Traveller Story: Mary's journey to the south of Italy
What tour did you travel on?
Italy, The Deep South and Sicily.
When did you travel?
Why did you select this particular tour?
I've been to Italy several times and loved it every time, including the Italian Grande tour last year. I returned home last year thinking I must have travelled Italy out of my system, but no. I realised I'd not been to the South. Of course, I had to correct this oversight and was more than happy to choose an Albatross tour after having such a wonderful experience last year.
Who did you travel with?
I travelled alone.
Have you travelled with us previously?
Yes, The Italian Grande.
What was your favourite place/s on your Albatross tour?
There were so many amazing places and wonderful experiences it's hard to choose a favourite. Perhaps the stand-out would be Mount Etna, but staying in the caves at Matera and the trulli in Alberobello were also fantastic experiences. I don't think I've ever seen a group of adults as excited as young children, darting in and out of each other's caves to wonder and exclaim at the different features of each one. Mine had fossil shells in the stone walls! Pretty mind-blowing.
What was the most amazing thing you saw or did on your Albatross tour?
Going to almost the top of a volcano, seeing steam being emitted from a nearby crater was pretty special. Walking around a crater in the chilling cold with mist floating intermittently around the peaks and the snow contrasting with the dark volcanic rock was eerily beautiful. Add to the splendour of the landscape a feeling of personal achievement at being able to complete the walk and you have a never-to-be-forgotten, exhilarating experience.
Tell us about your most memorable moment on tour?
Apart from the experiences already described, walking in the Valley of the Temples and feeling overwhelmed by the beauty of the location and the palpable sense of ancient history represented in the ruins was pretty special.
What was your favourite meal on tour?
Two meals vie for first place, both of them lunches. The seafood lunch at Vittorio's restaurant by the sea was utterly delicious and enhanced by the beautiful setting. The lunch at Mandranova olive farm was memorable because of the fresh, locally produced ingredients, totally different in style and menu from Vittorio's but no less enjoyable.
What advice do you have for anyone interested in travelling on this tour?
To get the most from this tour you need a moderate level of fitness so you can fully partcipate. Yes, there are easier options for the less fit, but you miss some wonderful experiences. Ramp up your daily walks for a couple of months beforehand and make sure you have comfortable walking shoes.
Would you recommend this tour to family and friends?
I'd recommend this tour to anyone else who loves Italy and is looking for a wider view than that provided by the more well-known tourist locations.
Click here to find out more about the Italy, the Deep South & Sicily tour and other Italian tours available at Albatross Tours.
Have you travelled with Albatross Tours previously?