Days 38 & 39 – Final Posts/Afterthoughts

Day 38 June 29, 2023 (Sorrento/Rome) FINAL POST

Today we packed up and our driver picked us up at 10 a.m. to drive us to the train station in Naples. It still amazes us the amount of traffic and how the Italians drive so crazily, but it seems to work. We have labeled it as “organized chaos”. After being dropped off, we only waited about 15 minutes and then was able to board the train. We had the whole car to ourselves until about the last 30 minutes of the 2 ½ hour ride to Rome.

We deboarded and caught the commuter train to take us to the Rome airport where we had a hotel room booked for the night. We decided to check out what was in the airport and get familiar with where we needed to go in the morning for our flight. We found a little place to eat, had some wine and food and then headed back to the hotel for a nightcap and then showers and bed. Our flight leaves at 10:30 a.m. and we need to be there about 2 ½ hours early. Not a whole lot of walking done today, and I forgot look at the end result, but I know we did at least 3-3 ½ miles.

This has been an amazing trip, but we both are ready to be home 😊 Ciao!

Day 39 June 30, 2023 (Rome/USA)

We were up at 6 and packed the rest of our things and headed to the airport. Grabbed some breakfast, which was a hamburger (we have had eggs everyday since being in Italy and figured it was time for a break, lol!) We boarded and took off at 10:20 Italy time. We arrived early (shock!) at JFK and then had a 1 ½ hour layover before our flight back to Raleigh. Our flight took off to RDU and we actually made good time and was early again (double shock!) Our friends, Michael and Tiffany, picked us up and we headed out for a bite to eat. Get this, we had pizza!!!!!!! Got home, unpacked most everything, took LONG showers in our BIG shower, and called it a night.

So glad to be home!

Miles walked – 3.5 Night all!

Some takeaways from the trip –

  • Except for maybe two days, I kept track of the miles we walked and guessed (based on what we had done that day) on the two I did not record. Total miles walked – 235.55!!!! I couldn’t even begin to guess how many steps we climbed up/went down; it would be in the 10’s of thousands.
  • We both will put a plug in for the shoes we wore for trekking all over Italy – ASICS Gel-Venture 8 Running Shoes – folks, these things were the bomb! It gave you great support and the tread on the bottom was perfect for all the uneven streets, steps, etc. Definitely recommend them!
  • There is little, if any, public bathrooms in Italy, so if you are touring somewhere, take advantage of using them. If you do find public WC’s, they cost $1Euro to use. The few I did pay for were clean, but seriously, I have to pay to potty?!?!?! If there is not a public one around, then you basically have to buy something to eat/drink in a restaurant to use it. They seem pretty strict about this too.
  • We did find that most Italians speak English, and while they do appreciate you trying to speak their language, unless you are fluent, their English is better than your Italian, lol! We felt at times that we were slowing them up by trying to honor their language.
  • What worked, what didn’t?
    • Booking trains in advance, highly recommend!!!! Pay a little extra so tickets can be exchangeable. Using the train app to buy is the way to go, that way you don’t have to stand in line to buy or validate them. We used the Trainline app. Use the trains instead of renting a car, especially in the cities and towns as there are some that have limited parking and the traffic is horrendous!
    • Take advantage of taxis from train station to BNB if more than ¼ mile. After trudging through Lucca in the rain and even Florence, it is a pain, especially with luggage. Book taxis a day or two in advance in busy cities, as when we were in Florence, we could not get a cab, we just got lucky as the one we did get had just dropped someone off.
    • Carry paper copy of passport all the time if you are not going to carry your original passport. There were times at the train station we were asked to show them.
    • Only pull money from bank teller machines, not stand-alone ATM’s and check what exchange rate they are giving you. We got ripped off at a stand-alone; lesson learned.
    • Build in more dedicated down time – John tried to kill me, lol! If you have a place that has a good view, not an issue, but if you don’t, need to find something to do locally instead of just sitting in room.
    • No less than four nights in any one place. We only had three nights in Lucca, Florence and Montepulciano and just felt it was too much too quick.
    • Pack light and then get rid of a ¼ of what you just packed. We only allowed ourselves one carry-on and a backpack and brought things we didn’t use/need. We did buy an extra suitcase as we started to accumulate things throughout the trip, but being gone for as long as we were, it was to be expected.
    • Book tours as much as possible to see things as quickly as possible. Early morning ones are the best as there are less crowds. Make sure tour group sizes are 15 or less people.
    • Embrace and enjoy 😊

We look forward to the next adventure, whenever that may be…….

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