First, thanks to everyone who responded to my questions I had while planning. This report isn't very detailed, but just wanted to share a little bit about our trip.
We left Orlando August 27. We were originally going to fly Norwegian Air to Rome, but the layover in Copenhagen was 7-8 hours and we would have arrived in Rome around midnight. Seemed like a good idea at the time of booking. We were meeting a friend and brother and sister-in-law for this part of the trip and decided it would take us more than a day to recover from that flight. So, we added a week on the front end of our trip and for a small increase in price, flew nonstop in to London.
Spent 3 nights in London. Since we had a 6:30 am flight to Rome, decided to spend the 3rd night at the Sofitel at Gatwick. Checked in late morning. They held our bags and we took the train from Gatwick to Brighton. Spent the better part of the day there. Started with coffee and a treat from The Flour Pot coffee shop. Really yummy. Walked through the town and down to the beach. Lots of nice shops. Quite crowded. Stopped for glass of wine and a sandwich before heading back to hotel. We were flying EasyJet to Rome and we were able to check our bags in the night before. Very handy. Next morning we went right to security. (Yes, we check bags).
Next stop, Montepulciano. Since we still had a few days before we met friends and family in Rome, that's where we decided to go. Flew to Rome, train to Chiusi and were picked up by a taxi prearranged by hotel in Montepulciano. Decided we didn't want to went a car. Loved Montepulciano. Took a HOHO bus that did different tours, depending on the day. It was good, but decided we could have done the same thing and much cheaper by just taking the bus. Stayed at a great B&B with wonderful views. Lots of uphill walking!!
Next stop - Rome. Took bus to Chiusi, then train to Rome. First time in Rome. We took prebooked, guided tours of Vatican, Colosseum, etc. Tours were great, but weather was hot and most places were very, very crowded. We were told by several people that this wasn't even the busiest time. Can't imagine being there with even more people! I know many people are in love with Rome, but we all left feeling that we were glad we went, but it's not a place we would go back to. Too hot, too crowded, too much traffic.
Next stop - Majorca, Spain. Our dear friend treated us to this part of the trip. Spent 3 nights being pampered at a wonderful resort. Only downside - she had bronchitis and "shared" it with me. Had to see a doctor for treatment. Ended up too sick to fly, so spent one day in bed. Bright side - what a great place to spend an extra day.
Then on to Monterosso. Flew to Milan, then train. Was't sure what to expect because we kept reading about how crowded it would be. It wasn't. Sure, the trains were crowded, but no big mobs of tourists I was expecting. We both thought the Cinque Terre was beautiful. Only able to visit two other towns because of this part of the trip being cut short by a day due to illness. Weather was very hot. We stayed in a wonderful B&B with a beautiful garden that we were happy to return to at the end of the day.
Next stop - Varenna on Lake Como. We were here 4 nights. What a beautiful area. Did lots of walking. Took ferry to nearby towns. Ate some really good food and lots of gelato. Weather still hot. Thought it would be cooler by now. Everyone kept telling us how unusual the hot weather was for this time if year. Ugh! No a/c in hotel. Balcony faced the lake (west), so couldn't enjoy it until well after sunset. For other reasons, we weren't really happy with the room we had in this highly rated hotel. But, didn't let it spoil our trip.
To be continued.
Edit | Delete