18 Oct 2011 11:30 AM – Italy, Switzerland, Singapore
Your support, enabled us to have a most enjoyable exploration in our chosen parts of Italy. We were not surprised! Many thanks to you all. We arrived by taxi at the Hotel Tre Re in Como early in the evening. It is a family run hotel and was friendly to us strangers, and has ambitions to grow. Located in the old city its situation put us close to quayside, the duomo, museums, etc and many options for eating out. Walking round town was satisfying and we also took two ferry tours to lakeside gardens and enjoyed both. En route to Padova we had a mishap climbing up with our suitcases onto the train to Venezia at Milano Centrale. The Hotel Italia in Corso del Popolo, Padova, was 5 minutes walk dragging our suitcases in the rain across the trams and traffic from the railway station. The environment was noisy and a bit seedy (at least on the adjacent Corso del Popolo). Their welcome was warm but staff were few. Their rooms were comfortable and breakfast provisions were generous. Finding dining places was largely left to us. About 20 minutes’ walk away, they offered very good meals. Whereas accommodation in Ravenna, in Residenza D’Epoca Palazzo Galletia, was indeed ‘palatial’, and we would highly recommend it and the friendliness of its staff. Those days in Ravenna were one of the highlights of our tour, as we walked and photographed the townscape, and saw all those incredible mosaics. The rail trip from Ravenna (via Rimini) to Lecce was a fascinating trip through coastal resorts and wine and olive farming sites. And those ‘Truli'(?) dotted through the fields. Franzi was there waiting on the doorstep when we arrived. The Casa dei Mercati fronts onto the Pazza S.Oronzo, a centre of day and night civic activity. But the flat we were offered was very quiet, clean, well-furnished and spacious. Franzi and his staff delivered breakfast to our door every morning. Their friendliness added to the attractive qualities of that accommodation. It proved a fascinating city for walking, dining out and experiencing southern Italian urban lifestyle. We had a delightful train journey to and from Otranto on the coast, and enjoyed exploring that ancient harbourside urban landscape of church mosaics, and its castle (rebuilt by Carlo Cinque). We would highly recommend that excursion. Getting a taxi to get two walk-weary tourists back up to the railway station proved difficult at first, but friendly locals summoned a little open cab that proved excellent. The Hotel Best Western Montana in Konradstrasse in Zurich was very pleasant and conveniently located in the older part of that city, which we were able to explore on foot all of the next day. Having a restaurant at that hotel proved a bonus.So greetings and many thanks again from us both!
Dr Robert and Susan