Summer of 2010

Italy trip

Cheung Family trip to Italy

My Mom has always wanted to take her whole family on a big holiday overseas.  This would be the first major overseas trip for many of her combined family of 13 members.  Deciding on the destination was not easy, but we eventually settled on the Globus "Best of Italy" tour

tour route
This is the route of the tour, and goes
through eleven cities in eleven days.

June 29/30 - Travel and arrival in Rome, Italy

We were supposed to fly from Boston Logan (where we met the rest of the gang)
to Frankfurt.  However, the trip had a rocky start.  The flight was cancelled,
and initially it looked like we would have to wait one day to fly to Rome.
That would mean missing the first day of the tour.  Luckily, the Lufthansa
rep was able to book us on a direct flight on Alitalia to Rome.

There were 13 of us.  Mom and her three kids and their spouses along with her
6 grand kids.  Here we are waiting for our Alitalia flight, anxious and
anticipating a long trip ahead.

We were lucky to get four adjacent seats on an exit aisle.  We had lots of leg room.
The flight took 8 1/2 hours, and occurred in the overnight hours for us.
Most of us spent the time sleeping.

We arrived in Roma in the early afternoon (local time).  Here we were picked up in our transportation for the trip around Italy in a large luxurious Globus bus.

Our first hotel was the Crown Plaza Rome - St. Peter
This hotel is so named because of its proximity to St. Peter's Square.  It is
very luxurious and spacious in the American style.

It is at this hotel where we met our guide for the next two weeks: Nicholas Zenobi.
We would quickly discover over the next few days that we could not have found a better guide.  His wit, knowledge of the entire country of Italy, gentle demeanor and excellent
leadership was a big part of the success of our trip.

st peter
After checking into the hotel, we went to the welcome dinner, and passed by the
famed St. Peter's Cathedral.  This would be glimpse of our coming day tomorrow.

Once we arrived in Rome, we saw the famous Roman traffic.  It is a very crowded city with tiny Smart Cars and mopeds everywhere.  There was hardly any open pavement at times, and it was amazing that Fabio never hit anything with the bus.  At times, we passed between other busses with only inches to spare between the mirrors.

The welcome dinner was for the entire tour group of 42 people on the bus, and occurred
at the Mino restaurant.

Video of the day: Welcome dinner at the Mino Restaurant in Roma.

It was a nice dinner, with the first course being our favorite.  That
was a penne pasta in a creamy mushroom sauce.  We were relieved
to finally arrive in Roma to start our vacation.

What would lie ahead for us in the coming days?

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