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Published: July 20th 2007
still here in bella e caldo Italia!
In Rome I visited the Vatican Museums with 4 Americans. There was a huge queue to get in, the longest I've ever seen (more than 1000m long). The queue was that long even before the opening of the museum, going all the way from the entrace till the Piazza San Pietro. Me and Zack, one of the Americans, found a smart way to skip a huge part of the queue and we got in very quickly! The museums are huge, enormous! The nicest was the Sistine Chapel.
Tuesday afternoon I took the bus from Rome to Sorrento. The ride took almost 4 hours. This province of Italy is called Campania. Arriving around Napoli, you can see the Mount Vesuvius in the background. Driving through Naples and surroundings looked like being in a third world country, but that's typical Italy: chaotic! What I didn't like is that there is a lot of garbage on the streets. I've been told that the garbage pickup service had a strike, or they still have.
After I checked-in in the hostel, I went to take a walk around Sorrento. It's a very
small town, located on high, steep rocks along the coast of the Gulf of Naples. There is a lot of traffic here, especially scooters. Lots of tourists hanging around. I had some pizza and then went back to the hostel. I had a chat with two of my roommates, a brother and sister travelling together from Australia (Lucas and Cindy). They are from a small town somewhere between Brisbane and Cairns (can't remember the name). I went to bed around midnight.
The next day I woke up early and at 8:00am I went to the Circumvesuviana station (local train) and went to Pompei station. There I met a very nice girl from New Zealand, Tessa. We just started talking and she was also travelling alone. From there we took a bus to Vesuvius national park. The bus brings you near the top of this volcano, around 1000 meters. From here you have to walk for about 1,5 km to the top area, where you can walk along the crater rim. The actual top is at 1270m, the area where you can walk around the crater is at ca. 1170 - 1200m. It was impressive and like a dream come
true. The last eruption of this volcano was in 1944. From the top area you had a view all over the surroundings, and also Naples. A lot of smog was hanging over the whole area, especially Naples itself.
Around 1:00pm we took the bus back to Pompei station and then we went to visit the ruins here. Many of you have heard about the story I guess. Mount Vesuvius had a big and violent eruption back in the year 79 AD (1928 years ago!) and the Roman city of Pompei was completely burried under ash and lava. The ruin site itself is quite big and we didn't manage to see everything because you have to walk a lot around and it was pretty hot (35Â°C). You get a free map of the city at the entrance, so we just look first which parts we wanted to see and then went walking through the ruins. We stayed inside untill around 5:00pm and took the local train back to Sorrento.
The next day I just stayed in Sorrento itself, walked around and relaxed at the beach. In the evening we just chilled at the hotel, having some beers and playing
some cards with some nice Americans in the hostel: Kelli and Stephanie (from Virginia) and Chris and Austin (from Kansas).
This morning I woke up with some pain at my neck, just below the left part of my jaw. The receptionist said it is probably because of the heat and she recommended me to buy a natural medicine spray, which I did. It helped a little, but the pain is still there a little bit.
Later I took the boat to the island of Capri. L'isola di Capri is located just off the coast in the Bay of Naples and is often visited by Italian celebreties. Prices are very high on the island, and the island is home to Italy's most luxurious hotels. After I arrived there, I went to visit the Blue Cave (Grotta Azzurra) and after I took the chairlift in the town of Anacapri, which takes you up to the highest hill on the island: Monte Solaro. The heat was suffocating again today, very very hot!!! Due to the heat I was very tired and took a nap when I arrived back in Sorrento.
Tomorrow I will go to the notorious city of Naples. In the
next entry I will tell about it and post pictures. After Naples I will catch the highspeed train to Florence.
Take care all,
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