Monte Carlo

Last year I wrote about the Casino of Monte Carlo and the Changing of The Guard at the Castle of Monaco. However as I review my pictures of last October’s trip, I realized I have shared little about Monte Carlo itself.

Monte Carlo is officially an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco. It is a beautiful natural harbor filled with exquisite yachts. The streets are the course for the world famous Grad Prix and one can only imagine the thrill of watching the race from a hotel or apartment balcony over the streets. Walking through the town takes you from one park to another with stops along the way to look at the race cars that people drive around town. You can smell the money. It has the highest per capita income by far of any place on earth.

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Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

Italian Statues Part One

One of the great things about European cities is the collection of beautiful statues in each city. We also have beautiful outdoor sculptures in The United States but done by Michelangelo or Donatello to name a couple of the more famous ones. The statues in Italy are amazing. Every city, every courtyard, every plaza is full of beautiful out door sculpture, some famous some not. Here are some from out recent tour in Italy.

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Italian Sculpture

Italian Sculpture

Italian Sculpture

Italian Sculpture

Italian Sculpture

Not Trevi Fountain

Last month I publish some images of the Trevi Fountain in Rome. It is truly a magnificent structure and a must see. However Rome has many beautiful fountains and I found some of the smaller ones just as enjoyable. Here are a couple of the smaller fountains including the one outside the Pantheon.

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Roman Fountains

Roman Fountains

Roman Fountains

Portoferraio Elba

Our cruise ship, The Azamara Pursuit was a small luxury cruise liner. Because of that we could visit smaller ports that can’t be reached by the large cruise ships.

hen The Pursuit docked in Portoferraio it was the largest ship in the harbor and the only cruise liner there on that day. This made our stay on Elba more enjoyable. Portoferraio is one of the most beautiful natural harbors I have ever seen. The mountainous island has an interesting history dating back to the Etruscans. The town of Portoferraio is beautiful and filled with shops, cafe’s and beautiful beaches.

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Portoferraio

Portoferraio

Portoferraio

Porto Azzurro Elba

On our cruise we were excited to visit Elba. It is of course the famous place of exile for Napoleon and we were excited to see Napoleon’s residence. To be honest I was glad we took the tour but Napoleon’s house was the least inspiring part of our trip to Elba.

Our cruise ship docked in Portoferraio which is one of the most beautiful natural harbors I have ever seen. The mountainous island has an interesting history dating back to the Etruscans. The town of Portoferraio is beautiful but as we traveled across the island we saw many other gems. For me the tiny little commune of Porto Azzurro was one of the highlights.

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Porto Azzurro Elba

Porto Azzurro Elba

Porto Azzurro Elba

Porto Azzurro Elba

Porto Azzurro Elba

Porto Azzurro Elba

Porto Azzurro Elba

The Trevi Fountain

We were there at the totally wrong time of day for photography. It was extremely crowded and impossible to get a wide shot of the entire fountain. It was actually difficult to walk because everybody is pushing to get a shot of a person or a selfie in front of the fountain. It was also the wrong time of day for October. The best time would be early in the morning.

That said it is an amazing structure to see any time of day including nighttime. It is 86 ft high and 161.3 ft wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. It was built in 1762 by Nicola Salvi.

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The Trevi Fountain of Rome

The Trevi Fountain of Rome

The Trevi Fountain of Rome

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

We had never taken an ocean cruise before but after taking a river cruise we decided to try it. We selected the Mediterranean because we figured it would be calmer than the Atlantic or Pacific. Research was discouraging because either the ships were too big or if smaller than real expensive. We selected Azamara because they seemed to offer the same sort of luxury that Regent,Viking and the other small ships but at a better price point. The Azamara Pursuit was their newest ship and completely refurbished.

Azamara is a brand of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines aimed to compete in the small ship luxury market. The ship had 770 passengers and 450 crew. We were upgraded to a small suite and the service was exceptional. The ship had everything you could want want and because of the small size able to go to smaller ports like Elba and Port Vendre in France. We were always one of the smaller ships in the harbor. One of our guides pointed to an MSC Cruise Ship and told us it had 7000 plus passengers. We I sw that ship I knew we had chosen wisely and now we are thinking about our next adventure.

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit

Aboard The Azamara Pursuit