The start of my journey in Italy

Trip Start Jan 01, 2014
Trip End Dec 31, 2014

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Where I stayed
Castagni d'Oro B&B Bagni Di Lucca
Read my review - 3/5 stars
What I did
We spent the first night in Ostia

Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Saturday, September 1, 2012

ITALY 2012

Some observations on this journey to Italy:

Most of us already knew that Italy is famous for their dominance in the production of the best virgin olive oil in the world, but to see all the olive trees throughout the country during our trip from Tuscany down to the Amalfi Coast was an ever-present reminder. Their greenish-silver leaves added to the beauty of their country, and what a beautiful country!

What became more evident as we traveled the country was the friendliness of the people, their
architecture, art, and cleanliness - and their history. It was a pleasure to travel throughout the north and south not only because of the reasons I've mentioned above, but our group of 35 were great travel companions, and they were almost always punctual.

Our group was quite diverse; we had a doctor, an attorney, a CPA, a judge, an engineer, many educators, and many retired like me. We were 'covered' if anybody got sick, needed an attorney, or needed information.

What I did not see in all the places we visited on this tour was bocce ball. We see more bocce ball played in San Jose, California.  As a matter of fact, one week before this journey, my wife and I attended the Italian festival in San Jose - as we do every year.

For those who have read or seen the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, will appreciate the photographs of Tuscany. 

NOTE: For folks new to this blog site, you can enlarge the photo by clicking on it.  

Map of Itinerary.

This blog will be in chronological order with pictures and some commentary. If anyone would like to ask questions, please feel free to write to me at,

Sep 1-2: Travel day from SFO to Rome. My outbound flights were from SFO to NYC-Kennedy, then from NYC to Rome. The travel was uneventful for the most part, but I'm really beginning to hate long travel days like this one.

Sep 2: After our flight arrived in Rome, a Grand Circle Travel (GCT) agent greeted us and directed us to our bus for our transfer to the hotel, Airport Palace Hotel, in Ostia.  We were met by our Tour Director, then checked into our hotel room by 3:30PM, so we had plenty of time to explore Ostia on our own. Fortunately, the main pedestrian street was only one block from our hotel, so I walked it to the waterfront, and returned by another route. There were plenty of restaurants within easy walking distance, so some in our group enjoyed our first meals together. Since it was Sunday, most of the shops were closed. I walked about 7 miles today.

From airport to hotel in Ostia

Airport Palace Hotel, Ostia
The streets look empty of pedestrians because it was Sunday.


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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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