Category Archives: Mediterranean Countries

Travels in Italy and Greece

Athens on Two Feet

Normally, I try to add some thoughts in with the photos to give you a little context on the places we visit.  Oh well, this time it’s just photos.  We only spent two days in Athens and the vast majority of that time was devoted to seeing antiquities.  So, without further adieu, here are some pictures of antiquities.  Continue reading


Naxos on Four Wheels

IMG_4340Naxos Island, the largest of the Cyclades islands, was the site of the island part of our Greece adventures.  Greece has an abundance of wonderful islands, which can make choosing a destination difficult.  We contemplated trying to visit a couple of different islands, but logistical difficulties – coupled with the fact that our week in Greece was bookended by big travel events – made us decide to focus our attention on one island.  Based on enthusiastic recommendations from friends, Naxos won out. Continue reading

A Week or So in Rome…

IMG_4566 I suppose it’s fair to say that I have an irrational love for gelato.  I don’t think I eat any more or less ice cream than the typical person.  In Rome, however, I’ve had a nearly daily appointment with gelato.  Sure, there was the night when my father-in-law took us out to dinner and we gorged ourselves on a three-course meal with two bottles of wine, and there was once when I actually ordered a sub-par dessert at a restaurant, but just about every other night, there is a cone of cold, sweet goodness waiting on the walk back to the hotel. Continue reading


IMG_4302 After a few days in inland Italy, we headed to the opposite coast to see Venice.  Whatever you’ve heard about Venice, the city stops you in your tracks when you first see it.  Arriving by train — as we did — we walked out of the front doors of the train station on to the banks of the Grand Canal.  Within a few minutes, we were taking the Vaporetto boat (at 6.50€ for a one-way passage, it’s Venice’s cheapest public transit) down the Grand Canal past Venice’s most famous sites on the way to our B&B. Continue reading


IMG_4371 Our challenge for Italy was to “observe a gladiator doing something historically inappropriate (e.g., talking on a cell phone).”  To be honest, we had not even started thinking about this challenge yet.  After all, there are not a lot of Italian men walking around in gladiatorial costumes.

Then we got to Rome.

The area around the Colosseum and the entrance to the Forum is a bit like Hollywood Boulevard.  There were at least a dozen guys milling about dressed like Roman soldiers and gladiators posing for pictures with tourists for money. On seeing this, Kara reminded me of the challenge, and I figured that, given some time, we’d spot a gladiator doing something historically inappropriate.

It took actually took less than a minute.  Kara’s dad Mike, who has been touring Rome with us, said “Hey, look,” and pointed out a middle-aged man dressed like a gladiator, animatedly talking into his cell phone while gesturing with the plastic sword in his other hand.

Challenge complete.

Down On The Farm

IMG_3502After our adventures in Cinque Terre, Damien and I spent a few wonderful days on a small farm near the village of Dozza.  One of the wonderful things about Italy is that it is very easy to move about the country by train – even from small town to small town. A few hours, and two transfers, quickly transported us from the rocky shores of the Mediterranean to the rich farmlands south of Bologna. Continue reading

Navigating Venice