Adventures! Excursions! Oh my!

Our trip is coming up fast… I can’t wait! In just a few short weeks, we’ll be in Nice, then the West coast of Italy, Malta, and afterwards, Paris!

11 nights on Azamara QuestBarry and I have been pouring through excursion options for our Azamara cruise adventure, and we’ve definitely decided on Modeno (a three hour drive from the port of Livorno) so that Barry can drive a Ferrari on THE Ferrari test track. This won’t be cheap. Afterwards, we’ll take our rental car back and enjoy some of the small towns enroute to the port. Our rental car alone for the day is 140 Euro! Everything is so darn expensive in Italy, but we’ll enjoy our experience there nonetheless.

Azamara Quest Easter Cruise

We’re still up in the air for some of the other cities we’ll be experiencing (many overnight) on our journey. I think we’ll probably do a full day Segway Tour in Rome on Palm Sunday (whilst avoiding the crazy near the Vatican… oh hell no), the only caveat to that trip would be that we have to make a tight schedule for the fast train into the heart of Rome from the port, or we won’t make the 9:30am departure for our first full day of touring in Rome.

Malta? We have no idea what we’re doing while we’re there… Got any ideas? I’ve never been to that neck of the woods before. (Whereas, I’ve been to the rest of the cities we’re traveling to).

In Paris, we’re thinking about doing a full day wine tour to Burgundy (I think that’s what Barry was talking about), and maybe another tour on Segways through the city. We’re still up in the air on the options for the four days there. We’re staying at a beautiful B&B in Paris, so that’ll be a cool way to experience that city!

Our cruise ship itself is pretty much all-inclusive for meals, alcohol, and entertainment, so we are skipping the nickel and diming of the floating trailer parks of cruises past. I don’t think we’ll have the desire to ever go back to that style of cruising again, especially for the longer itineraries, anyhow.

One thing I might mention, our house will have a housesitter… so, we’re comfortable with the security while we’re gone. Just sayin’ :)

YOUR TURN: Got any ideas for us? We’re definitely booked for April 12, 18, and 20th.


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    Just did the drive from Florence up to Modena a couple of weeks ago. Your tolls will be ~20 EUR each way or less I think. Lots of tunnels and twists and turns on that stretch of the A1. Fun if there isn’t much traffic and you have a decent car. Modena is located in the province of Emilia-Romagna, which has the best food in Italy. Home of parmigiano and prosciutto. Look for tortoloni di zucca for example. In Tuscany (Livorno, Firenze), look for cinghiale (boar) ragu. In Roma, the best coffee is near the Pantheon, I can get you the address if you like.

    On the 20th, if you feel like poking around Tuscany, consider San Gimignano, Montereggioni, and perhaps even Siena if you want to drive a bit further south. Google Maps works good for navigation on the small roads around Tuscany, let me know if you want an Italian SIM card to get cheap data on your phone.

    Anyhoo, any questions at all about Italy please let me know. More than happy to help. (And keep looking for a better rental car rate, I was paying way less than that)

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    One of the best meals I had in Paris was at La Jacobine in the Latin Quarter. Reasonably priced, multi-course meals.

    I blogged quite a bit about my Europe trip last year, including visits to Florence, Nice and Rome, which would be relevant to your trip too. Italy is actually reasonably inexpensive, for the most part, particularly when it comes to the 1 Euro espressos and 1 Euro gelato. I know you said you want to avoid the Vatican, but St. Peter’s is pretty amazing. Going to the top of the Duomo in Florence is worthwhile if you have time. I wasn’t as impressed with Nice. Paris was amazing and there’s just way too much to see and do (and eat).

    Let me know if you have any questions!
    View Michael Kwan´s recent blog entry: Is It Possible to Be Truly Selfless?My Profile

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    Thanks guys!! I’ll check all that out, and James, we’ll definitely be calling you!

    The rental in Livorno is so expensive because it’s Easter Sunday, and none of the other places are open. They are also delivering the car to the dock, and picking it up from there also. Aw well… We did try to shop around. That’s with MaxiRent. I’ve used them in Europe before, and they are pretty decent to deal with.

    Michael, thanks – those ideas are great! I’ll read your posts!! :)

    We’ve now booked the 12 hour Paris to Burgundy tour as well, so 1 day in Paris is planned in full. I am pretty sure we’ll do a half day of Segway tours in Rome, and still unsure what we’re going to do the other day. Maybe just walk around for the day. We’ll see…

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    Hi Tanya

    I’m Chee Wee from Singapore, I came to your blog via Michael Kwan’s Beyond The Rhetoric.

    I love traveling but have never been to North America and Eurpore. Most of my vacations are taken in the Asia Pacific region.
    I got excited reading about your upcoming cruise trip to Europe!

    Enjoy your adventures and safe journey to you!
    View chee wee´s recent blog entry: My TransLantau100 AdventureMy Profile

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