Venice: my ‘WALK’ through the city of water…

This is a sad day. After so many posts I have come to the end of my amazing Italian journey and Venice is the last stop.

From Florence we took a train to Venice. Venice! I am finally going to see Venice. Excitement was building up, hopes high, eager to explore; we finally got to the ethereal ‘city of water’. I was instantly disappointed! Why? How? I actually don’t know. It just didn’t feel welcoming enough. So I took a deep breath and watched hundreds of people move around me, busier and faster than anywhere else in Italy, water buses taking in as many tourists as they can, people getting lost with their luggage and decided it’s time to move on.

The best way to travel in Venice is by water taxies, which make sense since the whole city is on water and you would think it’s cheap. No, it was expensive! We are just a couple of graduates on a budget, so what did we do? We decided to ‘hike’! I say hike because we literally walked from one end of the island to the other and crossed so many bridges, climbed so many steps up and so many steps down with our back packs, at the end of it we felt like we have climbed a decent size mountain.

venice (8) venice (6) venice (20) venice (12) venice (4) venice (3) venice (10) Yes we were tired but we saw Venice in a total different way. The tiny alley ways that takes the whole of Italy to another level is still prominent in Venice maybe more so than anywhere else. It’s pretty much like walking through a maze. You don’t know where you are going but every corner, every turn there is something wonderful.

It was more ‘touristy’ and expensive than anywhere else I have been to and that put me off a bit but the more you go inside the island away from those crowded areas, Venice had a nice charm, nice homely feeling about it that one can’t but feel good about.

venice (27) venice (29) venice (30) venice (31) venice (33) venice (34)venice (42) venice (41) venice (40)

venice (45) venice (46) venice (51) venice (78) venice (52) venice (79) venice (86)So this was my ‘walk’ through the city of water. Hope you enjoyed the pictures and from now on I have to start going around Melbourne to come up with some decent photographs. 🙂

Advertisements

Pompeii: Ruins from a previous life….

This post comes out of one of my most memorable moments of visiting the once lost ancient city of Pompeii.

I couldn’t wait to put this post up to show you guys simply because it is POMPEII. Yes yes I get this excited about Pompeii and you will see why. Pompeii is something I have had on the itinerary from the very beginning because it has always intrigued me.

According to history Pompeii was lost for nearly 1700 years before its rediscovery in 1748. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city during the Pax Romana.

Weather forecast was not the best that day and the whole sky was cloudy and gloomy. Unlucky? Not so much because it provided the most dramatic backdrop for our journey through the ancient ruins of a city.

From the moment you enter into the historical site, it totally transforms in to a different world. Ruin after ruin after ruin of rubbles, bricks and roofless structures leaves you amazed at how it is still standing and make you feel nostalgic. It has the vibe of a sacred place and I felt like I need to keep my voice low and show some respect. When you walk through the once upon houses, basilicas and theatres and  see plaster casts of people sleeping or sitting like they did moments before they were covered in steaming hot lava, it sends chills through your body. Absolute devastation.

I hope I did justice through the pictures, because it truly was an amazing experience. 

pompei (3)pompei (9)pompei (11)pompei (44) pompei (30)  pompei (29) pompei (54)pompei (16)

pompei (24)pompei (19)pompei (20)pompei (22)pompei (28)pompei (27)pompei (35)pompei (34)pompei (33)pompei (37)pompei (48)pompei (52)pompei (57)IMG_0650pompei (64)

Rome: where the heart grew fonder…. (part 2)

Day two of living the dream in Rome.  We started off at Piazza Del Popolo and from there you see few streets branching out and we started walking through Via Del Corso, THE shopping street. Yes there is a reason why I chose this street other than to satisfy the shopaholic in me. 🙂 It leads to the amazing Piazza Venezia. This however was not on my list of must see’s so I wasn’t sure what I was going to get.  Let’s just say I was really glad I went there.

Within Piazza Venezia is the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II) The monument holds the ‘tomb of the Unknown Soldier’ (Ignoto Militi) and is a magnificent piece of architecture. The white marble details are unbelievable and the structure itself is evident enough to see the respect given to the tomb and the relevant exhibits inside.

It was a lucky day for us as we found out we can go to the roof top of the monument. And lucky we were. It had amazing views of the Foro Romano or Roman Forum leading all the way to the most awaited site in Rome for me, the Colosseum.  It didn’t disappoint. It was everything I have seen in pictures and it was everything I have imagined it to be. I have finally seen the Colosseum and I was happy! Who can ask for more? I think I have seen everything I wanted, so we just sat on a ledge near the Colosseum and admired the beautiful architecture and people passing by and called it a day.

So now just from my truly amazing experience in Rome let me write a list of MUST see’s.  These won’t take you more than two days if you have a tight schedule like I did and you can walk to most places if you stay in the city centre. If not take a bus or metro to one of the places and start walking from there. Won’t cost you much. 🙂 Also make sure you get a nice big map, won’t be a proper tourist without a map! 😉

  1. St. Peter’s square and St. Peter’s basilica
  2. The Colosseum
  3. The Pantheon
  4. Piazza Navona
  5. Fontana di Trevi
  6. Castel sant’angelo
  7. Piazza di spagna
  8. Piazza venezia
  9. Foro Romano
  10. Via del Corso
  11. Vatican Museum – This we didn’t get to see as we missed a day due to bad weather. So if you have three good days, this should definitely be on your list.

Now here are some must do’s

  1. Eat gelato every day. You are going to be spoilt for choice so go crazy! And try the Old bridge gelataria near Vatican City as they have the BEST gelato in town. Trust me. 🙂
  2. Drink espresso from bars like the locals do. Over the counter. No sitting down.
  3. Walk slowly as much as you can. You experience a great deal that way.
  4. Keep smiling. You are in Rome. 🙂