Italy-Planes, Trains, Automobiles and More
Cathy and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with an excursion throughout Italy. It was our first time to this storybook country and it proved to be everything and more than we ever could have imagined. One of the memorable aspects of the trip was how we navigated to the various locations. There is a Thanksgiving classic movie with John Candy and Steve Martin on how circumstance brings them together as they both try to get home for Thanksgiving. The series of events and the modes of transportation they endure is what made the title of the movie, Planes Trains and Automobiles. Of course a plane ride is part of any journey to Italy from the USA and that prompted this writing and my title. The rest is about the journey we experienced.
Our trip started in Venice where we took a small private boat that reminded me of the polished wooden boat from the movie, On Golden Pond. For three days in Venice we did not see any type of vehicle other than boats. It is the first time in my life I had not seen a motor vehicle, of any type, for that long. We took numerous water shuttles and water taxis to get to various locations and to the island of Burano which was beautiful.
The next part of our journey took us by train to Florence for 7 nights that we used as a hub. We took a charter bus to Sienna for a day trip. Another day we took a private car to a winery in Chianti. I don't know what was better, the scenery throughout Tuscany, the food or the wine. Of course there were numerous taxi rides when in Florence but now we have planes, trains, automobiles, boats, taxis and cars under our belt. We left Florence with a heavy heart but excited to see our next destination....the Amalfi coast.
Back on the train in Florence for a 3 1/2 hour ride to Salerno where we had a private driver for the 90-minute ride around the Amalfi coast to Positano where we spent 3 nights. The ride along the coast was incredible and the views from the winding, narrow cliff side roads can be the setting for any love story or the inspiration for an artist. Of course boats and water shuttles were the way to navigate the area. After three nights in Positano, we took a ferry to Capri where we added some more forms of transportation. We took a town bus up the winding roads of Capri to Ana Capri. Anyone who has done that trip has experienced Mama Mia bridge. This bridge is so appropriately named because that is what everyone on the bus says as you go over because of its extreme elevation. In Ana Capri, we got on a single person chairlift that went up about 600 meters to the top of Monte Solaro where we saw panoramic views of the entire island and the Fraglioni. Also in Capri we took a cable car from the Marina Grande to the Capri Centre. We then took another ferry ride to Naples to catch a train to Rome.
In Rome we added the metro system to our modes of transportation. By now we have used planes, trains, autos, cable cars, chair lifts, buses, boats, taxis, ferries and the metro. I forgot to mention the most important way we saw Italy. We walked and walked and walked some more. We walked across bridges, through piazzas, down alley ways, up and down stairs, through parks, along cliffs, in and out of countless shops, through churches (lots of churches), through wineries.... and then we walked some more. My feet still hurt but every step was wonderful. Watch for future issues of Tom's Take as I share more about our Italian excursion.
Until the next Tom's Take...