Monday, August 12, 2013

Europe - Rome and Naples, Italy

Have you ever heard of Trastevere? If yes, I hope you stayed here in Rome, if no, I'll tell you why! Trastevere is a unique part of Rome, filled with narrow cobble stone roads and medieval houses. People flood it by night and it becomes lively by both the tourists and the locals. It is close to everything by foot - Vatican city, the Colosseum, Pantheon and well, you name it! I was so lucky to be in this part of town, and I would ONLY recommend staying here!

Rome was the busiest of all places, and the hottest. Its important to start the day early because once the afternoon hits, you'll be done by the heat. A man we met travelling gave us a huge piece of advice that I am going to share with you. When going to visit the Roman Forum and Colosseum (one ticket gets you entry to both), buy your ticket from the Forum, then go directly to the Colosseum and see that first. You will end up saving yourself a huge line, about 1.5 hours on a busy day. He also gave us the advice to downloading Rick Steves free podcasts, giving the history on many monuments and tours throughout Europe.

Vatican City is simply stunning and you cannot miss going here. I have been once before but found it even more beautiful the second time around as I didn't have enough time on my first visit. I would highly suggest that you climb all the way to the top of the Cupola Dome of St. Peter's Basilica. You will get the most spectacular view of the Vatican, and be a little proud of yourself along the way. It has over 300 steps and its quite claustrophobic but if you complete it, you're a winner! And don't forget, there is a dress code to visit the Vatican, cover up your shoulders and knees!
colosseum photo

vatican city photo

vatican city photo

cupola dome photo

view of vatican city photo

cupola dome photo

vatican city photo
trevi fountain rome photo

outside the colosseum photo

inside the colosseum photo

art inside the colosseum photo

inside the colosseum photo

After Rome, we packed up and headed 2 hours south to Naples. I really wish I would have done more research, because if I had, I am quite certain I wouldn't have chosen Naples to spend my time. Don't get me wrong, Naples is great to stay for checking out all the surrounding areas like the Amalfi Coast and Capri (which will be coming up in my next blog posting), but if I did it again, I would have stayed in the coastal town of Sorrento. You're probably asking yourself, why not Naples? Well, the whole city is under a massive spray paint problem. It was sad, and I felt bad for this city. It just had too much neglect and I just never felt at home, or safe. Literally every wall was covered in spray paint, and monuments as well. Naples, you better clean yourself up!
graffiti in naples photo

vespa naples photo

medieval figurines naples photo

dinner in naples photo

russian museum naples photo

alleyway naples photo

city of naples photo

art structures pompeii photo

pompeii photo

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