ITA-68 A backpackers’ trip to Italy, San Marino, Vatican and Switzerland
Date of travel: July 25 – Aug 21, 1968
This trip was done by trains and started in Prague (Czechoslovakia). It continued across Austria and reached ITALY in the afternoon on July 26. We visited: Venice, Verona, Lago di Garda and Rimini. From Rimini by bus for a day (on July 31) to SAN MARINO. After that a train to Rome and VATICAN (on Aug 2). Next came Napoli (with Pompey, Herculaneum and Mt. Vesuvius) and the island of Sicily (with Palermo, Agrigento, Syracuse, Catania, Mt. Etna and Taormina all these between Aug 6 and 13). Back by train to the mainland and Sorento with a boat trip to the island of Capri (Aug 14), then to Florence and Pisa followed by Genoa and Milan (from here an overnight train to Venice and then back to Milan still on Aug 18). Early on Aug 19 the train crossed the border to SWITZERLAND (visiting Geneva and Bern). In the morning on Aug 21, when changing trains in Lucerne, we learned that the Warsaw Pact led by the Soviet Union military occupied Czechoslovakia and the Czechoslovakian borders were closed. That stopped our further travel for a while.
Travel office: No travel office used, but a government permission for travel to Western countries had to be obtained, however this year no invitation letter was needed. We traveled by train and slept in a tent.
Who took part: I traveled with my childhood friend Frank Z. (Aramis).
ITA-18 ITALY, VATICAN
Date of travel: Apr 18 – Apr 28, 2018
In the morning on April 18, 2018 I take a CSA plane from Prague, Czech Republic to Rome ITALY. A travel company bus takes me and few others to our hotel in the city. There is a session with our tour director followed by a dinner for the whole group. Next day there is a visit to VATICAN which includes the famous museum and the St. Peter’s Basilica. In the afternoon we are taken to the Constantine Arch and the Colosseum. Later we visit the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and other places.
On April 20, we leave Rome on a bus for Tuscany. Along the way we visit Orvieto perched high atop a volcanic rock. A cable car takes us there. By late afternoon we reach our hotel in Montecatini in Tuscany. At dinner we taste local wines. The following day is dedicated to nearby Florence. We see Michelangelo’s David in Academy of Fine Arts, the magnificent cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry and Signoria-Square. After lunch a visit to Uffizi Gallery.
On April 22 early morning we admire the Leaning Tower in Pisa. By midafternoon we are in Venice. A half an hour boat ride gets us to our hotel on the Lido Island. After settling down we take a boat to Venice itself, have a gondola ride and a dinner.
The following morning a few minutes on a boat to St. Mark’s Square. First, we see a glassblower place then the St. Mark’s Basilica, Doges’ Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. An hour ride on a boat takes us to Burano Island. We have lunch in its pictures’ village.
On April 24 we say Good Bye to Venice and travel south past the small but independent country of San Marino through the Apennine Mountains to Assisi famous for its St. Clare’s Church and St. Francis’ Basilica built above each other. After a night here our bus continues south to Naples and the nearby Pompei, where we have a tour with Mt. Vesuvius as a backdrop. Then a jetfoil brings us to the Island of Capri for two nights stay. A cable car takes us to Capri Village and our hotel.
On Apr 26 using open-air-taxi we drive to Anacapri and visit the famous Villa San Michele where Axel Munthe lived. That is followed by a circumnavigation of Capri on a smaller boat. Evening is spent in a beautiful restaurant above the Mediterranean Sea. In the morning we leave Capri by a ship to get to our bus. It drives us to Sorrento for an individual sightseeing and later to our hotel in Rome. There is a farewell dinner in a nice restaurant. On April 28 I take a CSA plane from Rome to Prague.
Travel office: Globus Tours
Who took part: There was 41 North Americans in the group, an Italian tour director and a driver. We had also local guides in the individual places.