Published: August 10th 2012August 10th 2012
My last two days in Italy were spent in Naples and Rome. I took the train from Sorrento to Naples, and on the train, on the seat behind me, was the teacher I had met on the way to Naples a week earlier! Her husband was off doing a hike, but she was going to check out Herculaneum. I was a bit surprised that I ran into her again! What a weird coincidence. I had known that she was going to Positano for several days, and then off to Capri, but who would have thought we'd bump into each other again?
I made my way to Naples, where I walked to my B&B, again cursing the lack of street signs and the lack of detail on my map. I managed to find the location, but my host was not there. I had some issues connecting my phone to a network (maybe I shouldn't turn it off?) but finally I was able to call her and let her know I was there. She arrived within 10 minutes and I was set up in a cute little room with air conditioning and a TV. I thought I would have to share a bathroom, but I had one to myself! Yay!
I decided to go and see the Duomo and do the Underground Tour of Naples. The duomo was closed (reopened at 3pm) and the Underground Tour was at 4pm. I wandered around the streets, looking in the shops, seeing crafts that were typical to Naples. They do a lot of terra cotta pottery, and they also have this weird statue/figuruine stuff that is really ugly. My host had recommended I check out one workshop, but I was not impressed by the look of the stuff!
I made it back to the Underground Tour with only a few minutes to spare, but I got in, and we descended 30m under the city. Apparently there is a whole network of cisterns and underground passages that were used first to collect and distribute drinking water. They would add wells to the system, and dig the rock out of the ground to use for building houses. They stopped this method of water distribution in the late 1800s (I think) because of cholera. Then during WWII, they made these passages into bomb shelters and blocked off many of the wells. It was a very interesting tour!
After that I headed back toward the B&B, and looked for some food. My host had recommended two restaurants close to her building, and I went into one called Pizza Ancien de Michele (or something like that). Apparently it was the same restaurant as in the Julia Roberts' movie "Eat, Pray, Love". I didn't even realize it until I saw her photos on the wall, and heard some other tourists talking about how it was a famous location.
I headed back to my B&B so that I could pack up most of my stuff for my upcoming flight, and I spent the night doing that and watching (in Italian) "I Hate Valentine's Day". Good thing I had seen the movie before!
Today I took the train to Rome. Again I was on one of those trains with compartments. There were two older women in the compartment, and their little dog in a carrier. They took up 5 of the 6 seats! At the first stop, a couple of young guys boarded the train and were in our compartment, and the women had to give up two of their seats. The dog still got a whole seat to himself! O_O
In Rome, I walked to my hostel (where I stayed at the start of my trip) and checked in. I changed clothes (as my T-shirt was drenched) and made my way out to the streets. I wandered around and ended up at the Capuchin Crypt. Good thing I had my little shrug to cover my shoulders and a shawl to wear as a skirt, as they were turning people in tank tops away at the door. I wasn't allowed to take photos in there, which was too bad, because it was creepy! Designs made of bones, skeletons, lots of "scenes" of the Capuchin monks. Wish I could have taken photos to show off what I mean. Oh well.
From there I took the metro to the Pyramid, walked to the Circus Maximus, down toward the river, past the church with the "Mouth of Truth" (where you put your hand in and it apparently bites liars) and back up to the Collosium. I bought souvenirs along the way, and headed back to the hostel. Still debating whether or not I will head out later tonight for some night shots, or just make sure I'm all packed and hit the hay early.
Back to Toronto tomorrow! I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, having air conditioning at will, driving my car, and eating something other than pizza and pasta. :)