Friday, March 18, 2011

On Pompei and Carnavale

So, in the wee hours of the morning, me, Casey, and Keeva woke up and  
made some coffee. And no, that's not all we woke up for, we were  
heading back to Naples today to go check out Pompei- an ancient city  
that was buried and preserved under volcanic ashes of Mt. Vesuvius  
that blew in 79 AD. It was pretty cool, you hear about Pompei, but  
actually being there and checking it out was really cool. We walked  
around what used to be houses, stores, squares, streets, gardens. It's  
all been preserved under the radioactive strenght of the ash. Crazy  
stuff. We then went back to Naples.
  It was a sunny, but chilly day in Naples as we walked around,  
searching for wifi, limoncello, and food. Have I told you how  
different southern Italy is from the rest of Italy? It's a huge  
difference- people semi-aggressively try to sell us things and  
crossing the street is a test of boldness- you just need to start  
walking and hopefully cars will slow down and let you pass. :) a  
little crazy, yes.
Has anyone seen 'Eat Pray Love'? Well, in the movie, Julia Roberts  
goes down to Naples to eat the worlds best pizza (it's also in the  
book like this, I just haven't read the book yet) and that's where we  
had dinner! It's called Di Michele pizzeria and the staff working  
there was so sweet! Older men with huge smiles on their faces, smell  
of fresh pizza, and a restaurant packed with people as the night went  
on. It was a really cool experience and place to eat. Was it the best  
I ever had? It was a REALLY close second- I think the best pizza was  
on our first night in Naples at this highly recommended place- Il  
Matteo. It was SO good. Pizza will never be the same for me.
Anyways- that night we took a crazy overnight train to Venice.
At first it was us three in a compartment- then we were joined by two  
people and two kids, which was actually alot of fun- we tried talking  
in Italian the whole time. And then another couple. Since we didn't  
have reservations, we had to either squish together or one of us move  
out in the hallway on a pullout chair. We took turns sitting outside  
and basically had a sleepless, uncomfortable night, arriving in Venice  
at 5:30 am. We were exhausted and groggy and waited till 6 for the  
train station cafeteria to open along with other fellow travelers,  
some of which joined us on our trek into the city.
Venice was filled with tourists from all over the world, people  
wearing costumes and masks, and kids throwing confetti. The city was  
having one big party!
We hung out all day, trying to stay awake, drinking espressos and  
getting lost. That night we visited a local square where an Italian  
band played music, locals ran around with Italian flags, and most  
people had some form of outfit and/or mask on. It was like Halloween  
for adults. That night, the alleys and streets of Venice were filled  
with people of all ages- old ladies strolling over canals, teenagers  
dancing around squares, and middle-agers taking it all in. It was a  
night to be remembered.
The next day I drew a picture of the Rialto bridge and gave it to a  
fellow traveler, had lunch and headed out to the coastal town of  

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