Two of the other people on our table were held up by gunpoint in Barcelona by three men who tried to rob them. Fortunately Lou ( the wife) shouted back at the robbers and walked away ...the thieves fled. Instead of filling on the many hours between having to leave the ship at 9am and our 7-30pm flight home we chose to bring the flight forward ( thank-you easyjet) and skip a visit to Barcelona even though the airport was grim.
Took a very pleasant horse and carriage ride up to the village....haggle the price which started at 40 euros but was reduced to 30. He still managed to prise another 7 euros out of me "for the horse". Messina was a run down dump with very little to see.
We took the "Rome on your own" excersion which was quite exhausting although most of the sites to be seen in Rome are all very close to each other. Very like London but obviously for the tourists. The Vatican was disappointing ...I expected more. St Peters square was full of barriers and long queues of people waiting to go into the Vatican itself. The one highlight for me was the trevi Fountain which was beautiful and made the visit worthwhile. The cafe where we had a fabulous lunch of HOT lasagne was excellent and really authentic. Police were every where ..and the army. It was a bit intimidating. It was the day before the riots so they were out in force. Traffic was a nightmare but it was a beautiful city if old buildings and statues are your thing.