Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Trip to Italy - Part 2

While we stayed in Rome for the week, we made two day trips during those 7 days. Our first day trip (by way of a very comfortable high speed train) was to Florence. We had reservations to the Accademia dell'Arte del Disegno to see Michelangelo's David and several other works of art (sorry, no cameras allowed!).

Fountain in Florence

We then walked about the city, taking in the sights and sounds. A bus tour sped us through the highlights of the locale, and we visited the Ponte Vecchio ("old bridge"). The Ponte Vecchio was first constructed by the Romans, and was the only bridge not destroyed by the German forces during their withdrawl from Italy in 1944, allegedly because of an express order by Hitler.

Our second day trip took us South of Rome, to Naples. From Naples we caught a local train to Pompeii. What can I say about Pompeii, other than it was truly an amazing experience? It boggles my mind how complete a city it was, nearly 2000 years ago!

Pompeii Baking Area

The city is so well preserved that some of the artwork (mostly frescos) is still visible, and quite beautiful.

Fresco on the wall of a Pompeii house

We spent a good 5 hours walking around Pompeii, and could have easily extended that to a full day if we had the time. Herculaneum is Pompeii's lesser known sister city, which faced a similar fate. That archeological site would have needed another day in and of itself as well.

Vesuvius and Family

We then made our way back to Naples, and had pizza Margherita at pizzeria “Da Michele” - supposedly the place which originated this style of pizza. I can't say too much positive about the city of Naples itself (other than the pizza), as it was still recovering from a trash workers strike. We had to be extra careful of pick-pockets and others, and that extra vigilance can take a toll on your ability to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds.

My next post will cover our three days in Venice!

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