We visited Rome, arriving there and being surrounded by armed-to-the-teeth police, everywhere. As is the case in Italy we were ripped off with the cab fare back to the hotel, despite a negotiated up-front fare. The driver charged me L60,000 instead of the quoted L42,000! Later I worked out the driver passed the same buildings on a number of occasions.

More hassles awaited us as we checked into the hotel, we had to  surrender our passports, which were then kept in a pigeon-hole cupboard in full view to and with full access to all guests. The Hotel Merano  was situated on the Via Venoto, one of the most expensive streets in the world and without doubt, the noisiest. Car horns honked all night until the wee hours of the morning. It was stifling hot in the room, despite having the air-con on, so with the windows half open, all we heard was the crazy traffic noise.

I did not particularly like Rome, every time I spend any money, I KNEW I was being ripped off.  It's a terrible feeling. Worst pasta meal ever on one of the pavement cafes on the Via Veneto.

One sport I did enjoy in Rome was watching the shouting and bickering cab drivers and the many fender-bender accidents, what chaos!

We did a bus tour to Pompeii and the Blue Grotto and also visited Sorrento and Naples. The Blue Grotto & Pompeii trip was great, besides the bus ride.

We caught  train to Venice, again a typical observation of Italy. The air-con on the train wasn't working and it was as hot as hell.

We met a very pleasant Canadian woman, of Caribbean descent, with her 2 children. We wrote to each other for many years.

Venice is a great, romantic city, but it can, and was smelly when we were there. It's a sort of hydrogen sulphide smell similar to rotten eggs. Besides the smell, we loved Venice. The restaurants were excellent as was the seafood. The Venetians know how to take your money, but always with a smile and a little lip, but they were great.

We visited the famous Murano glass blowing factory, after being offered a free water-taxi ride there. However, no free ride back, even though we bought some beautiful glassware.

We caught a train from Venice to Munich, which was quite  task. Munich in Italian is Monaco de Bavaria???  Took me quite a while to fathom that one out.


The Colosseum
Spanish Steps wishing well
The Blue Grotto
Yvonne in gondola, Venice
Spanish Steps
Torre del Orologio, Venice
Sistine Chapel, Vatican
Italy - 1985