After a really cool 7 hour ferry across the Adriatic sea from Dubrovnik, the southern point of the Dalmatian coast in Croatia, to Bari, a small harbour town half way down Italy’s west coast; Sophie and I had already realised one unmistakable fact about the Italians: They are loud. With an average speaking volume over 50dB higher than all other European nations, it’s no surprise that our Ferry journey was abundant with shouts and cries such as “MARIA!!!!!!!!!!!”. Despite this, Sophie and I got chatting to a very interesting traveller with a motor home from south England who had just spent the last 3 weeks taking in all the sights along the Dalmatian coast that we had wizzed past in just 5 hours on a coach… It’s evident that Croatia has far more to offer than any salient traveller could visit in just the 5 short days we spent in the country. I also found out the reason why the Croatians had a street in every major city named after Nikola Tesla, inventor of the tesla coil and, hence, AC power as we use today… he was born in Croatia. Interesting fact I didn’t know.
Anyhow… Bari. Not much to say about this small town, mainly because we were there just long enough to get a bus to the train station, hunt for somewhere to eat (and finding a place selling Focaccia) and watching The Lovely Bones on the laptop waiting for our overnight train to Rome. The overnight train, on the other hand, I could talk about for hours…
Without a bed reservation, because they were all taken when we tried to reserve them a week earlier, we had to make do with seats. We shared a cabin with 4 other people in 2 rows of 3 seats facing each other. After getting on the train we turned the light off in our cabin and tried to get some resemblance of sleep on the 6 hour train. Unfortunately several factors prevented this: the aforementioned seat layout meaning the person opposite me constantly kicking my shins, the ticket inspector choosing 3am as the opportune moment to check our InterRail passes, the ticket inspector then arguing with 2 guys just outside our cabin for what I can only assume was not having a valid ticket, the aforementioned inherent loudness of Italians and the heat of the cabin after 20 minutes of 6 people trying to sleep and breathing heavily… it was most definitely an experience!
6:30am, finally in Rome sweet Rome… but without a map and only cryptic directions to our hostel. After one long hour we discovered it was only a 10 minute walk from where we started. 20 minutes later the receptionist finally checks us in (slowest check-in ever!) and Sophie and I make full use of the included breakfast :)
And then we napped… for 2 hours.
First stop: Well, lunch… but then: Fontana Di Trevi. The most famous fountain in Rome, and believe me there are a lot to choose from!
For some reason every tourist in Rome must visit this flight of steps… and when I say every tourist in Rome, that is a lot of tourists! Even at the end of September Rome’s small streets were packed with every Tom, Dick and Harry you could think of. I’d hate to think what it’s like during peak season!
Still the world’s largest unsupported concrete dome, it really is a sight to behold. And what’s outside this amazing monument… another fountain!
Some run-down theatre…
Up to Gianicolo for sunset and an amazing view over Rome.
Just before leaving England a month ago I went to my bank to sort out travel things and the assistant recommended a pizzeria in Rome, so we did!
Local, traditional pizza just off the tourist track… I’d recommend it to anyone who’s going to Rome. www.pizzariapanunto.com Thank you Richard Hill!
The next morning we ventured over the river to a Sunday Flea market, and it was huge! An hour of walking continuously and we hadn’t even found the end! Littered with clothes stalls, jewellery stands, electronics, bags, books, food and everything else; it was a good place for us to get a few souvenirs, as long as you were prepared to barter!
It was HOT!
Ancient Rome… Incredible.
Sophie’s feet after a long day of walking around 2500 years of roman history!
Sophie will fill you in on the last 2 days in Rome which include more of that old theatre, a ceiling and table tax! Stay tunes!