Saturday, 26 April 2014


If you ever want to get that true "I'm lost" travel experience, go to Naples.
The drivers are insane, the streets are tiny and the English isssaaa how you say? No so good. 

We were picked up by our hosts boyfriend (champion) and driven into the heart of Napoli, we had to park down the street as it's too small to park elsewhere. 

When we got to the apartment we thought to ourselves "THANKGOD we had a driver" because the door to the apartment looks like this...

And the door is made for hobbits apparently 

We walked up 80 steps with our bags and barely made it, but the apartment is so wonderfully Italian with so much space, were so glad to be settled for the next two days. We also luckily met another Aussie staying here who told us all the best places to go, including a pizza place with a constant 2 hour wait because  it's just that good.

We set out on the town by ourselves in hopes to find pizza minus the two hour wait. 
Now before I got to France I had a bit of French under my belt, before I got to barcelona I knew a few key words - but Italian? Nope. 

We no speaka Italiano 

We struggled to even ask if someone spoke English, and we were just recently told that Naples usually only welcomes Italian tourists, so English is very sparse! 
But apparently the words "take away" are universal and we got ourselves a 5€ prosciutto pizza

This is what it looks like when you're on the side of a road in Naples eating quite literally the best pizza of your life. 

I can't express to you the full deliciousness. The only thing I can say, is that when we leave here, there will be a void in my heart. That void will be in the shape of pizza.

However, we continued to wander down the streets, embracing the atmosphere and enjoying a bit of people watching. And took many a photo of the interesting architecture 

Then something else delicious caught our eye - gelato 
The gelato man also appreciated our lack of English and totally photo bombed

Need I tell you how tasty it was?

We were well in need of a siesta so we had a quick nap at home then sourced dinner
We tried another pizzeria but almost walked into what looked like a family gathering for Easter Monday - awkward. 

So we went back to the original pizzeria and attempted to order in Italian - even more awkward 

Helena and I got one of these each...

Sufficiently full we retired back to the apartment for a good sleep before our trip to Pomepii tomorrow!

Day 2 - 
Today we got served crossaints and toast for breakfast by our host, the carbs are starting to take their toll on my poor body. 

But we got ready, had a freezing cold shower (haven't quite figured out the hot water system yet) and met our tour group.

When we arrived in Pompeii it was tourist city, but our guide Andre was an absolutely legend and provided many laughs the whole day long.
Pompeii was absolutley incredible, we got to see the spas, apollos temple, the theatre

The Ampitheatre 

(Criminals were sent to gladiator school and had the option to either train and fight for their freedom, or be killed)

Homes and shops

The court and surrounding city structures 

And the best part? 
The brothel

This is me in a 2000 year old lower class brothel room 

This is how you know how to find the brothel - not kidding 

And this is how you order what you want IN the brothel.
As Pompeii was a working city, many people visited from all over, meaning that Latin wasn't widely spoken. How did they eradicate the language barrier? With menus. 

It was an amazing start to our day! 

We stopped for lunch, more carbs 

And prepared for our walk up Mt Vesuvius. 
Our guide gives us an hour and says it's up a "slight incline" 
When we arrive however, there seems to be a bit of miscommunication 

See that hill? That's the "slight incline"

But we get to the top and the view is amazing 

And we see Vesuvius' big ole crater 

We had an awesome day and even made friends with other Aussies who live in the same area as Helena, and even have a mutual friend on Facebook! What a small world we live in. 

Off to Florence tomorrow, arrivaderci Napoli! 

Day 3 -
A 6am rise landed us in Florence this morning. And let me just say that their main train station is the most confusing I've come across yet, and that includes stations in India. 

However Helena being an excellent source of guidance in times of stress, 

gets us on our next train and to our apartment in no time - and it's beautiful! 
So clean and comfortable and the host is so friendly, we feel at ease immediately! 

We got ready straight away and took another train to the lovely town of Pisa.
Intending on only seeing the leaning tower, we didn't anticipate how wonderful the city actually is 

The buildings, the river, everything is wonderful! And would you believe it, not only did we come across my temple of solace 

But we also found a vintage market again! Yes! So happy. 

My bag is already 4kg over weight, couldn't take any of these babies home :(

As we continued down the street we were wondering if we were headed the wrong way, we looked to the left and BAM

What's that building doing on a tilt? 

Oh yes!! The leaning tower of Pisa! 

And oh yes, this totally happened 

We got such a lovely day of weather for our little day trip! Couldn't have asked for a better visit. 

We did buy gelato on the way home too 

Saw some awesome street art 

Aaaaand maybe had pizza for dinner again 

Fabulous day in Florence! 

Day 4 - 
This morning we had breakfast at home provided by our host. This is this first time I've had cereal in 2 weeks - rejoice!!

We set off to explore the city for the morning and hopped on the train only 5 minutes away. 
We accidentally stumbled across almost all of the recommended places to visit, including the Duomo 

Oh I also forgot to mention we may have died my hair purple last night.

After seeing the duomo we got some Italian coffee and a delicious Nutella and hazelnut tart

We then wandered through the city and found the river, gold and silver district and the leather district. 

We then got more gelato , peanut butter and forerro rocher *droool*

And I bought a new leather handbag which I LOVE 

I also bartered for this gem, 28€ down to 23€, hey 5€ difference in broken Italian-English, not so bad!

We explored through the streets 

Saw Michael Angelos (replica) David 

And some more incredible street art 

We then unwillingly left our apartment in Florence and hopped on a train to Rome!


When we arrived our new host shows us around the apartment and tells us all the best places to visit in Roma. She's so helpful and were happy to settle here for the next two days. 
Caterina suggests going to a family owned restaraunt down the street and we happily take the advice, it was so worth it 

Home made pasta, roast beef and grilled vegetables, oh my god it was good! 
Plus we had house wine as we were feeling a little fancy. Our waiter was so helpful, he even assisted us with our Italian pronunciation, grazie mille Italian man!
Excellent welcome meal to dear old Rome! 

Day 5 - 

This morning we get up bright and early ready to tackle one of our two short days in Rome. We get down to the bus station, take a solid amount of time trying to figure out what side we're meant to be on and then sit on a VERY crowded bus to the city centre. 

When we hop off we start to realise how late Italians like to start, it's now 10.30 and nothing is open yet, how strange!
Our first stop is the trevi fountain where we both throw a coin over our shoulder to ensure our return to Rome one day (plus I made a bonus wish) 

We also managed to get another tourist to take a photo of Helena and I 

But I accidentally left the camera on selfie mode and have a stunning portrait of our photographer 

After that we saw the Pantheon 

And a random chap asked us if he could take a photo with him, feeling famous! 

We also saw the Vatican 

Had pizza for lunch and a beer in tribute to Anzac Day. 
I accidentally split my beer everywhere too - mega awkward 
Wanna know what's more awkward? 
Getting another beer for free because I have "beautiful eyes" apparently 

After our re energising we decide to go to San Crispino's, allegedly the best gelato in Rome.
And the stories are true! 

I had 3 scoops, caramel, honey and vanilla bourbon. AMAZING! No gelato shall ever compare.

I'm starting to get a serious collection of artworks as well, this lovely man signed my name on the back and the painting is just beautiful 

Our last tourist stop for the day was the Colesseum. We paid a few extra euros to skip the line (worth it!) and for a guide. Our fun fact of the day is that back when the Vatican was built, the outside pillars were made of the outside of the Colosseum itself, and that's why it looks half finished! 

To finish our day off we head back to Osteria for dinner, they remember us from last night and even had a reserved table for two. Presumptuous? Obviously not.
Tonight we had red wine, pasta each and some patates to finish it off! 

Day 6 - 
Our last day in Italy was well spent! We got on the metro and head to the neighbourhood of Tessaccio to do a 4 hour food tour (are you starting to sense a reoccuring theme here?) 

We met our lovely guide Alexandra and walked around the neighbourhood with 7 food stops. All of the places we visited were 3rd and 4th generation family owned restaraunts / delis / bakeries. Because we ate SO much, I decided to make a collage of most of it (didn't all fit) 

From left to right we had: cornetti, tiramisu, pizza margherita, prosciutto di San Daniele, Salame al Barolo, pecorino al tartufo, parmigiano reggiano, we made our own bruschetta, had fresh cannoli, cacio a pepe/amatriciana/cabonara pasta, insalata caprese and finally, a scoop of banana and a scoop of almond gelato - amazing!! 

We got to see the non catholic cemetery, the out of commission slaughter house, drank the best moscato of my life, and learnt some fun facts! 

• real gelato is natural in color and is dense and sits flat, therefore if you see brightly coloured and mountained gelato, it isn't real!
• in Rome they're currently canonising two popes which is apparently a pretty big deal 
• the margherita pizza is turning 125 years old this year and was named on behalf of queen Margherita after her visit to Naples 
• there is a hill made of 53million shards of pottery in Tessaccio and we ate in a restaraunt underneath it

An excellent morning spent on our food tour!
After buying some moscato for this evening, we head back into town to see the Spanish steps, and to experience a rainy, busy Rome

On our food tour we got told that San Crispino's was actually featured in Eat Pray Love (coincidence I swear) so we go back for one last taste, this time I get honey again and ginger cinnamon that quite literally tastes like chai latte icecream... Sooo good 

We also had one last stop to the trevi fountain 

Now I did finish the blog earlier before we had our moscato, but do you think we could get the cork out? 
A solid 15 minutes went into opening this god damn bottle, we tried EVERYTHING! The grunted sounds of defeat were surely heard by our neighbours, but our determination was strong. 
I sat on the couch with the bottle between my legs whilst Helena yanked from the top. All of a sudden we hear the sweet "pop" sound, and Helena did a victory lap around the apartment. 
Great success 

We finish our bottle of moscato, rested our wine bottle opening muscles and repack once more to head to Berlin. 

Arrivaderci bella Italia! 

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