Subject: Re: Maratea, Italy
Well, since you have a whole three weeks abroad, that much time allows for a wonderful trip to Italy and Europe. But, it takes comprehensive planning to make the most of the time. The site is loaded with valuable travel information which I urge you to study. What guide books are you using? Do you have a good map of Italy? Germany? Holland?

Assuming that you arrive in Roma on Wednesday, the 6th of September and will not check into your time share until Saturday, the 9th of September, why don't you spend that time in Roma? It will take a day or so to shake off jet lag so I would push. The Hotel Delle Muse has received ver good recommendations from people on this list ( The manager/owner, I believe, is also a member of this list who no doubt would be able to give you excellent service and advice about getting around Roma, train schedules, restaurants etc. The hotel is in the Parioli district of Roma so you would have to take a bus to get to the famous sites in the city. The hotel is moderately priced according to the information at its site. A small trattoria I like is also in Parioli--Fauro.

You can do research for Italian train schedules at

The train ride to Maratea from Roma takes about 4 1/2 hours. I am not too familiar with train travel in Italy but others on the list will be able to help you I am sure.

While in Maratea there will be buses that will be able to take you to the towns along the coast and to the hill towns further inland. This sightseeing would be a lot of fun. You mentioned that you are looking forward to sea food and wine. Well, outstanding sea food is easy to find almost anywhere and I am sure that the towns in the Maratea area will have many excellent places to enjoy seafood and the cuisine of the territory. I would suggest that you ask for the wine from the area--either the house wine or the bottled wine from the area. While I have never been in the area, I have Italian guide books that are quite reliable for choosing restaurants, so if you need some suggestions about restaurants ask away. You should also ask the people at the time share for their suggestions.

When you leave Maratea on Saturday, the 16th of Sept, why not stay in Pompei until Wednesday morning when you can get a train to Firenze. The Hotel Mauri there appears to be a good hotel at reasonable prices. If you do stay in Pompei obviously you can tour the excavations, take a bus to Sorrento and from there take a ferry to Capri. I would think it would a day's trip to go to Capri. When in Capri I would urge you to go to Anacapri which is a lovely small town where you can shop a little, sightsee and have lunch. I was there a few weeks ago and enjoyed lunch at La Rondinello. You could go into Napoli to get a ferry to Capri too but I think it would be better to take one from Sorrento. You might also plan a day or some time for sightseeing in Sorrento. Too, it is easy to get to Napoli from Pompei on the train which runs often--it is a short trip. Napoli is a challenge to the first time visitor to Italy as it is frenetic. But, I can't wait to return!

>From Pompei you could take the train straight to Firenze which is about a five hour ride. Stay in Firenze until Sunday evening the 24th when you will get the night train (a sleeper) to Kaiserslautern, Germany--a 10 hour or so train ride.

>From there, drive to Amsterdam on Tuesday the 26th--a guess is that the ride is 6 or so hours. On Thursday you would take the plane enroute to Texas.

Hopefully, the above will spark some ideas for planning your trip to Italy. Let us hear what your thoughts are.