Skip to main content
1-800-590-1161Help & contactEarn free travel
BlogTravel storiesTop 5 moments from exploring Italy and Greece
Travel stories

Top 5 moments from exploring Italy and Greece

Jun 05, 2014 by Laura Barber

Travel Operations Coordinator Beth P. returned from Italy & Greece enamored with the region’s deep history. Here, she shares her top 5 favorite moments from her trip.

Poseidons Temple

1. Visiting Cape Sounion

We ventured outside of Athens to a special piece of land called Cape Sounion. We explored the grandeur of Poseidon’s temple, dedicated to the Grecian God of the Sea. According to legend, the Aegean Sea got its name when Aegeus, King of Athens, jumped from Cape Sounion into the clear blue water. I loved seeing this secluded area outside of the city, and it was especially fascinating that scientists are still actively excavating the Cape today!

Inside the Vatican

2. Gazing at the ceiling in the Vatican

We slowly walked through the towering Gallery of Maps in the Vatican, surrounded by tapestries showing the landscapes of nearby cities. The ceiling stole the show, with remarkable frescoes illustrating the events that took place in the nearby cities.

Colosseum Rome

3. Walking through the historic Colosseum

I stood inside the awe-inspiring Colosseum with my fellow travelers as our guide gave us a vivid look at what Rome looked like during ancient times. We tried to imagine what it was like to be in the audience of an intense gladiator battle, under the hot Italian sun, with tens of thousands of Romans cheering on the challengers.

Read about 5 fun facts about the Colosseum >

Guide in Pompeii

4. Seeing a city frozen in time

While exploring the ruins of Pompeii, our guide let us touch remnants of the volcanic ash, caked between bricks, from the enormous Mt. Vesuvius. After miles and miles of land were devastated by the volcano, the city stood still for thousands of years, with shops, homes and people, frozen in the ash and in time. It was upsetting to imagine the panic and chaos that occurred when the volcano so far in the distance quickly erupted and destroyed an entire city.

Sorrento Fruit

5. Eating fresh fruit from local markets

Fresh fruit is everywhere in Sorrento—on the trees and in the streets. This fruit stand doubles as a bike! A region so famous for making Limoncello did not disappoint with their lemons—some were the size of my head! We had lemon ice, lemon chocolate, lemon fish, lemon chicken and even plain lemons covered in sugar. We really couldn’t get enough—especially of the lemon perfume!

Where have you fallen in love with local history? View the itinerary here!

Photo essaysTraveler stories
About the author | Laura Barber
It all began on a school trip to London in 7th grade. Since that first jaunt across the pond, Laura has been hooked on all things travel (and British for that matter). When she's not at work using her words to help people find their own adventures, she can be found running 5ks, refining her cribbage game, or rewatching The Office for the 100th time.

Discover our trips to Italy & Greece

Italy & Greece
11 days | 15 days with Santorini & Athens extension

4.6 out of 5 stars

View tour
View tour

Find more travel tips & stories from the road

Travel tips
Lake Balaton, Tokaj, and Eger: These 3 Hungary wine regions are the hidden gems of Eastern Europe