 36, Mestre,Italy

Take train to Venice (Abt 10mins away)

Venice : 1/2 day
- Bascilica di San Marco
- Grand Canal (Rialto - Ponte di Rialto) and Accademia Bridges for photos of canal view)
- Gallerie dell' Accademia (Eur 6.50; 815am - 715pm)
- Palazzo Ducale (pretty oink gothic powerhouse behind the Venetian Republic
- I Frari (Stern Gothic Catherdral lit up by Titan's Assunta) Eur 3; 9am-6pm
- Scuola Grande diSan Rocco (wall-to-wall Tintorettos) Eur 7; 9am-530pm
- Palazzo Grassi (contemp art meets baroque grandeur)

*Hop onto Line 1 of Vaporetto down Grand Canal in the afternoon, as the Istrian stone bridgebeins to blush with sunset

At Roma Termini Stazione at 6am in the morning!

Briefing Fang on the itinerary for Venice...

Beautiful street in the evening
After a heavy meal, we decided to walk back to Venice train stazione
Venice at Night...

After walking for 30 mins along the back alley, we realised we were lost!
...And Venice is actually quite big.
After much effort, directions given by kind-hearted souls and 3 pairs of tired feet,
we finally found our way to the vapourette stazione located at the western end of Venice.

Day 6: Murano-Burano-Torcello

Continental buffet breakfast at Plaza Hotel
Venice island hopping: Murano - Burano - Torcello

Major attractions:
- Museo del Vetro (Museum of glass,10am to 6pm Thu to Tue; Eur 5.50),
- Murano Collezioni (10am to 5pm - brick warehouse showroom by famed galss designers); and
- Chiesa dei SS Marie e Donato (9am-noon; 3.30-7pm,Mon - Sat,Campo San Donato)
best known for 12th century Virgin Mary Apse mosaic

Burano*** (Must-Go!)
- Great photo galore opp amidst artists' platte of brightly-coloured houses
- Enjoy leisurely lunch at Trattoria al Gatto Nero (No. 1 restaurant in trip advisor)
Fondamenta della Giudecca 88, 30142 Burano, Italy
- Burano is also famous for the vaguely lemony, vanilla crumbling biscuits in ring or S shape, which are ideal for dunking in desert wines
- might want to visit Chiesa Di San Martino (Piazza Galuppi; admission free; 8am-noon, 3-7pm Mon-Sat) : 16t Century church for Crocifissione by Giambattista Tiepolo.

(a 3min T-line ferry hop frm Burano)
-Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta
- Museo di Torcello
- Hemmingway's room at Locanda Cipriani
wet & gloomy day...
Luckily we got our Umbrellas!

Ferry ride to Burano!
Check out our matching t-shirts!

Check out the heap of Shells at the bay
Burano is known for their hand-made lace

The colourful and brightly painted houses in Burano lit up the gloomy skies...

Leaning tower of Burano

Torcello - the smallest island of the 3

Dinner at Bepi Restaurant (located at Mestre)!

Our t-shirts raised a few eyebrows and
provide some fun and laughter to our new found friends at the restaurant...

It was quite funny to see the restaurant patrons' surprised look when I took off my trench coat and scarf to reveal the bright blue t-shirt, white berms and slippers!
I was being teased for being so inappropriately dressed.
Haha... Check-out my slippers and berms!

Day 7: Venice - Stresa
Venice: 1/2 day to explore and lunch
0700 Wake up and breakfast
0830 Leave Mestre for Venice
0900 Venice walking tour

By 1230 Lunch and head back to Hotel by 14:00 (2pm).
To leave Plaza Hotel and head to Venice for train by 14:30 (230pm)

(Might need to print out tckets at self-service station)
Train Departure: Venezia S. Lucia (Ore: 15.20);
Arrival: Milano Centrale (Ore: 17.55)

Departure: Milano Centrale (Ore: 18.25);
Arrival: Stresa (Ore: 19.20)

Check-in at Hotel Moderno
Exploring Venice by foot

The Most Expensive toilet!!

Lunch at Bepi Restaurant again as the food were the Best we had so far... And Best of all, it is very reasonably priced!
The hospitality we received made us feel so much at home!

Stresa at night

Dessert and Coffee at Stresa town

Day 8: Lake Maggiore Island-hopping

Cold and gloomy weather....

We missed the F1 Grand Prix in Singapore,
But we were lucky to witness the Italian Grand Prix!
Check out the motorist cool outfit!
No wonder they say Italian are always well-dressed!Beautiful garden at Isola Bella

Day 9: Lake Maggiore - Milan - Florence

Train Departure: Stresa (Ore: 08.39);
Arrival: Milano Centrale (Ore: 09.35)

Departure: Milano Centrale (Ore: 17.15);
Arrival: Firenze S. M. Novella (Ore: 19.00)

Tourist House Vittorio Ricci
Via De' Martelli 7
Firenze Italia
Tel: +39-055-2657600

Waiting for our train at Stresa Stazione in the morning!

In Milan...

Day 10: Florence - Outlet shopping
The Mall outlet
We were too busy shopping to take pictures.

Our dinner:
Smoked Salmon Salad
Ham & cheese Sandwiches
(To be continued.)

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