Siena in Siena

With Siena’s famous Palio race only a few days away, TMPs version of Siena reports from the scene!

From the Producer: Riots in Athens

While there is no question that there is major unrest in Athens, which is disquieting and alarming, we have a unique perspective, having just spent a fulfilling and safe week there. Several facts spring to mind:
1. The violence, and, therefore, the news media, is concentrated on a very small area around Syntagma Square, which makes sense, since the Square is the home of the Parliament Building. What’s difficult to discern, however, is just how widespread the demonstrations and violence are. By watching television, you might get the idea that the unrest had completely closed down the city. While events are indeed getting worse, prudent travellers are still able to have a wonderful experience in Greece, by being smart, bypassing the flashpoint zones, and not being overly alarmed by media reports.
2. Athens is a big, diverse, pungent, vibrant city. A city this big can handle myriad viewpoints, protests, tourist groups, and still have room for more.
3. There’s never a perfect time to travel. Travel always presents risks. What if you break your arm? What if the power goes out? What if your train is cancelled. These risks are why we travel. They kick in our ‘fight or flight” response, and make us feel truly alive.

Don’t get me wrong. I urge prudence among all travellers, especially those travelling with children. But its important to keep things in perspective, be smart, and be positive. The world is messy. But the world is also wonderful.

Riding the Transvesuviana

Mrs. Gargiulo pinched Gabi’s cheek

Sorrento is so beautiful, so friendly, so happy, that people there can’t help bursting with Italian enthusiasm. The Team meets the multitalented multitasker Mrs. Gargiulo, who owns the Savoia Hotel in Sorrento, which offers the world’s most amazing breakfast, from fruits to tortes, pancakes, 4 different croissants, juices, coffee drinks of all kinds, and smiles, smiles, smiles. LOVED IT!

Where’s Marco?

Can you guess?

Gabi chills on the Transvesuviana

It’s not the classiest train on the planet, but MarcoNaut Gabi still finds a way to kick back and enjoy the trip from Sorrento to Pompeii on the Transvesuviana train, which goes from Sorrento to Naples, with stops in between.

Buying the Roma Pass

20110629-112739.jpgSavvy travellers know that the first stop in Rome’s Fiumicino Airport is the Terminal 3 tourist information, to buy the Roma Pass. This pass, good for 3 days after validation, allows unlimited travel on public transport, and two free admissions to Rome’s sites, including the Colosseum. During a hot, crowded summer, its worth the 25 Euros (no discount for kids) to bypass the crowds.

In Italy!


Gabi’s tips on Greek dining

Gabi gives the lowdown on real Greek food.

Athens: best cabbie in the city!

David, whom we met at the airport on arrival, took us to the airport on the way to Rome today. He pointed out Olive trees and vineyards and told us the tip that no self respecting Greek restaurant would ever serve hummus (it’s actually Lebonese).

He loves American basketball (he said the Greeks are basketball crazy) and said that Greeks eat fish only rarely, since its expensive.

Very warm and friendly guy!


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