Sunday, 29 June 2014

Italy Photo Diary Part II

Part two is mostly from the center of Italy moving down south. Haris and I caught a train down to Florence thinking we're going to have ample time to spend there for 3 days but it turns out we were wrong.

1. Pisa
We checked out the Leaning Tower of Pis obviously. Our train was free because we traveled to Pisa on the same day with our interrail pass so that was quite worth the money. The tower was seriously leaning at quite an alarming angle to be honest, It's quite shocking how the tower is still standing but everytime I took a photo with it, it just turned out okay for some reason. Pictures just ruin everything haha.

We spent our evening in Pisa, eating and watching the World Cup. I remember our waiter betting money on Germany winning 4-1, which was exactly what happened. My lobster linguine was so wonderful! The starter was kind of bad really but the panna cotta was really nice as well.

By the time we got back to Florence, it was already night time. We went out for really nice dinner at a really nice restaurant, and managed to get them to turn on the world cup for us as well since we were the only two people in the restaurant eating that late at night. This was the place that gave me the most seafood from the mixed seafood linguine I've even till date. The cheesecake was really really lovely and melted in the mouth!

2. Cinque Terre
Haris and I had no idea we could do a day trip from Florence to Cinque Terre (which literally translates to 5 villages). The asking price for the tour was about 80 euros, and because the Chinese blood was singing in my veins to haggle, I managed to get a student discount for half the price at 40 euros each! This tour was 13 1/2 hours and included a two hour bus there and back, a 2 train rides, 1 boat ride and time to spend in 4 different villages along the coasts.
Here's Haris looking considerably upset with his ice cream for some reason.

It was genuinely the most beautiful out of all the places I've been in Italy because of the sand and the sea. The colors of the houses always tied together and revolved around really bright and warm themes that made them awesome to look at from afar. Haris and I managed to finally get fat, chunky pizzas at this point and they were so delicious! We had really good calamari here as well but I didn't manage to get a picture. The most picturesque village would be Manarola, and the village that has the most things to do would be Monterosso and Vernazza.

3. Florence
 We got tickets at Il Duomo to enter 5 different things for 10 euros, but the museum was closed. We entered a crypt where all the previous priests were buried and climbed up the bell tower which had separate tiers that over looked Florence. We didn't bother climbing up the dome because it seemed to have the same view since they were just next to each other.
 We also managed to enter the baptistry which had the same incredibly detailed depictions of Christianity on the ceiling as we've seen in all the churches in Italy.
 We also paid a visit to Santa Croce, which is also the burial grounds of some of the more famous Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galilio and Rossini. And that is also why it's known as the Temple of Italian Glories.

 The Plazza of Michelangelo gave us a completely different view of Florence from a hill. It also used to hold the statue of David, which has since been replaced by a replica at the very place that it used to stand.

4. Rome
We arrived at Rome pretty late at night and decided to take a cab to the hotel, which was just out of reach from actually being in the city of Rome. We actually had to take 2 different sets of buses to just get to the center. It's not so much the journey, rather the frequency of the buses which could take from 5-30 minutes between one and the other.
 The Vatican City was really amazing. They have 140 statues on top of each pillar in the piazza, and the centre tower is made to look like the key to the city. Michelangelo's works are really remarkable, and it's worth going to the Basilica and the Sisteen Chapel which Haris and I missed out on because we didn't have enough time. 
 The Pantheon was amazeballs to look at. The sheer size of it and the perfection in their circumference is really astounding. I have no idea how a bunch of Roman people could to that in BC times, yo.
 Don't ever eat the vanilla ice cream in Lindt unless you like tasting grain in your food cause that was shit.

 As you can see by my super unglam photo, I was very upset that I didn't get to live out my hey now hey now dreams at the Trevi Fountain. Restorations will finish in about 2015, so don't go to Rome for the sake of Hilary Duff because you will cry as I did.
Mandatory Colloseum jump photo!
 Our last meal in Rome was a good one. My vongole was kind of basic so I had to add my own black pepper and salt, but the clams were the fattest and fleshiest of all the place I'd eaten so far. Haris's mixed seafood tagliatelle was cooked to al dante perfection.
I have been compiling a travel book for the entire time I've been in Italy, and will continue to do so for all my travels later on. If you have any questions or need any help just hollaaaaaa.