A long needed update

The Colosseum

After being AWOL for a little more than a month now, I am back and ready to update. I’ve been to a lot of different places lately (don’t worry, I’m not skipping school, I just had a month break), and have been trying to decide the best way to blog about them. There is no way I can go over every detail of my trip, nor do you want to read about it either, so I’m just going to try to give you one or two pictures of the places I’ve been, with a little story or description. I’ll try my best to keep it entertaining…

As you can see by the picture at the top, my trip started in Italy. No, Rome was not my favorite city there, but the picture of the colosseum was too iconic that I had no other choice but to use it to start my post.

Venice

The trip started in Venice, and just as you have heard from everyone else, it was beautiful. I’m not going to go into too much detail because everyone has been there or at least heard about everything there is to do there before. My favorite part about Venice was how quiet the city was. You walk through and instead of hearing cars roaring and people yelling, it is silent, with of course the occasional boat passing. One thing that I take some pride in is my ability to navigate a city with a map. I am not very good at finding a place I have been before, but give me a map and I’ll figure it out. Venice took all my navigation confidence, threw it out the window, then closed that window for good measure. Every time I thought I was figuring it out, I would turn the corner only to find another canal, and be forced to turn around. I applaud anyone who has been to Venice and been able to get from point A to point B with no trouble.

Cinque Terre

Although it looks like my next stop was to the toy shop or someone’s really nice train set, it was actually to a real set of cities called Cinque Terre. I heard Rachel and others talking about it so much, so we added to the tour of Italy. Cinque Terre is a group of 5 fishing cities built on the coast of Italy, and as you can see, is all very picturesque. With beautiful hikes linking all of the cities, it really feels like you are walking through a movie set. As everything there is essentially cliffside, even the dogs have to be careful…

dog on cliff

From Cinque Terre, we headed off the Florence. Fortunately (or unfortunately if you ask Neili), the train to Florence stopped in a little city called Pisa. I’ll admit, I am a sucker for those tourist attractions that aren’t really that cool, so I pretty much had to see this leaning tower. There wasn’t much of an option. We only had about 1.5 hours there until the last train to Florence was leaving, and after missing a few trains already, we couldn’t cut it close on this one. Right as the train stops, we jump off and start schlepping our stuff to see the tower. Well, to make a long story short, it was a little further than expected. The tower is literally the only thing to see in Pisa, so why they put the train station on the exact opposite side of the city, I will never understand. We walked half way, realized we weren’t going to make it in time, and turned around. We got back to the train station with 45 minutes before our train left, and a little disappointed. I was determined to see this thing. I don’t do this often (or ever for that matter), but I parted with my money, and jumped in a cab. The cab driver literally brought us there, we ran out to take a picture, and ran back into the cab. I got my picture, and we made it back to the train station with 25 minutes to spare. Unfortunately he brought us to the side where the tower leans towards you, but what can you do. (And yes, I know it looks like I just photoshopped myself in, but you can ask Neili, it’s a real picture)

leaning tower of Pisa

So we made it to Florence, and met up with some friends. Florence was a lot smaller than I had expected, but also a lot prettier. Saw the David, went up to the top of the Duomo, did all the main things that Florence had to offer. My big complaint about the city is that it is way too touristy. Besides the massive amount of American’s studying there, the fact that Florence is such a small city means that all of the tourists are concentrated at its few sites. The lines seemed to go on forever, and it was hard to find an authentic Italian experience. Luckily we had a friend (Andy Stein) studying abroad there, so he was able to show us around. Here is a picture of all of us at the top of Piazza le Michelangelo. From left to right, Andy, Me, Neili, Ross, Zander and Kaplan:

Friends in Florence

Next stop was Rome. I loved going to see everything there, but left with mixed feelings about the city. On the one hand, the buildings and ruins there are unbelievable. It seems like every corner you turn you bump into another awesome structure of some importance. On the other hand, the city is a little dirty and not nearly as pretty as it could, and should be. It is really a shame, because I just feel like if they would make a true effort to keep it nice and clean, the city would be that much more impressive. Regardless, Rome is an amazing place that everyone should see at one point or another. I know it’s cliche, but the colosseum and Sistine Chapel were my favorite thing there.

Me at the Colossum

Moving along to the southern coast, and finally, finishing off Italy. The southern coast was just as beautiful as I had imagined and heard from people who have been there, but at the same time a little different than expected. Seeing as most of the nice, beautiful places I have been are more of the Florida or Mexico beach setting, I was expecting something similar in Italy. Instead, the beaches were filled with rocks, and the scenery was the real highlight. You can’t really describe what it was like, so I’ll just leave you with a picture of the view from our place in Sorrento.

Sorrento

After Sorrento, we made our way to Naples. Naples isn’t the nicest city and is completely run by the Italian Mafia (no joke), so we decided to spend our 1 day there on the beautiful island of Capri. Capri is essentially just a really nice place that rich people go to spend a lot of their money and feel good about themselves. I would do the same if I could afford it. The coolest part about Capri was this place called the Blue Grotto. Some of you may have heard about it before, but on one side of the island there is a little cove that has neon blue water (I’ll spare you all the science behind why it looks neon), and is truly breathtaking. Like everything else on the island, it was an expensive 2 minutes, but definitely worth it.

The Blue Grotto

I’m getting a little tired, and I am sure you are too, so I’ll save the rest of the trip for the next post. But don’t worry, we’re only about 1/2 way done…

Cheers

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2 Responses to “A long needed update”

  1. Dovid Glotteir Says:

    yep, definitely photoshoped

  2. Dovid Glotteir Says:

    and they probably just but bright pool lights under to make it so blue

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