Between Heaven and Earth (Summer Sailing 2018)

Today, we were headed out of the city on a special tour to Italy’s very tucked away places. We had booked the tour with a group online, and we were set to meet this morning at the train station in Rome, which was very close to our hotel.             After getting acquainted with our tour guide and our other tour mates, we piled into the car and got ready for the hour and a half drive to the special destination of the day: Civita di Bagnoregio. It’s about 120 kilometres north of Rome. Civita di Bagnoregio was founded more than 2,500 years ago and was the birthplace of Saint Bonaventure, who died in 1274.             Never heard of it before? That was me when it was first brought up while we were planning our itinerary. But then I googled it, and my first thought? We’re booking that tour. It looked…

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The Eternal City Day 1 (Summer Sailing 2018)

Although we were upset about the adventure on the Oosterdam coming to an end, our 4-day adventure in Rome was just getting started, and this was one that I’ve been looking forward to all voyage. Last time we had come to Rome, it was 2014, and it was one of the ports of call on another Princess Cruises Mediterranean line we did. Since it wasn’t the beginning or ending port, we only had a day’s time in the city, which is not nearly enough to explore the entirety of the open-air museum that is Rome. On our last visit, we had only visited the Colosseum and took a trip to the Vatican – we had skipped everything in between. That is the very reason we had left Rome thinking that it was overrated; we hadn’t actually seen the gems of Rome in the first place.             We arrived in port…

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The Beauty of Amalfi (Summer Sailing 2018)

While we were still planning the trip, Naples was the port of call that I was looking forward to the most. As I was browsing through the excursions that the Oosterdam offered, the cruise along the Amalfi coast and the walk around the Town of Amalfi caught my eye. The Amalfi Coast, I’m sure, is on the travel bucket list for so many people, and it was certainly on mine. Whether it’s just on Google or in movies, every shot of it is beautiful and it’s almost like a silent beckoning to go visit.             So here we were, ready to say hello.             Right off the bat, as we were disembarking the ship, it was raining. While it was a let-down, we had to be grateful for the fact that it was the first day of bad weather this entire trip. Typically, in the summer in the Mediterranean, every…

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The Other Tip of Sicily (Summer Sailing 2018)

Another sunny, scorching day in Sicily! This time, we were docked on the other tip of the Sicilian triangle. After Messina, I had a really great impression of Sicily in general, and I was looking forward to what we would get to see. One of the main things I’ve noticed? The climate is insanely humid and dry. After just half an hour or so of walking and standing underneath the beating sun, I can feel the sweat start to form. That’s when I really wonder to myself how people manage to live and thrive in this climate year-round. For today’s port, we were booked on a tour that would take us around Palermo AND Monreale, which was another historic hill-town in the Metropolitan City of Palermo. It overlooks a very fertile valley, and was most known for its stunning cathedral which we were going to be paying a visit to.…

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Malta’s Capitals Old and New (Summer Sailing 2018)

I was excited to be in Malta! I had previously heard so many people express how beautiful the country was, and especially how stunning Valletta was. This was also a completely new destination for us – a new pin on the world map when we would get home. We knew that there was a lot of ground to cover in Valletta, so we chose to book a tour with the ship. Sometimes, in a foreign city that has as many sights to see as this one, it can be easier to be ‘on a leash’, getting dragged to the good places by the expert locals. So we picked the tour, Malta’s Capitals Old and New. Once again, we were going to be whooshed back in time, and then shot forward to the present. We started the morning off by driving to Mdina, which had an extensive history dating back to…

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