Past Trip: Italy (November '08)


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Europe » Italy
February 23rd 2011
Published: February 23rd 2011
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First sight of the Colosseum
Well my trip to Italy was very last minute. In fact, I had to renew my 3 month visa in Israel so I went to the airport very first thing in the morning and asked for a flight leaving soon and they had one to Rome in an hour. So I was off. My plan was to spend a few days in Rome and maybe see another city too. First, I loved Rome. It's a city that has something for everyone. I just started walking around the first day but I found myself stopping at almost every building finding something I loved. I wish I could rave about the food there like everyone else but I have an unhealthy fear of tomatoes and anything with tomatoes in it, including pizza, pasta and almost every other kind of Italian food.

For anyone who is about to travel to Europe, there is one thing you are sure to encounter. In every city that tourist go to, some group will be on strike. Taxis, tour groups, museum workers... someone will be on strike. On my first real day in Rome, for me, it was the tour buses. Rome is city that
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Trevi Fountain
is spread out, has about 1000 things to see, so I figured I would buy a pass that everyone recommend that allows you to hop on and off a group of buses that goes to each major site. So I bought the pass for something like $30 for my two days I planned on staying only to find out when I got to one of the stops that they are on strike the next week. After about an hour of arguing, I gave up and I didn't get any refund. The last time I will ever buy anything like that. Despite that, Rome was awesome, the Italian people were alright, kinda snobby though. More on European strikes later.

After spending four days in Rome I decided to take my first real train ride ever. I had no idea what I was doing, I was by myself and nobody spoke English at the train station. Somehow I found the right train, but I picked the wrong car but it was no big deal since it wasn't that busy. I first went to Florence for 2 days. Great architecture but there was a marathon going on so I had a hard
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Vatican
time finding a place to stay. I also went to Pisa for a few hours at which point it really started to rain. I decided to take the steps to the top of the leaning tower at which point they stopped letting people out on top cause of the rain. I convinced the lady to just let me take one walk around the top and I would be back in less than 3 minutes. As I was taking the walk and snapping pictures, lighting struck within a few hundred feet and of course I completely slipped on my ass and started sliding. The guard rail saved my life. One of the pictures below I took about 5 seconds before the lighting struck. Next I went to Venice and made the news within a few hours of arriving.

Well I arrived in Venice during a phenomenon they call Acqua alta (high water or high tide) that can occur in winter there. Basically, Venice floods. They setup raised wooden walkways but on this occasion the flood kept coming and it started the moment I got off the train. This might not have been a big problem except that the boat
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Ponte Vecchio
taxi's were on strike (European lesson from earlier) and every half hour a train would drop more people off and soon the station was completely packed shoulder to shoulder with people. After 4 hours of people piling in, I had enough and decided to try to walk to my hotel. I took one last look at my map, lifted my luggage and started walking and the water just kept rising. After about 20 minutes of walking, I had no idea where I was and if the next step I took would be straight into a canal and decided to gave up. As I was looking for a place to take a break, some news reporters yelled something at me but I couldn't understand. I looked over at them a few minutes later and saw they were reporting the flood with me walking in the background. Soon I found a little stoop and saw someone delivering food somewhere and paid him $100 to take me to my hotel. It ends up this was the worst flood in 50 plus years and ruined my time there cause EVERY business was closed the next few days to get the water out.

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Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore
I ended up spending around 3 weeks in Italy (I went back to Rome after Venice). One interesting story here was a prostitute I met while I was having a cigarette outside my hotel. Throughout the whole trip, anytime I smoked at least one or two people would come up and ask for one. So I was outside my hotel around 1:30-2 in the morning having my last smoke when this lady said something to me in Italian and I just assumed she was asking for a smoke so I started taking them out when all of the sudden she grabbed my junk and did a blow job motion with her mouth. While she was doing her motions, I noticed she had an adam's apple larger then mine.


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Top of the Leaning Tower right before lighting strikes
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Got dark quick
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The first hour of the flood. Soon the water was well over the raised boards
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typical canal


15th June 2011

I'm glad you are alright.
Laughed until I cried about the lightening. I would have loved to watch that! Interesting story about the prostitute. Are you planning to go to Dubai? If so you may encounter these activities again.

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