The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Month June 2016

Fuguo road, 6:11 pm.

Big drops are falling from a leaden sky, pitter patterning against the visor of my helmet. The low clouds have made the backstreets of my evening commute even more dull than normal,  nothing but wet asphalt and grey buildings all the way. I mount the steep slope of the bridge across the highway, and just as I reach the crest, the world opens up in front of me. In the distance, visible only because the rain has cleared away the smog of the city, I can see the mountains; layers upon layers of ever darkening shades of green against the … Read the rest


Today was our last whole day in Italy, and we spent it in Florence. This is a much bigger city than all the other places we have visited, with lots of things to see. I’m sure you could spend several days there checking out the various churches, palaces and museums but we only had one afternoon, so we focused in on the main goals, the cathedral and the Uffizi art gallery. Because this is such a popular tourist destination, there was of course a lot of people, with massive queues for the biggest attractions; to skip the queue we decided … Read the rest


Today we have taken things easy compared to the other days and focused on a single tourist site, Siena. It is a larger city than all the other places we visited and there were a lot more tourists. It has several well know places to visit like the Cathedral, The Palio horse races on the Piazza del Campo and the hospital Santa Maria della Scala. We strolled around there for several hours and though we didn’t go in to all of them (the tickets for the cathedral, for example, were unreasonably expensive), we saw most of them from the outside.… Read the rest


During most of my business trips my parents and I don’t bother to see each other but this time, since my wife joined, they couldn’t resist. So on Tuesday Yini and I took the train north from Napoli to a small town called Chiusi Chianciano Terme in Toscana where my parents picked us up in their rental car. The hotel is in another town not too far away from Chiusi but there are several picturesque little towns in the area so we stopped by a place called Pienza and strolled around there for an hour or so before going to … Read the rest

The Amalfi Coast

Except for Pompeii, one of the most famous places in the area around Napoli is the Amalfi coast. It is basically a coastal road connecting a number of small towns and villages  along the south side of the Sorrento peninsula. Since the road was bound to be small, Yini and I decided to rent a scooter – or more precisely a Vespa –  and ride from Salerno out to Sorrent then all the way back to Napoli.

I set out in the morning to go collect the scooter from the rental shop, and after picking up Yini back at the … Read the rest


I thought I might get some more chances to post but me and my colleagues have kept busy in the evenings with dinners with our customers and such, so there hasn’t really been much worth posting about. Most of the time business trips end when the work is over but because this is Italy me and some of my colleagues decided to stay some days extra. I’ve also promised my wife to take her to Pompeii and this was a good opportunity.

Renegade wife arrived already on Friday evening and joined us for dinner. Yesterday our little group dispersed, one … Read the rest

Over the Alps, 11:50 am

I put my book down and look out the window. Normally all  I could see would be the blue sky delineated by the wing of the plane, but now, below us, I see the Alps. A vast range of mountains stretching off in all directions, stark grey tops covered in pristine snow that make me wish I could be there right now, riding my snowboard. Moments later a valley appears, starting somewhere under me and stretching out in a quarter circle towards the tip of the wing. The sides of the valley are a deep forest green, with lighter shades … Read the rest


The company I work for has sold a machine to a customer in Milano and I and three of my colleagues have gone there to install it. We landed around noon on Sunday, and after picking up our bags and getting to the hotel, we had a few hours to see the city. We spent them in the vicinity of the city’s main tourist attraction, Duomo di Milano, or Milan Cathedral. The cathedral is very easy to reach, just take the subway to the Duomo station. The Piazza in front was full of tourists milling about, taking photos and such, … Read the rest

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