There are some destinations in this world, where every twist and turn leads to a moment that looks like a postcard, and Greece and Italy are two such places. Join CP Travel Ambassador Sue Surat as she explores the famed cities of Rome and Santorini and the beautiful sights of Capri and Mykonos.
What specific cities and /or countries did you visit? Italy & Greece
What was your favorite memory from this trip? I would be hard pressed to come up with a "favorite" memory from this trip as pretty much all of it was amazing. But if I had to pick the best thing about this trip, apart from the absolutely gorgeous destinations and our beautiful cruise ship, it would have to be the way our group of 17 strangers came together to experience a once in a lifetime bucket list trip! Everywhere we went our tour guides commented on how nice our group was. Everyone went into the experience with a sense of adventure, a free spirit, and an open mind to enjoy everything along the way. And boy did we enjoy it!
Top excursions and landmarks/sites to visit: Mykonos and Asimomitis Wine Tasting. We strolled through Mykonos Town's charming narrow streets & lovely waterfront and visited one of the oldest Mykonian bakeries where we sampled an "amygdalota," a local almond cookie, and sip a "soumada," a traditional Cretan almond drink. We then enjoyed a wine tasting at the Asimomitis Organic Farm & Vineyard where we sampled the local wines, cheeses, and other local homemade delicacies and bread!
During our stop in Naples, a few of us took the short ferry ride to Capri. We met up with a guide and took a boat ride to the Blue Grotto. After a walking tour we enjoyed a delicious lunch at a restaurant perched on a cliff overlooking the beautiful Tyrrhenian Sea. It's all about lemons in Capri! This was my personal favorite!
Were there any standout restaurants or foodie must-haves on this trip? We enjoyed a delicious cocktail hour and special dinner at Hotel Donna Camilla Savelli in the Travesterre district of Rome. The chef prepared a special dinner for us to go along with our wine tasting. In the morning our hotel had Maritozzi, a slightly elongated 'paninetti,' typical of Italy's capital city, Rome, and characterized by a soft and sweet dough made with olive oil, sugar, pine nuts, raisins and some candied orange peel. Delicious! During a Rome City Food Tour, we enjoyed Trapizzino. It was invented 10 years ago by Stefano Callegari, professional pizza maker. It is a white triangle-shaped pizza pocket closed on the sides and made with the same dough of soft wheat flour and yeast, stuffed with condiments of the Roman gastronomy and other cuisines, also international. Yummy!
How would you describe the people and culture of this destination? Any interesting cultural lessons? The people in Italy and Greece were so friendly and happy to see us! The beauty of both destinations could be found not only in the gorgeous scenery, but also in the faces of the hardworking people. Both cultures enjoy their culinary scene and work very hard at keeping their traditions alive for all to enjoy!
What is something people would be surprised to learn about this destination? Did you know that the island of Mykonos is windy all year round? It is rare to have a day where the wind is not blowing. In fact, we were told that there are about 10 non windy days each year, and guess what? Our day on Mykonos was one of them!
Top 5 Tips and recommendations for this trip:
- Plan to enjoy these destinations during the spring or fall as summer months can be busy and hot!
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring a hat. Lots of walking and lots of sunshine!
- Don't hang your bag or purse on the back of your chair while traveling. Carry a bag that can be kept
- safe and preferably in front of you. Travelers are easy targets for pick pockets.
- If you can spend a few days in destination, prior to or after your cruise, do it! You are there and might as
- well take advantage of your amazing departure port.
Did you travel via cruise ship? If so, please describe the experience and some of the standout features that you ere excited about. After spending 2 nights in Rome, we set sail on the beautiful Celebrity Edge. This allowed us 2 wonderful days to relax at sea and enjoy our amazing ship. It also gave us plenty of time in 4 different ports during our sailing. The best of both worlds! We loved the walkout verandah that allowed us to extend our cabin and walk out to waters edge. Our Aqua Class Cabin was equipped with a very luxurious mattress & pillows, a fluffy bathrobe and spa bath. The crew was amazing and the food was delicious. The fun lounges that sit in the water at the edge of the pool were awesome!
What makes this destination a must-see in your opinion? What makes Greece and Italy a must see for everyone? There is something for everyone in both of these beautiful countries:
- Delicious and authentic cuisine
- Beautiful scenery and absolutely gorgeous waters!
- Friendly people who are anxious to share their countries cultures with visitors
Additional thoughts and insights? Some of the best parts of our trip were spent with locals during our tours and shore excursions. While traveling independently can be fun, hearing the stories and learning about different cultures through the eyes of the people is such a rewarding experience. In Mykonos, I learned that the donkey who posed for a picture with us had a baby at home. She and her owner had to work to put food on the table!
To book your next adventure to Mykonos and Santorini, contact a local Cruise Planners advisor near you.