Italy (Days 66-70)
Day 66 (10/5/2010):
After killing a sushi craving I had in the middle of Rome, we went to the ever-beautiful Trevi Fountain. Somehow, one amazing movie that most people have never heard have or much less seen have made this become the most ridiculous tourist trap in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I think the fountain is fucking amazing, but if you read my blog, you know how much I dislike tourists.
After being rudely treated by tourists, we took a metro to the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. As it is known as one of the greatest art museum in the world, we fully expected for a ridiculously long queue. We arrived around 3:30 PM (last call is at 4 PM), and saw that there were no lines. Hooray, 1 point good guys. What can I say about this place? There is art everywhere; it’s crawling from wall to wall, in the bathrooms, the escalators. Wherever you can think, there is art. We saw the amazing Stanza di Raffaello and looked up in awe to the ceiling of the magnificent Sistine Chapel.
We stopped by at the Swiss Guard’s offices, who by the way are really intimidating with their pole arms and the lack of any expression. We stopped by to receive an arbitrary looking blue ticket to witness the current Pope speak.
Afterwards, we headed to my friend, Fabrizia’s place to have dinner with her there. Her food is amazing as usual and the conversation was as good. She gave us a nice parting gift of a shot of her mother’s limoncello.
Day 67 (10/6/2010):
This was an early, saucy, day; we woke up at 6 AM, left our host’s apartment, went to the train station, dropped off our luggage, and then went to the Vatican. We had third row seats to see the most powerful religious leader in the world. After 2 hours of scalding hot sun and rude tourists (standard), the Pope popped out in his pimped out Pope mobile. He went through the crowd and said hello to everyone and then started his speech in Italian, which unfortunately I do not understand. After his 5 minute speech, four other members of the clergy translates it into French, German, Spanish, and English, therefore a 5 minute speech took nearly 25 minutes.
What did Wagner and I do? After the Pope’s second 5-minute speech, we left and went to Sorrento to see Wagner’s family.
The train ride from Naples to Sorrento is very beautiful. Piano di Sorrento, a separate part of Sorrento is more beautiful that still holds true to the quaint peaceful living style of southern Italy. Tina was waiting for us at the train station and as soon as we met her, it felt as if we were being taken in by family.
Tina had so much food already made for us and let us stay at her wonderful place right outside of the village square.
We spent the first night recovering and meeting with some of Jay’s Italian relatives.
Day 68 (10/7/2010):
After a full night of R&R, we went down to Amalfi Coast. We took a bus that swerved dangerously in and out of the curvy coastal roadways. The ride itself to and back from Amalfi Coast was beautiful and it was worth every minute of the dangerous ride. Think postcards of the beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea with cliffs and white villages.
After a bit of walking around Amalfi, we jumped on a bus to go to the cliff perched Ravello. Ravello is a naturally beautiful village right on a cliff with an amazing view of the bay. Wagner and I both got lost for a good 30 minutes going up and down stairs to find the right path back to the bus stop.
Wagner’s relatives, Tina, Paola and Marco, took us to an amazing restaurant in Sorrento. All I can say is that the food never stopped coming. We all started off with cold cuts with mozzarella, grilled vegetables, the fish plate (plata de morta), all sorts of fried vegetables and what not. When I thought it was over, our steaks came. That was definitely the most I have eaten on this trip. Boy, do I love Italy.
Day 69 (10/8/2010):
We spent the day going through the ash-covered remains of the Roman city of Pompeii next to the incredible Mt. Vesuvius. This well-preserved city showed the daily lives of the regular Romans. My only issue was that there weren’t enough ash casted human bodies.
Day 70 (10/9/2010):
Paola and her boyfriend took us on a walking tour of Sorrento that would never be in any guidebooks. This included lemon farms, bee farms, remarkable cliff side views of the water and Mt. Vesuvius, and in general, a knowledge of the less touristy scene of Sorrento.
As we are driving by a funeral home.
Aunt Tina: This is a nice place to see, oh wait, it’s not that nice.