Monday, 20 July 2015

When in Rome...

Hello all! At the moment I am back in Trieste, but over the last week we had our Inter-Italy trip where we visited Florence, Rome, and Naples over the course of 10 days. I think that this was my favorite trip so far, hands down. I think that this was in part due to the vast differences in culture from city to city. I'll go into a more in-depth analysis of the differences later on, but for now, I'll just tell you what we did.

In Rome, we hit most of the major tourist areas; the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, Palatine Hill, and Vatican City. We also got the really cool opportunity to see the St Sebastian Catacombs, which are not as heavily traveled as the Colosseum. Rome was really interesting, especially since the city itself is really immersed in history, its like everywhere you look, you see a Roman ruin. It was also really interesting to see just how reliant on tourism Rome is. While I knew there would be a lot of tourists there, I didn't expect to see such a heavy influx of international visitors (silly me!). Another thing about Rome is that it is very hot, and very humid! That definitely made walking around the city during the day very difficult.
St Peter's Square
Spanish Steps
When we went to Naples, there wasn't much relief from the heat! It was definitely just as hot, if not hotter! The redeeming factor was that I got to go to Pompeii. In case none of you have ever been to Pompeii, it is single-handedly one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my life! Granted I'm a bit biased as to what I find cool (anything historical always wins!). The ancient city is almost perfectly preserved, so we got to walk the same streets as the people of Pompeii thousands of years ago. The next day we headed to the island of Capri where we got to see the Blue Grotto. Something really interesting about the Blue Grotto is that the bright blue color of the water once you enter the cave is created by the sunlight outside the cave reflecting in. I have never seen water that shade of blue! After we visited the Grotto, we went to a beach in Capri and just relaxed! That was probably my favorite day of this entire Italy trip.
View of Vesuvius from Pompeii
Ocean off Capri

So now for some comparisons of the Italian cities. It is really interesting because each city is very different from one another. Rome was definitely what I expected, a big city. In Rome, it is definitely really easy to find someone who speaks English. Compared to Naples and Trieste, Rome was very Americanized. That was one of the only places I've been able to ask for a "split-check" and not be looked at strangely. Naples has some of the best Italian food I've had so far! The food is reason enough to visit Naples, but it's also nice because there weren't as many tourists as there were in Florence and Rome. In Florence, the atmosphere was much more relaxed than in Naples and Rome, definitely similar to Trieste in that way. Overall, it was such an amazing experience getting to see three of the biggest cities in Italy.

Well, now I am back in Trieste, and I've got to say that I definitely missed the quieter Italian life. Today, I started my Business Law class, and I am super excited to get to know the new Italians in our class. I can't believe that I'll be home in just over three weeks. Well that's all for now!

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