Trip Reports Home | My Trip Reports | Create Trip Report | Recent Reports | Search Trip Reports

> SlowTrav > Trip Reports

Report 822: Rome, Tuscany, Amalfi, Sort of Solo

By Lynne Zielinski from Alabama, Fall 2004

Trip Description: In mid-October of last year, I embarked on a 22 day Grand Circle tour of Rome, Amalfi and Tuscany, but I did it my way. Once we arrived at each destination, for the most part, I broke away and roamed alone. I doubt anyone on the planet had more fun. I mingled with the locals, broke security at the Vatican and "dolce'd" my way through this grand country. Basically, by using this tour, I am now confident I can go completely solo next time.

Destinations: Countries - Italy; Regions/Cities - Amalfi Coast, Rome, Tuscany

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Sightseeing; Package Tour; Single Traveler

Next Page

Page 1 of 20: Crossing the Rubicon

How can a woman with limited funds, zero travel experience and the language skills of a pigeon manage to journey solo in a foreign land?

One method is to book with a “slow-travel tour” company. Not slow travel as in strolling along with the old folks, but as in leisurely exploring specific destinations, either on your own or with a small group; a swell way to get from point A to B without the hassle. I’ve always wanted to visit Italy; particularly Rome, the heart of Western civilization. So, after intensive online “Google-ing,” I found, Grand Circle Travel, a slow-tour company that seemed to perfectly suit my needs. With a pre-trip of six days in Rome, seven in Sorrento and the Naples Bay area, topped with another week in Tuscany, this tour provided enough time to gain a comprehensive overview of the varied nature and culture of Italy. The clincher was that I could easily visit Pompeii and Herculaneum; as an armchair archaeologist, I couldn’t resist.

Once booked, helpful information, itineraries and airline tickets trickled in on a timely basis. All hotel, transportation, breakfasts, three lunches and 11 dinners were included. Total cost, including insurance, taxes and a single supplement charge came to $3800.00. Not bad for twenty-two days.

Other than a weekend in Canada when I was sixteen, I’d never been out of the USA, so my excitement was immense. I began packing two months before departure. I also intensely researched what I would do, where I would go and what things would cost.

I came across an interesting controversy about excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum and, with the gracious help of the Italian Ministry of Culture in Washington, I arranged to interview Professor Pietro Giovanni Guzzo, Supervisor of Archaeology for the Vesuvius area, upon my arrival in Sorrento. Not only do I find the subject fascinating, but any articles I write will help defray my trip expenses.

One week before the big day, I had another big day. Our seven married kids, their spouses and all seventeen grandbabies gave me a surprise birthday party with, of course, an Italian theme.

After a lasagna dinner, al fresco, they sat me in a chair and presented me with a loaf of Italian bread. “Ha ha, how cute,” I exclaimed and began to set it aside. “No Mom, open the bread, open the bread,” they all shouted. So I did.

Inside was a lovely trinket box. I opened it and found a wad of money! Everyone yelled, “Count it, Mom.” I began to count and ... when I got to $800 and still more to go, I began to cry with a smile. This was a major sacrifice on their part. Through my tears, I looked up at all those people circling me; each one with a big fat proud grin and at that moment I realized they were as excited and happy for me as I was ... even all my children-in-law! Life doesn’t get better than this.

Next Page

Back to Top

Car Rental Hotel Booking Flight Booking Train Tickets Books, Maps, Events
Europe Cell Phones Long Distance Cards Luggage, etc. Travel Insurance Classifieds

* Advertise on Slow Travel | Post your travel questions on the Slow Travel Forums

Copyright © 2000 - 2014 SlowTrav.com, unless noted otherwise. Slow Travel® is a registered trademark. Contact Slow Travel

RSS Feeds - Link to Us - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy - Currency Converter - Colophon - Sponsors - Become a Member
Home | Forums | Slow Travel? | Europe Trip Planning | Photos | Trip Reports | Search | About Us | Classifieds