11- 24, 2004
this year’s CATHEDRAL QUEST, we decided that we would like to visit Italian
cathedrals. Since we did not speak
much Italian we were rather hesitant to take off on our own like we did the
previous year in England. We
roamed the internet plus visited an American Express travel agent who gave us a
lot of literature. She recommended a
Brendan Tour. It was a nine day
adventure that began in Rome and ended Milan, so we booked it.
We had a desire to see the Alps, so we decided that at the end of the
trip in Milan that we would take the train to Como on Lake Como for four days.
enjoyed the tour very much, although it was a Globus tour instead of the Brendan
that we have booked. We had a hard time figuring out how we booked one company
and ended up with another. It seems that they are related, but it was confusing
to us. At times we felt like “step
children”. The group was very congenial with people from all over the United
States. We saw all of the highlights of Rome, Pisa, Sienna, Florence, Venice,
and Milan. The tour allowed some
free time in Rome, Florence, and Venice. We
were able to see the Cathedrals in each town, but did not have time to visit
other historic churches. We did not
feel we had enough time to see what we wanted to see in “brief stop” visits
like in Sienna where we did not have time to go into the cathedral. At the end
of tour in Milan we boarded a train for Lake Como for four days.
We had a wonderful time visiting of the little towns around the lake.
Even though our Italian was limited we never had a problem communicating.
advantages of the tour were that we didn’t have to drive, carry our bags, or
stand in long lines to be admitted to attractions.
All of the hotels were very nice and in convenient locations.
Many of the meals were included which resulted in sometimes being in
large dining rooms without a great choice in what we had placed before us.
We had a couple of bad experiences. We prefer finding a nice restaurant
with some ambiance and eating by ourselves or with another couple or two.
Several times we were offered extra tours to special tourist attractions
at a cost which generally included a meal. I
will comment on these during the narration.
We did have a good time, but decided that in the future we would plan and
travel on our own. Being on our own
in Como gave us hope that we could survive in another country where we had
limited language skills. We are able to visit seven cathedrals and four other
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