For many of you, I’m sure, Italy is no stranger. The country, which boasts 54 World Heritage Sites, including countless priceless relics / ruins from the glorious Roman Empire (which at its peak, stretched from as far as the Middle East and North Africa to the south of England), is abundantly rich in ancient history, tradition, food and culture.
For me, after 40 years of my existence, this would only be my first trip to the famous Shoe/Boot of the Mediterranean. And one that took me more than a month to put the itinerary together…
Now, back to Naples.
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I promised to leave Japan when I wrote my last post for 2018. As some of you might know, I failed to do so. This time, it’s for real.
This is a trip that has been four years in the making. I first had the idea of tracing the cities along the Mediterranean coastline in 2016, because I’ve always been fascinated with the Mediterranean region.
Countries like Italy, the south of France, Spain and Portugal are so rich in history, cuisine and culture. I had always been interested in ancient civilizations, in particular the Greek and Roman Empires.
Of course, to visit every major city in the Mediterranean region in one trip is almost impossible. I originally planned to spend four and a half months covering the coastline from Central Italy to Portugal, but due to my sheer ignorance of the Schengen ruling, I was forced to cut Portugal (and a side trip to Morocco) altogether and scale down the plan to meet the 90-day allowance for non-European Union citizens.
Still, three months of traveling nonetheless looks a bit daunting, given the longest I’ve continuously been on the road (not including my two-year stay in Japan) was a 24-day solo trip to Central and Eastern Europe (Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Austria) back in June, 2012.
This time, I would spend almost three weeks to slightly over a month in each of the Mediterranean countries I planned to visit, starting with Italy, then to the south of France, and finally ending in Spain.