This post is being published 6 months after the past one, work pressure and travel has got in the way, but better late than never as they say. From Lulea Sweden to Venice requires 2 flights, with a stopover in Stockholm and then a direct flight to Venice. We flew on Norwegian Air, I can highly recommend it, new planes, great staff and Scandinavian efficiency.
Venice is awesome, no doubt about it, one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, the integration of daily life with the waterways is incredible. We stayed at the Hotel Principe and while the hotel itself was very grand, comfortable and perfectly located alongside the Grand Canal, the staff are the rudest, most obnoxious and arrogant people that you could ever have the misfortune of meeting. I would never stay there again and don’t recommend it to anybody, even my worst enemy. They completely cancel out any of the good features of the hotel.
Sadly that sort of attitude seems to be the norm in Venice, restaurant owners stand outside their establishments trying to entice customers in, but when you do enter and sit down they proceed to ignore you and are quite annoyed at having to actually bring menu, food or drinks. Very strange!
But for all that, there is so much to see and it’s such an awesome city I would go back despite the rude inhabitants.
Rome is so different to Venice, quite apart from the obvious ways. The people are more friendly and open, the city welcomes tourists and it’s just such an awesome place. The history that is around every corner just saturates the senses. It was incredibly hot when we visited but we walked the city flat, taking in the Colosseum (being renovated with scaffolding covering much of it), the Spanish Steps and the Fountains of Trevi (which were also undergoing renovation and obscured by scaffolding). That was a pity, but it has to be done, our timing was just off. We stayed at the Hotel Forum, which is located metres away from the Forum of Augustus in the heart of the historic forum are and easy walking from pavement cafes and all the sights of this wonderful city. The roof terrace of the hotel is an absolute must, watching the sun set over the city while enjoying a good Scotch is a treat, I love it, will be back soon I promise.
Amalfi is about as different as you can get to any town that you’ve ever seen. The roads leading up to it hug the mountainside and there are houses and buildings perched where a structure has no business being. It’s also incredibly beautiful, it was very hot when we visited and the beaches were crowded like I’ve never seen, to me that would be hell but then each to their own I suppose. The town is so scenic, for a photographer there is a photo opportunity around every corner. We stayed at the Hotel Aurora, which was very homely and quite retro, but with an awesome view over the harbour and really friendly staff.
Visiting Pompeii is a humbling and incredibly wonderful experience. Walking the streets of the city that was wiped out when Vesuvius erupted in 79AD, leaving the city streets as they were on that fateful day is simply incredible. The cobble streets still have the ruts where chariots would have run, the brothel has murals on the walls showing what the speciality of that particular lady would have been (and quite raunchy these ancient Romans seem to have been). All the while the volcano that did the damage is almost always visible, towering over the city. For me the most sombre part of the visit was seeing the glass cases with the plaster moulds of people writhing in their death throws. When taking the time to think that these were living people with families, careers, children and lovers, it’s so sad and so incredible at the same time.