We caught the overnight ferry in Split bound for Ancona, Italy. The ferry leaves at 9:00 p.m. and arrives at 7:00 a.m., and we had a cabin, so we didn’t get to experience much of “life on the sea.”
Ancona was my first taste of Italy, and I liked what I found. The city was characterized in many of the guidebooks I read in advance as bland and depressing; here’s what the Rough Guide says, for example:
Ancona is a depressing place, severely damaged by war and earthquakes, with a modern centre of bland broad avenues and palm-shaded piazzas. However, it’s the mid-Adriatic’s largest port, with regular ferries to Greece, and you may well pass through.
In contrast, I found the city pleasant, friendly, and well-equipped. The plazas and broad avenues were very interesting, especially the main street of down, which gets closed to traffic every night. We had one of the best meals of our trip in the Strabacco, and we bought gifts for people at home in several interesting shops downtown that were equal to any we’d seen elsewhere in Europe. This is, I fear, a common guidebook malady: if some place isn’t Rome or Athens, it’s called “depressing” and “bland.” It wasn’t.
We flew to London by RyanAir, were overnight one night there, and then home to Canada the following day.