Rome... Part 2: It Got Better
I'm going into every city to see if I could live there one day and also for the experience. So can I live in Rome? Hell no. Was it a good experience? Yes.
I couldn't live there because the city isn't very clean. Trash everywhere. Public transportation is a mess. It's just not for me at all. But let's talk about what's good.
I have to say it was pretty cool to see some of the things I've read about when I was younger. Visiting the Coliseum, Pantheon, and the Forum was a very cool experience. Though I was really impressed by the Coliseum I think I was more impressed by Palestine Hill. It's massive and how it overlooks everything really made you feel like royalty. Our tour guide walked us through the entire place and we had a chance to look at renderings of how it once it looked. You can only imagine the type of life that a Cesar lived when he was there. You should definitely visit all three!!!
Also, a pretty impressive place was Pompeii. I didn't realize it was that big. So I thought lava and hellfire ran through the city, but that was clearly from me watching too many movies. The city, for the most part, is intact along with a few statues, pottery, and the amphitheater. I wouldn't say visiting is a must-see, but if you have time and you're in Naples you should check it out.
Now walking around the city can be tiresome, but there are 2 things that could easily distract you. One of them would be the basilicas. Just about every other block there's one just waiting for you. I'm not into art like that, but the frescos in these places. Entire ceilings covered in beautiful artwork, but the interior itself is art. From the outside, it looks like another 500 year old building, but then you walk in and it's crazy beautiful. I don't suggest you visit every basilica, because some are just ok and there are too many. But if you're walking by one and the doors are open... poke your head in real quick.
I didn't get a chance to tour the Vatican Museum or visit the catacombs, but I did go to St. Peter's Square. If you've seen the Da Vinci Code and you can remember the last 30 mins where they were in the square. It's just like that. Statues everywhere and well lit up. I think they were going to have a ceremony the next day or something because there were a lot of chairs set up. It's worth visiting to see it for yourself.
What else... oh VESUVIUS!!! So thankfully the bus took us up about 3/4 of the way because there is no way I would have made it up that thing. That last 1/4 was brutal, but I made it and the view from up there is amazing. You can see all of Naples and a beautiful view of the Mediterranean. Once you turn around there is a crater. A huge crater. Keep in mind this is a volcano. A live volcano that actually had some steam coming out of it that day. Now while you're up there (and on the way) you can buy some souvenirs if you like or you can buy some limoncello. What is limoncello you ask? Think moonshine drowned in lemonade. I DO NOT RECOMMEND DRINKING THIS BEFORE YOU HEAD BACK DOWN. Just saying lol. You can pretty much find this all over Italy. You will get better prices by getting it at a grocery store.
So the food. I learned that Italy is really prideful when it comes to their dishes. Different areas have their own traditions and standards for their food. Let's talk about pizza. In Rome there are a few different styles. I only had 1 of them. It was pretty good. Naples has it's on style. It was ok. Sicily has its own style. I damn near drooled all over myself when I bit into that pizza. My mouth was so damn confused after eating that slice and it wasn't from some named, popular on TripAdvisor restaurant. It was a small little hole in the wall time place that was recommended by one of my tour guides called Mondo Arancina and the pizza I ate was Sfincione Palernitano. You can get to it by taking the A line to Flaminia station.
Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to try any Lasagna. Slightly disappointed in that, but I did get a chance to try some different kinds of pasta. Lol it was good. Really good. Especially the ravioli, pesto, and this home-style pasta I had. Soooo good. And to wash it all down they had this lemon soda which is by far the best lemon soda I've ever had. Then there's the water. Yes... the water! San Benedetto mineral water. I promise this water has healing powers. Every time I had some I felt like I was rejuvenated. But finally... for dessert. I had Gelatos. Strawberry Gelatos. White Chocolate Gelatos. Oh my, Pineapple Gelatos. Piiiiiiiineapples.
Caution... avoid restaurants that have the menu in multiple languages, that are near tourist spots, or those that have people outside trying to get you to come eat. They are not worth it.
Overall the trip was pretty good. I definitely recommend visiting Rome at least once. For the historical treasures and the food for sure. Next time I visit Italy it will be for Florence, Venice, Amalfi Coast and probably Tuscany.