Monday, 22 October 2007

When in Rome

Spending the last 3 weeks in Italy has been very interesting. Travelling from Ancona, Rome, Naples and Pompei, Siena, Florence, Pisa and finishing in the Cinque Terre alternating between pizza and pasta pretty much every meal. I am so sick of bread but the pasta is still ok. So what have i been up to? Well I've basically been sightseeing through most of the towns seeing everything that has to be seen. Lining up for the Sistine Chapel, the statue of 'Dave' and the Colosseum are the only times where i could be bothered waiting whereas i wasn't interested in most of the other museums as i am museumed and churched out. Admittedly i am getting over sightseeing when arriving at new towns so i am also trying to look for different things to do which is quite hard in Europe, but other than wondering around Ive been relaxing a lot, reading, drawing (pic), eating gilati, going to the Nudy beach in the Cinque terre (pic), jogging around the hills of Florence and running the whole Cinque Terre from the 5th town to the 1st (9km of running up and down hills and across loose rocks, giving my ankles and knees a workout) but i was fine in the end and drinking home-made lemonade along the way from an Italian who just decided to set up a shop in his backyard which overlooks the path.

Lazio VS AC Milan
Finding out from a few friends i had made at a camping ground in Rome, there was a soccer game on in a few days time. Rome's 2nd team Lazio VS AC Milan. Milan being the favourites, but it was going to be a Lazio crowd all cheering for their team so like a typical Aussie, i had to go for the underdog and that i might have been killed wearing an AC Milan scarf. Before the game i was very excited as this would be my first ever soccer game and it was a change from the normal sightseeing days of wondering around cities. Between 4 of us, we purchased a 30 Euro BBQ from the local supermarket, got a few steaks and veg and ate a feast before we left. It was a fantastic meal as i haven't had a steak in months! I was separated from my mates as they splashed out on expensive tickets where i went and sat in the cheap seats, but right in the middle of the Lazio crowd (pic). It felt like Bay 13 at the MCG and i am so glad i was there as the atmosphere was amazing. I listened to all the different chants and songs and made friends with the Italian family sitting next to me who didn't speak a word of English. In the end AC Milan won 5-1. An absolute thrashing. The crowd was very quiet and the stadium was nearly empty with 10 minutes to go. However i got to witness a 6 goal game and Lazio scoring that 1 goal with everyone erupting in a frenzy, jumping up and down and high fiving their mates. The kebab down the road after the game was a great way to finish off the night.

A million dollar view for 38 Euro!
I would have to say that the Cinque Terre (5 towns) was my favourite place in Italy. I spent 3.5 days there. Walked it 1.5 times and ran it once. For 3 nights i stayed in a town called La Spezia which is a 10 minute train ride away from the Cinque Terre but i was lucky to get 1 night in the 4th town Vernazza. Being close to a weekend, it all books up very quickly and somehow i managed to stay there on a Friday night after spending nearly a whole day going from town to town looking for accommodation. Not knowing what to expect, i lugged my bags up 3 stories in a tiny stairwell, opened my single room door and WOW! I had a balcony view of the Mediterranean and a top storey view of the town below (pic) on a day where the weather was perfect. I couldn't believe it as the room was really nice and i was only being charged ($60AUS). I would have really liked to stay longer but it was all booked up for the following days.

Its starting to get really cold now. The days are quite warm and sunny but the temperature is beginning to drop below 5 degrees at night, so i think it's time to chuck the summer clothes and purchase winter ones. My next stop is Nice for 3 days then Switzerland for around 2 weeks or more. Paragliding in the Swiss Alps here i come!!!