We spent more days in Rome than any other city we visited on our Italian vacation. Three full days, four nights, plus half days on the way in and out. We packed our first two days in Rome with the big deals - the Vatican, the Colosseum, the Forum, a bunch of basilicas - so our last day was open. We wanted to get off the tourist track a little bit, so we embarked on a Roman walking tour, loosely based on a walk recommended by Fodor's. [...]
Few things make me feel more legit as a world wanderer than showing up in a new city and taking public transit. Buses or metros or ferries or what the shit else, when I travel to new cities or countries, I want in on the public modes of transportation.
And that’s kind of how it started in Verona. We took the train in from Milan, stowed our luggage at the train station, bought some bus tickets and then scampered around in some circles trying to find the right bus, or rather, one of the right buses, got on the bus, validated our tickets and 10 or so minutes later we were standing in front of the Verona Arena.[...]
I almost didn’t go to Venice. Everyone I asked seemed to have a very strong feeling about it. Someone would tell me how filthy and smelly and crowded it is and I’d decide in a huff that, fuck it, it’s not worth the effort because I hate crowds and also smells. And then someone else would tell me how romantic it is, how beautiful and special and magical, and so, in the end I went.[...]
Upon learning I had a nine-hour layover in Amsterdam, I immediately hit the google. Was that enough time for an adventure? How close is the airport to the city center? How hard is it to get out of the airport and back in a handful of hours? I had all the questions and the internet reassured me, told me that yeah, sure, I could totally get into the city and see some things with relative ease and that nine hours was plenty of time for a mini-adventure and airport escape.[...]