Monday, December 7, 2009

The Dirty South

Ciao ciao everyone!

So as my time in Italy nears closing (whaaaaat?) I'm doing my best to get everything done while still traveling around to some last-minute places. This weekend I returned to Rome to see the Sistene Chapel, since it was closed when we were there with the program. The Vatican Museum was very impressive and I spent a huge chunk of the day there, along with a short trip through the tombs of the popes under St. Peter's. Eliza offered her lovely hospitality to me for the night and we ate out at one of the 2 places in Rome claiming to be the creators of Alfredo Sauce. We broke the bank eating there but it was sooooo good. After a chill night with Eliza, I set out for the northern tip of Italy's dirty south: Naples.

Upon arrival in Naples I hopped right on the circumvesuviana metro line around Vesuvius en route to Pompei. I spent about 3 hours there exploring, following the map, getting lost, and seeing a TON of cool history. It was a little sad to see the preserved people, because they're there just as they died, and they were in pain, but the fact that they're so well preserved was amazing. AND I got to pet all the dogs all around the city, because they're everywhere.

On my way out of Pompei, before hopping on the metro back to Naples, I bought a HUGE lemon (see the picture in the slide show) about the size of a cantelope. I'm not sure what I'll do with it, but I had to buy it.

Upon returning to Naples, I walked around a little but didn't explore too far because it was getting dark (wish I had another day). I walked to one of their busiest quarters and was vastly unprepared for the number of people there. The Christmas markets were up, which I didn't anticipate, and I actually ended up getting funneled through the narrow streets like I was on a crazy conga line. Still, I hopped off my conga to join a huge mob for one of the best pizza in Napoli, which I got for 1 Euro. I later got a delicious Neopolitan pastry for another Euro. Gotta love the south.

On my way back to the train station I solidified my status as a safe traveler, even when alone, because a guy tried to pickpocket me. I noticed him touch my backpack and immediately turned around to stop him. Lucky for me, even if I hadn't noticed him, I had everything important packed away in my coat in various places, so the best he could have made out with was my makeup kit or a pair of sweatpants. So yay me for being smart. Still, it jumped my senses and made me remember how much less safe it is down south.

Anyway, this is my last week of classes, which I'm not sure I accept. We've got a long list of things to do before we leave, and we WILL get it done. Lots of studying and last minute homework is also in the card. As for today, I'm slowly accomplishing my to-do list and heading to the Santa Croce Christmas Markets later today for some Christmas shopping for everyone at home.

I'll keep you updated on my activities these last 12 days (ahhhhhhhhh), especially after I head on my last trip this weekend: Munich and Salzburg! OK byeeee


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