Four quick takeaways from a fantastic trip to Italy:NO BLISTERS: I can’t explain how much of an improvement it was on the vacation experience to not have any blisters on my feet. When we went to London and Paris four years ago, my feet were red and raw by the end of the second day.
Two weeks of pounding our feet on the cobblestones and slate of Venice, Rome and the little towns on the Amalfi Coast, and nothing this time.
I wore sock liners every day (except flying days) and heavy Thorlo hiking socks over fairly new (less than a month old) Teva low-cut hiking boots. Thorlos are expensive, but worth their weight in gold. Highly recommended.
CROSSING THE STREET: Our vacation experience went up 10 points by crossing Via Veneto in Rome – but it completely leveled up in Naples.
We didn’t see any streetlights in a six-block walk around the train station in Naples. The resulting chaos was beyond epic. Taking our lives in our hands, we walked out and waited for them to stop – amazingly, they did.
Luckily, the pizza we had at Da Pellone More than made up for it. If you're going to eat pizza, eat it where they invented pizza.
PHOTOGRAPHING THE ICONS: Some of my favorite shots are iconic buildings at night. With stops in Rome and Venice, there were more than a few opportunities for me to try cool night shots.
However, the hustlers shilling their colored light gizmos tend to wander in front of the camera during the long exposures, which can result in some interesting effects, but more often result in annoying crap and lots of time in Photoshop, if not a junked image.
However, they will usually – not always – get out of the way once they see what you are doing.
THE BEST VIEWS: This was a tough call. We had a great view from the top of St. Peter’s Basilica, but it was very crowded. Castel Sant’Angelo was less crowded, had a great view and we got a better sunset. Win.