Tuesday, October 15

Italian Adventures

So, I've just gotten back from my weekend in Austin, and oh man. I really should be studying, or writing papers, or doing any number of things that isn't writing a blog, but when I get the urge to write, I write, and Italy has been on my to-do list for months now, almost a year, which is insane to me.

But, as my laundry goes through it's spin cycle, I find myself with extra procrastinating time on my hands after tidying up and packing away my trusty duffel bag (£15 at Primark, my best purchase ever, if I do say so myself) from my last adventure, so I've decided to talk about Italy a little bit- and by a little I mean I'll keep this as brief as possible, but I LOVE to talk about Italy. The native people, the culture, the food, not to mention the company that I went on my trip with, was all fantastic. The cities we stopped at were, in order- Pisa, Genoa, Milan, Florence, Rome, Naples, and if you ask me to pick a favorite, you'd be cruel, because there's no way I can.

In Pisa, we obviously saw the Piaza del Duomo also known as Piazza dei Miracoli which houses the Tower of Pisa, the Duomo, and the Baptistry- all three world renowned and astonishingly beautiful. We also visited a park and a few other things, but the highlight of this city was definitely the Tower of Pisa- It's a must stop for the tourist group, and though I hate to be cliche, this was the time to be one.
In Genoa we enjoyed a few days rest before meeting up with the rest of our group in Milan, we enjoyed good food and the Genoa Aquarium, which is known as one of the best in the world, and if you know me, I'm a sucker for aquariums.
 In Milan we met up with the rest of our group, and we window shopped- everything was way out of my price range. I loved the city, but it definitely did make me feel poor, and I felt very out of place with my travel shorts and t-shirts, wearing my dirty TOMS and my hair in a pony tail while people from all over Europe were enjoying the high fashion scene.
 In Florence we saw the famous Duomo and the statue of David- and boy were they both spectacular! I'm not one for museums, but the the David was well worth it! You can't take pictures inside the museum, but I did take a couple pictures of a smaller replica in a plaza of statues- which was really cool! We also had the chance to meet up with another group that was traveling in Italy at the same time- we met up a friend at a pizzareia and then headed over to their hotel to catch up and share stories about how our trips had been going- of course, we were all having a fantastic trip.

And then there was Rome- you can spend weeks in Rome and still have more to see, but we only had a couple days, so I hit the stuff at the top of my list which included a few fountains, the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Vatican City- all way cool. I definitely want to go back and spend at least a week there- I don't think I'd ever get tired of it all. Also, we were in Rome for Thanksgiving, so we hit up the fantastic Frascheteria Burnetti- a fantastic restaurant with fantastic service and fantastic food- did I mention it was fantastic? I think it's my favorite place in the world. Actually, I know it's my favorite place in the world- the city is, at least. It lives and breathes excitement, and if anyone wanted to sponsor me in living there for a year, I would gladly take them up. It's places like Rome that make me want to drop out of college and try my chances at a travel writer.

Lastly, was Naples. We were in Naples mainly so that we could take a day trip out to Pompeii, which was well worth it. Naples itself I'm sure has things to see, but we were short on time, and the part of Naples we did see was mostly like the grungy part of Downtown Fort Worth, except you don't speak the language, so you can tell off any of the guys that come on to you. Naples is the one city in Italy that I actually had trouble with the men. I was kissed in the middle of a street, caressed on a subway, and in general ogled at. I didn't mind the off the cuff "Ciao Bella!!" or occasional whistle, but Naples just steps things up a notch. I definitely don't recommend the city to anyone. However, Pompeii was really amazing. We got to see so much history, climb on ruins, and I even found some super awesome mushrooms (another back-up to finishing college is becoming a mycologist!)

Well that's all for this post. I have a ton of little stories I could tell, but I feel like this is getting long enough. I'll save the stories for a rainy day, other than this one.