9 Days in Italy

November 25 – December 3, 2012.

9 days well spent in Italy, and half a day in Switzerland! ๐Ÿ™‚ I just got back and I’ve taken plenty of photos and videos from this wonderful trip! It’s a shame that I can only post so many on my blog – the rest of the photos will be made available on my Facebook profile later.

Here’s a summary on my vacation to Italy…

My friend Lilian invited me to join her in the 9 day tour to Italy year end so I signed up; I was busy clearing as much work as I could before the vacation. Amazing that I thought little about my online business, the renovation of the new house back home, nor did I read a single book while on holiday. I was totally mesmerized by the beauty of Italy!

We arrived in Milan on our first day here and the first place we visited is the famous 14th Century Duomo Cathedral.

Our tour leader is Damian Mok (Man on the right) He’s by far the best tour guide I have met! Unlike previous tour guides who are usually a local, Damian led the tour group of nearly 50 people (which is a massive group!) from beginning to end.

He’s obviously very experienced and led a colorful life; he entertained the group with a variety of impressive magic performances and wowed the audience with his jokes and stories.

Did I mention he’s multi-lingual as well? Majority of the group is Chinese-ed, me being one of the few ‘bananas’ but he spoke Mandarin, Cantonese and English and totally engaged 100% of the audience. A sure sign that he has plenty of experience on stage and talking to audience! I even learned a lot from him.

The next day, we boarded a private boat to San Marco Square in Venice. We also road the famous gondola. ๐Ÿ™‚

Weather throughout Italy was chilled and rainy. Temperature was anywhere from 1 to 9 degrees Celcius!

Outside the square, we shopped for souvenirs and we singled out some stores that were selling them cheap ๐Ÿ™‚

As far as exchange rate is concerned, it used to be 1 EUR = 4.76 MYR last year; now it’s 1 EUR = 3.99 MYR!

Good deal for me ๐Ÿ™‚ Although it wasn’t nice of me to say that at the expense of the Europeans here. FYI just like most parts of Europe, things here are usually costly and at this time of writing, Italy is in bad economy shape.

Following day, we visited Rome! One of the two main highlights of the Italy trip! ๐Ÿ™‚

We visited St. Peter’s Basilica (the biggest church in the world and throughout Christian history) and of course the famous Colosseum.

And the other main highlight?

The leaning tower of Pisa.

We also spent half a day in Switzerland to do some high-end shopping on our second last day here before going back to Malaysia. It’s more chilled and windy here but the view is nothing short of breathtaking!

All in all, it was a great vacation! Points to myself for evading the notorious pickpockets while in Italy ๐Ÿ˜› Fortunately none of us fell victim to them. But then again, I come from a more dangerous country so that was nothing haha!

Some photos from this trip will be posted in another blog post, and the rest on my Facebook profile later. ๐Ÿ™‚