We very nearly missed our flight to Rome altogether. (But, I'm sure you'll be fine!)
1.) Our original flight from Santorini was cancelled- the airline just decided not to fly that day.
2.) Our second option with Air Italy did not bode much better. Hanging out in the chaos of Thira Airport waiting for our boarding call, Dan's curiosity finally got the better of him. Roma? When will the flight to Roma be boarding? The staff were very insistent that everyone had in fact already boarded and that the flight to Rome was about to take off. Surely we should have realised that the sign at the Gate could only display one destination and that it was stuck on Verona. Verona/Roma/Verona/Roma. These words blend into one and the same when mumbled into a broken loud speaker in an Italian accent. Queue a private bus transfer down the runway, some abuse and arm waving from the airport staff and we managed to make it on the only flight of the day.
Go out and explore at night.
Arriving into the great ancient city, we walked around in awe taking in the sheer size of everything. There is quite literally ancient history everywhere you look. Everywhere. Rome is at its best in the evening. Live music and laughter pour out of the restaurants and bars that line the pavements. Street light bounces romantically off the marble columns. The Pantheon is simply spectacular in the evening as will be the Trevi Fountain once it has been restored. Magical Italia!
Tick off those bucket lists.
The Colosseum was visited during the opening hours to avoid the mass gathering of tour groups. The Vatican City was explored. I admire the hawkers who seem to know the weather patterns to a synch and swapped out sales of sunhats with umbrellas just in time for the heavy downpour. Trastevere was a leisurely stroll down by the river- where we could play foosball and listen to live music on the bridge.
Venture north and along the coast.
A short train ride took us to Florence- home in my opinion to the best leather markets. We did the expected bout of haggling and then carried beers and pizza up the hill to watch the sunset views over the town.
All roads lead through Pisa- and that is how we made our way along the coast towards Riomaggiore. The obligatory leaning tower photo was taken before training to the Unesco World Heritage Coastline.
Home to five beautiful towns built into the cliffs along the french coast. Made more beautiful by their array of rainbow pastel colours.
Don't forget to...
- Take the walk from Vernazza to Monterosso. Heading in this direction means you get right of way against the crowds and can finish your hike off with a swim in the safer bays of Monterosso.
- Enjoy the best mandarin and basil gelato at Alberto Gelateria in Corniglia.
- Head to Vertical Bar Riomaggiore for the best cocktails on the Italian Riviera. Utter perfection.
- Don't leave until you have ordered as much pesto pasta as your stomach and wallet can afford.
- Words by Kelly. Pictures by Daniel.