A Travellerspoint blog

Italy

5 Days in Roma

which was really only supposed to be 3 days

semi-overcast

Ok, i apologize to all my adoring fans out there for not writing in almost 6 days. I know how you all love to put off writing papers, creating lessons plans, and any other chore by checking to see if i have added anything new. Well to reward you here are a few stories about Rome.

1.) I got into Rome itself and called my hostel for a ride, only to find out that i needed to take ANOTHER train for 40 minutes to get to the hostel, which was in a suburb called Ostia. When i arrived there i could not help but think that this place is either a mental institution or based off a level from Goldeneye; tall white ceilings and long corridors seperated by a ton of unneccesary doors with a wide staircase with elevator in the middle. When the owner opened the door to my room, i was able to glimpse a couple youngish americans, a few bottles of wine (empty) and was assaulted by blaring MTV. The owner turned and said she could find another room for me, but this looked way to good to pass on. Turns out there were 5 minnesotans sharing the 6 person room, and they were all just a year younger than me. And 4 were girls :) We ended up hanging out the next day and went to...

2.) The Vatican Museum. It took us a good 10 minutes to follow the signs directing us to the entrance, but when the signs stopped, all we saw was an exit from the museum. a little confused, we asked a couple that was leaving where he entrance was and she pointed to the right. to two large bronze doors. that were quite definatly shut. It turns out that the las entrance to the museum is 12:20, and it being 3:00 at this point, you could say we were a little dissapointed.

3.) Fortunatly, John and I were staying an extra night and got to see the museum and the Sistine Chapel the next day, and we only had to wait in line for an hour. The museum was amazing, there were more statues, tapestries, gold leaf, frescoes and arble than i have ever seen before in one place. I made a joke about the Catholic church having more money than God, but john, being Roman Catholic, didn't really appreciate my humor. but seriously, when you see what all the collection money of thousands of peasants being used to pay for a very large peice of artistic cloth, you begin to realize why martin luther started the reformation. i'm sure that money could have been used in a much more useful manner.

4.) I also went to see the Collesum (little kids dream come true), Roman Forum (cluttered group of once great monuments), San Clemente (church built on top of a church built on top of mithriac temple, excavations in progress) and later spent a whole day in Pompeii which was just amazing. We're talking a full out roman city complete with 2000 year old frescoes that don't look a day over 500.

5.) and you might ask why i didn't stay in naples, which is a lot closer to pompeii than rome and would not have required a 3 hour train ride back and forth in one day. i'll tell you why.

-First of all, an Italian girl i was hanging out with in Berlin said that in naples you should keep all of your money in your pockets and keep your hands in your pockets.
-Second, Massimo, the guy i bought my jacket from, said that i should put money in my shoes and not to bring anything valuable out on the street with me.
-Third, and finally, i saw a front page article in the Herald Tribune that read "Violence is getting out of control, even for Naples." The article went on to discuss the rampant drug use and gang wars in Naples and the idea that italy might send in the military to control things. This was not so much a straw, but more like an anvil that broke the camel's back. I decided i liked my life and that Naples probably was not such a good place to be.

I have now returned to venice, and from here i will be going to Nice again, and then take a train to Barcelona where my good friend Nick will be staying for business during the day, and fun at night. It will be good to see a familiar face again.

Posted by Brainford 09:14 Archived in Italy Tagged backpacking Comments (3)

Florence, Italy

yummy

semi-overcast

while traveling you have to ask yourself some serious questions, such as,

1.What is so wrong about eating gelato before dinner, and could i replace dinner with another gelato?

the answer is of vourse yes, as long as you have two different types of gelato.

2.Is is better to buy italian leather in italy or America? I am really hoping italy cuz i finally bought myself a sweet souvenir. and italian leather jacket. its espresso colored and i bought it from massimo, who was a pretty savy business man, but even he wilted under my stern bargaining. we started out with a jacket for 180 euro, which he assured me would be 300 euro in other stores, and 300 pounds in london. i moved him to another for 160, and because i drove a hard bargainm he dropped it to 150. sweet huh? AND i later went to a regular leather store, and i found a similiar jacket for...330 euro! i am a shopping champ. now i just gotta get it back home safe and sound. dont worry, i got him to specially wrap it as part of the deal

off to rome!

Posted by Brainford 07:27 Archived in Italy Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

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