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Curious what backpackers do in Italy? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Day17

    Pompei was interesting, a lot bigger than I had pictured it...7 square miles big.  Because we were on a shore excursion, we were sharing with many thousands of people from more than one ship, plus many more thousands of Italians celebrating their Independence Day and we didn't have a lot of time. There is much to see. Some original plaster decorations remain, as well as some marble flooring, painted walls, etc.

    The theatres were interesting to visit. There are three of them sitting, respectively, 1500, 5000 and 20000 people.

    Due to the short time we had, we weren't able to visit the extra exhibits... Maybe that is why we only saw one of the plaster casts of the former residents overcome by the gas.  They were covered by ash, the ash hardened and the body decayed leaving behind their skeletons in an empty cavity.  Archeologists found the cavities by finding hollow-sounding areas in the ash.  The system devised was to drill a small hole, funnel plaster in and let it harden; then remove the outer layer of hardened ash revealing a cast of the body that once had been there. Most are found laying face down with their hands covering their mouth and nose.
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  • Day17

    Note on tour company
    World tours

    They were where they said they would be outside the port entrance.  While it seemed to take a long time, we were in the bus and on the road at the time they indicated.

    The tour was provided as a gift and the necessary paperwork was given to us ahead of time. However, the "necessary papers" did not include the information that entrance fees were not included. Someone on the tour had the original email and buried in the tour information section it informed the buyer of that information.  We just happened to have enough Euros to cover but others did not have the needed cash.. Close to 50 euros per couple. The tour company should correct that and make sure it's in the voucher.  Many months can pass between the booking and the actual trip, we should have been reminded. The best way to do that is to have it on the reservation voucher.

    Our guide was Irena. She was happy and friendly, with nothing to dislike.  The archeological guide in Pompei (Susy) was good as well - she knew her information.  A little more dialogue from Irena while driving would have been appreciated - information about the neighborhoods, day to day life in the city, for example. When asked questions, Irena answered happily enough with one or two word answers, not what you are looking for from a tour guide.  For example, we asked what sort of people lived in a certain neighbourhood, to get an idea of the economic demographic.  She replied, "Italians" and left it at that.  At the end of the day she was quite talkative when asking us to give her and her driver a good Tripadvisor review. As for the driver, he was decent enough and we felt safe, but he drove the tour van as if he was driving a car.....A little tough for someone who tends to get motion sickness. Maybe that's the way to drive in Italy, but it wouldn't take much to turn it down just a little for the comfort of the clients.
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  • Day7

    Florence stretches from renaissance living to real(ish) leather goods, and all points in between. It's been home to Michaelangelo, Leonardo da vinca, Dante, and us (well for coffee in the piazza and for a dinner in the street). Moving on again tomorrow, to...

  • Day17

    Want a hike?

    There are some beautiful views from the mountain, but not an easy climb when wearing open sandals. We knew we were going, but completely missed that it was a fairly major climb on a gravel, sandy track. Troi and I probably made it a third (half?) the way up. Happy there were two others who were prepared and will share their photos.

    It was a perfect day. Maybe 20°, sunny and a cool breeze blowing.

    We got stopped in traffic as we approached the entrance. Due to it being a national holiday there was a wait that probably added close to an extra 1.5 hours or more to the day.
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  • Day286

    Since it rained ALL day, we went climbing indoors. We've been to a few boulder places​ in the last 2 weeks and this one kind of disappointed us. But it has tons of climbing also which meant that we got to try some higher climbs and it turned out pretty fun.

    After 2 weeks of hitting my shins and knees against rocks and walls, I officially have "Boulder-Beine" (boulder legs) & "Kletter-Knie" (climbing knees) now! :)

    Time for a lazy rest day tomorrow...
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  • Day285

    Today started with heavy rain and no chance of climbing on wet, slippery rock walls :(
    So the day started slowly with work and some ping pong. By midday the rain finally stopped and we got to hike up to a castle through a small trail along olive orchards.

    The weather got even better and so we jumped in the car and drove to Mori, which has a fantastic climb up a steep wall outside of town. We had the best time, I was on a high from climbing and really enjoyed the scenery.

    The third part of the day turned into a small barbeque party with other climbers and base jumpers we met on the trail and in our campsite. I had a great time prepping food for everyone and realized how much I miss cooking. Good timing since soon I'll have my own kitchen again :)
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  • Day9

    A delightful surprise and a inspirational time for Helen. This is where the Reggio movement began in early childhood ed. The international centre is here and we both enjoyed exploring. The centre of town is wide, green and welcoming. Very glad we stayed.

  • Day19

    Today we were in Port for 12 hours. Troi and I went off ship from about 9 until 2.

    NCL had a 5 euro shuttle bus to get us of the pier to the Terminal. Then we took a 15 Euro bus trip to Pisa, about 45 minutes from Livorno. Then we were given close to two hours at the Tower.

    Adequate signs (we found our way to the tower) directed us the 15 minute easy walk to the entrance.

    We tried that morning to book tickets online but it wasn't possible. So we went directly to the ticket office. We could get Tix to walk up the tower at 11:30, about 45 minutes after our arrival. Ticket included entrance to the Cathedral as well.

    Girl at the desk told us to leave our bags behind the tower.  I took a little walk around the back side of the tower but couldn't see what she was talking about so asked. The cloakroom was actually a good 200m away. We had to have our bags dropped off and be in the line 10 minutes before out time. Many missed the bag information. If you are not there at the designated time you lose your spot and your entrance fee.

    There are something like 284 steps. Open to the public are 257 in two different sections. The last couple of floors is up to where the bells are.  We just happened to be there at noon, when the bells were rung. Quite loud, but it made our trip upstairs a little interesting.

    The climb up was weird, you have no real concept of where you are - on the up or down side of the 'lean' - but you find that the climb is easier or harder. Sometimes you sort of fall into the outside wall than somewhere else you fall onto the inside wall.  
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  • Day10

    Italians love their front doors. They are often a main feature, though we often overlook them on the way beyond. Levanto will not be overlooked. It is cosy and colourful, with an Apollo Bay holiday vibe (if AB was 1000 years old and made of pizza and chianti). We've spent half our time here. Glad for the rest.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Repubblica Italiana, Italien, Italy, Italië, Itali, ጣልያን, Italia, إيطاليا, ܐܝܛܠܝܐ, ইটালি, İtaliya, Італія, Италия, ইতালী, ཨི་ཀྲར་ལི་, Italija, Itàlia, Itálie, Италї, Итали, Yr Eidal, ཨྀཊ་ལི, Italia nutome, Ιταλία, Italujo, Itaalia, ایتالیا, Italie, Étalie, Itaalje, An Iodáil, An Eadailt, ઇટાલી, Italiya, איטליה, इटली, Italska, Olaszország, Իտալիա, ꑴꄊꆺ, Ítalía, イタリア共和国, gugdrxitali, იტალია, អ៊ីតាលី, ಇಟಲಿ, 이탈리아, ئیتاڵی, Yitale, ອິຕາລີ, Itālija, Италија, ഇറ്റലി, Italja, အီတလီ, इटाली, Itualii, ଇଟାଲୀ, Włochy, ایټالیه, Itália, Italya, Itâglia, Ubutaliyani, Italùii, ඉතාලිය, Taliansko, Talyaaniga, Uitaliani, இத்தாலி, ఇటలి, Итолиё, ประเทศอิตาลี, ጣሊያን, ʻĪtali, İtalya, ’Itāria, اٹلی, Itałia, Italia (Ý), Litaliyän, איטאליע, Orílẹ́ède Italiyi, 意大利, i-Italy