Rest and relaxation. That’s the basic gist of our time in this beautiful country.
Rome was beyond words. Seeing the Colosseum in person is really something I believe everyone should do. Just understanding the history of the structure and marvelling at its architecture is enough to make you swoon. Then you get inside and it is cooler than you expect. There are so many people milling about so you can picture them all lined up to watch the next gladiator fight. We even heard a keen little boy asking his mother why the centre of the arena wasn’t flat. As it turns out, they excavated the arena floor and found these rooms and tunnels that had been used during wars as shelters and markets. Extremely cool piece of information to learn.Enter Vatican City. It’s insane to think that an entire country lies within the confines of Rome. Then you get there and see the Vatican Museum and can really understand how it belongs to itself. Unfortunately, the museum was quite crowded so our experience wasn’t the most enjoyable (high season, right?) but, it was still incredible to see all the artwork housed in the museum.
The minute I stepped into St. Peter’s Square however, I felt like I was home. Despite it being over crowded and seeing one too many selfie sticks, I felt like I had my own world in front of me. We decided to forego entering the Basilica because of the ridiculous line but, one day I will most definitely return and get my chance to see what I missed.
From Rome we moved to Naples and when I say this city has the greatest pizza, believe me. We were directed to Sorbilla – the best pizza place in the city, and was it ever worth the wait. The pizzas came out in less than 10 minutes, totally fresh, twice the size of my face and more delicious than any pizza I’ve ever had.
Visiting Pompeii was the main reason we stayed in Naples and it was an experience I’ll never forget. Seeing casts of people who were buried under the volcano’s ash, exploring what used to be homes, market squares and parliamentary buildings and getting so close to pottery and other belongings preserved in time was such a strange feeling. From Naples, we headed to the Amalfi Coast. Staying about 600m up the mountain from Amalfi in a little town called Agerola was both wonderful and a tad scary. To get down to Amalfi, we had to take a bus down an incredible winding route where it felt like we were going to fall off the cliff-face at any given moment. Your heart stops more than once making those turns and trying to get past other buses and vehicles. Staying up the mountain also had its perks though. We get a fabulous view of the coast from above and also get the quiet solitude of a town without a million tourists. All in all, Agerola felt like a little piece of home. The hostel was family owned so there were always children running around and plenty of family members saying hello and cooking in the kitchen. There were little dogs and tiny babies and an owner so kind that when one of us fell ill, he offered to place a prescription under his wife’s name for us. Luckily, the farmacia had what we needed and that wasn’t necessary!
I left Italy feeling welcomed, loved and in a hurry to return. Here’s hoping I will sometime soon. For now, ciao Italia e grazie for the wonderful stay!