Just arrived back from two weeks in Italy with mum and dad. Venice was our first stop. A city full of amazing beauty and history. We caught a water taxi into the centre of Venice (as there are no roads) and spent the day walking around the backstreets, watching the gondolas float by, browsing the markets, sampling gelati (yum!), wandering through the piazzas and alfresco dining and strolling along the cobblestone paths. Next day we flew to Rome and walked around the city that afternoon after finding our bearings. It was amazing to see how old all the buildings and churches are, many dating back to the 5th century. Went to one catholic church called the Bascilia di Santa Maria degli Angeli which was designed by Micaelangelo, with the amazing artwork and sculptures. The following day we did a sightseeing tour of Rome. Visited the colosseum which is Rome's best-known monument begun in AD 72, could seat 80,000 and featured gory & deadly gladiatorial combat and wild beast shows.. In the afternoon we went to the Vatican city to St Peter's Basilica and Square (where the Pope usually gives a public speech every Wednesday). Disappointingly didn't get to the sistine chapel as it was closed when we arrived...maybe another time. Next day we caught a train to the beautiful Amalfi coast (pictured) on the mediterranean sea. Our hotel had a balcony with a panoramic view of the sea and the cliffs either side. The bus ride around the the coastline was spectacular with the blue-green sea, mediterranean-style houses hugging the cliffs and scooters whizzing by. We spent the next five days at amalfi taking in the scenery, wandering the local shops, sampling the local produce, swimming and relaxing. Did a couple of day-trips to nearby towns Positano and Ravello, and spent a day on the Isle of Capri. Mum and Dad thought they could retire here quite easily. Clare & I took a tour out the grotto one day where we had our own private tour from our new friend Marco who offered to show us around amalfi one night with his friends. Following our beautiful five days at amalfi, caught a ferry to Naples. Naples was probably my least favourite city, very dirty and has a strong mafia presence. The fact we were staying near the train station probably added to the overall experience of living in the backstreets of Naples. From Naples we did a day trip to Pompeii which was an ancient city dating back to 7th century BC which was buried under ash and rock in 79 AD following the volcanic eruption of the nearby volcano Vesevius. The city was rediscovered many centuries later when it was excavated, restored and where extraordinary architecture, sculptures, paintings, mosaics and silverware were discovered. Saw plaster casts of some of the victims of 79 AD trying to escape. Travelled back to Roma next day where we did another day of sightseeing around the piazzas and saw the pantheon, then headed back to London the next day.