Saturday 29 June 2013

Cinque Terre, Italy

We took the train to Riomaggiore, the first village, where we discovered that the path was still not open to the public. We had trouble getting information, and the Italian ladies we asked didn't wanted to work and made it very obvious. While in line to get a map, Seb got adopted by a 4 year old little girl. She thought she was getting close to her dad but was holding onto Seb's shirt instead. We took the train to the third village, Corniglia where we followed the path to Vernazza. The path was really scenic and the colorful villages look like they are barely hanging on the cliffs. It was very beautiful and very crowded.


Pisa, Italy

We took the train from Rome and did a short stop in Pisa. Pisa is a nice city and the tower is definitely leaning! Apparently there are a few leaning towers in Italy... So during that period they probably didn't know to take in consideration the soil the towers where standing on. We had pizzas and wine for lunch in a local restaurant. The pizzas were again really good. Italians do know how to cook pizzas. After a few hours of walking in the city with our backpacks, we took another train to get to Genova.


Friday 28 June 2013

Pompei, Italy

We got up early to take the fast train from Rome to Napoli and a regionnal train from Napoli to Pompei. Pompei is a town that was covered in volcano ashes and mud during the Vesuvio eruption in AD79. There was 20 000 people living in the city during that period, but because there was an earthquake before, most of them had already moved. Still 2000 people died in a matter of seconds when the blast from the volcano happened. Archaeologists did an awesome job removing the 3-5 meters of residue to uncover most of the town. It was very well developed with streets and houses. The inside of the houses were also decorated with paintings and marble. Truly impressive to see how people lived 2000 years ago.


Rome, Italy, Part 2

On our second day visiting Rome, we walked in town, visiting Plazza de la Republica, fontena del Triton (unfortunately it was in a box), fontena de Trevi (a lot bigger than we expected.. and really crowded) After losing ourselves in the little streets filed with official shops and random people selling random stuff laid out on blankets, we visited Templo Adriano and the Pantheon. We saw Piazza Navona and walked on street Coronari until Ponte Sant' Angelo. On the other side of the Fiume Tevere, we saw Castel Sant' Angelo. We kept walking to the Vatican. The basilica Sant Pietro is HUGE.. and so was the line-up to get in! We met an Australian girl in the line so the 40 minutes wait went by a lot faster. We passed security and decided to start with the Cupole to get a nice view. The stairs are wide at first but get narrow and somewhat steep. There is a nice footbridge almost at the top which allowed us to see the mosaics on the walls. We climbed more stairs, getting narrower (good thing we are not overweight) all the way to the top where a nice view of Roma awaited us. We came back down to visit the actual Basilica. It was really impressive. According to Lonely Planet, if you only have one church to visit in Rome, it should be the Basilica. They were right. After spending quite a bit of time in the Vatican, we walked back to our room.


Wednesday 26 June 2013

Rome, Italy, Part 1

After a good night sleep, we went to visit Roma. We walked all day, but spent most of our time in the Palatino and the Colosseo. The area of the Palatino is pretty big and it is full of ruins, mostly palaces and church like buildings. There are also a few arches that are still standing. The Colosseo is huge, they could fit between 50 000 and 70 000 spectators. It is truly amazing to see old buildings like that still standing. Today's architects should probably revise their notes on how to build durable infrastructure... Rome is a pretty city. At moments it feels crowded, but it is probably because Italians are used to bumping into each other. Everybody seems to think that they have the right of passage all the time, on the sidewalk, in the street, in line... anything really! We have to adjust and get in the traffic as well.