Back in Italy, I visited Assisi, Verona, Venice, Naples, Sorrento, and the breathtakingly beautiful hillside area of Positano on the Amalfi Coast. I remember seeing this awe-inspiring place in the mid-90s when Robert Downey Jr. was chasing Marisa Tomei in the film Only You. I made a promise to myself then that one day, I would indeed see it!
As busy as 2012 was, I managed to take a break in December by taking a cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean. I started my vacation in Rome where I boarded a luxury liner that took me to Greece first. We visited Olympia (the birthplace of the Olympics) and then Athens where I saw the Parthenon at the Acropolis. We then went to Turkey, making stops at Ephesus and Istanbul where we stayed for two days. It was an exotic mix of Europe and Asia that made the whole experience truly unique.