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    • Day 29

      Die Zeichen sehen

      June 4, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      Heute nochmals ein Pilgergedanke:
      Viele sagen, der Via Francigena sei nicht so gut markiert. Ich kann das nicht bestätigen. Er ist nur sehr unterschiedlich gekennzeichnet - man muss lernen, die Zeichen zu erkennen. Niemand erklärt sie einem, aber mit der Zeit fallen sie einem auf, auch wenn sie noch so unscheinbar sind…

      Und diese Weisheit lässt sich eben auch auf andere Bereiche des Lebens übertragen!
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    • Day 427

      Ancient Rome

      September 11, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

      Rome, The Romans’ Home
      In it's day,
      Enemies could seige it, nay,
      The armies were strong,
      And it was quite a throng,
      The gladiators fought,
      For the freedom they sought,
      The Colosseum stood tall,
      As did the magnificent Pantheon hall,
      Up the Tiber their ships came,
      And two thousand years later it still is the same,

      By Colm
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    • Day 59

      Back for a bit in Roma

      July 7, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      Before and after Napoli we stayed in Rome. We saw Charlie and Dash - our close friends from high school and who are travelling during uni holidays. We saw a little cat shelter while with them and got dinner at a that was close but far enough away from the Colosseum that it was a more local restaurant.

      After Napoli we came back and stayed at Pietro’s while he was away and also spent a night at Sara’s Nonna’s. We looked after his cat. His cat is a diva. It woke us up at 5am and it’s meows sounded like it was dying. We have a deep love for this cat but we absolutely despise it. It has huge yellow eyes that stare deep into your soul. I went to the bathroom and had to wash my hands in the kitchen because it wouldn’t get out of the bathroom sink. We do miss it now we are gone though.

      We saw Elena- another girl from school (yes everyone is currently in Europe- we ran into two girls we knew completely by accident on the street). She is Italian too and Sara grew up with her. We went to a swimming pool to see her and it was so nice to do some laps and be in the water.

      We walked into a musical one night and watched for a bit and then I have added a photo from when we were in Rome at the start of our trip and Elisa Blu did our makeup. Then there are also some pictures of her trying to kill us last night. Io morta !

      I’ve also put in a FaceTime screenshot with Rusty who I miss a lot.

      The heat in here has been insaneee. We thought we were just being weak until we heard Pietro tell us that it’s the hottest Rome has been for a hundred years. It’s 39 degrees today and some train routes were closed because of fires so it’s completely opposite here to Sydney .. you can really see how happy I am walking around with my bag. Sara caught this candid on the go.
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    • Day 22

      Rome to Sorrento

      April 19, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      Didn’t take many photos of this day - which is a shame because it was an interesting one.
      Started the day slowly in Rome after an interesting nights sleep (a drunk lady was making a phone call in the hallway outside our room at midnight - it was in Italian so no idea what she was saying but I think she liked the guy….), checked out of our hotel and walked across to the train station with all of our luggage. We are getting better at it but it’s still a pain in the butt - especially for Clare who struggles.

      Spent some time in the train station waiting before getting in our last regional train this trip. The extra for 1st class has been worth it, we get drinks, snacks, plenty of baggage room and our own reclining seats. Economy class flying home will be a shock to the system.

      We caught the train from Rome to Naples with a top speed of 280km/h. Why we don’t have these in Australia baffles me. You could go Adelaide to Melbourne in 2-3 hours and enjoy a movie on the way.

      Once we got off the trim in Naples it was clear this was going it be a hectic stop. Tried to negotiate with a taxi driver for a fare to the ferry which only annoyed him and he spent the first half of the trip bringing it up.

      Which helped distract us from his driving - which was hectic. I assume everyone drives like that in Naples from what I could see - but being in the front seat made it an experience.

      Then boarded a ferry with a bunch of English tourists - and just as we are boarding they randomly grabbed people to pay a 3 euro luggage tax. I made it through but Krissi got caught out.

      The ferry was great, saw Mount Vesuvius as we entered Sorrento.

      Once we arrived we decided to take the stairs rather than get a cab. Do not recommend….

      Sorrento is lovely - albeit very focussed on getting money from tourists. Sounds familiar on this trip…..

      Had our customary aperol and then a meal out.
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    • Day 86

      Last Night in Rome

      July 27, 2023 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 26 °C

      Today was our last one in Rome, Italy and Europe. Tomorrow, we are off to Dubai for a few days.

      We celebrated with dinner and drinks at the hotels rooftop bar as we watched the sun set over the colosseum ... a perfect ending!Read more

    • Day 21


      August 21, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

      Zwei Tage Rom.
      Eigentlich zu kurz.
      Aber da Ich die Stadt schon kenne war es ein Wiedersehen mit einer alten Freundin.

      Rom ist und bleibt einfach die ewige Stadt.
      Am ersten Tag musste natürlich erstmal die Domus Aurea und das Colloseum sowie das Forum besucht werden.
      Abends ging es dann auf den Petersplatz.
      Wie immer eine wahnsinns Atmosphäre.

      Abend noch ein schönes Pub gefunden und mit nem Ami und nem Russen gequatscht.
      Alek und Adam.
      Treffen sich nen Deutscher nen Amerikaner und nen Russe in Rom...
      Klingt nach nem alten Witz.

      Nächster Tag stand dann Villa Borggia, Trevi Brunnen und Circus Maximus an.

      Die Qualität des Essens ist allerdings sehr viel schlechter als in Neapel.
      Dafür doppelt so teuer.....
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    • Day 9

      Day 9, Part 1/2– Return to Roscoli

      June 25, 2022 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 50 °F

      We had felt a strong pulling in our hearts to return to Roscioli this morning for breakfast. We hadn’t sampled enough of the pizza, pastries and porchetta, so that’s what we did! We skipped hotel breakfast, and headed back to the forno for tomato pie, potato pizza al taglio with rosemary, cherry ricotta crostata, sfogaltelle (crunchy horns with orange and cinnamon cream filling— the anti croissant), and of course, porchetta. No joke, every single thing was a hit. I only wish we could have gotten more!!! It was SO hot but it was actually raining, which was welcome. After breakfast, we headed back to the Campo de Fiori to tie up loose ends. We bought souvenirs and things for home, like the stainless steel cruet Italians always use for pouring olive oil. We went to the deli to buy truffle spread, too. We walked around the Jewish quarter again. Even though it was Saturday and the Judaica shops/museums were closed, it was still cool to see the area functioning on Shabbat. We wound our way over to Trestevere and had some
      Cappuccino (before it was too late!) and more of the delicious fresh Italian orange juice, then back to the hotel to drop everything off.

      In the highest heat of the day, we set back out to try and find the Museum of Pasta. Unfortunately, it looks like it was a victim of the pandemic and it’s closed (hopefully just for now). By this time, we’d were working our appetites back up and walked another 40 min to the smaller, more “deli” offshoot of Bonchi. We heard the porchetta was amazing, but by the time we got there, they were out. They did have pizza, but for some reason, we decided to walk 15 more min to the actual Bonchi Pizzarium. The line was… long. But we’d made it this far, and it was 92f, so we were waiting, god dammit! I guess we should have taken a number right when we got there, but it’s unclear if that would really help you skip the line. Next time I’ll try that though. Anywhoo, after about a 35 min wait, we finally got to the front. The two-family group in front of us proceeded to take, I kid you not, allllll the good stuff. We were dying. In the end, we got a zucchini and sausage pizza, a white pizza with mozzarella and what seemed like pickled zucchini (both zucchini pizzas had sesame, a must going forward), and a tomato ricotta pie, with a bit of basil. It was just so hot, we decided to take the pizza and hop in a cab to enjoy back in our hotel room. THANK GOD IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT. It was seriously like nothing else you’ve ever had. I wish I could give a better description of the toppings, but there’s no signs and everything just moves so fast, but my lord. Idk if the Bonchi in Chicago is this good, but if it is, run, don’t walk.
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    • Day 9

      Day 9, Part 2/2– Final Tour, Last Supper

      June 25, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 72 °F

      After lunch, it was total crash city. We both took a nap for about an hour before waking up refreshed and ready for our walking tour at dusk. We felt like we’d been walking past so many things, but had no idea what we were looking at, so I booked this tour last minute!

      The tour started at Trajan’s column, one of the most well preserved landmarks from that time. We went to the monument of the unification of Italy which is a HUGE white marble building that literally was built with no other purpose. Today, part of it is a museum, but many Italians are still embittered by its existence. Interestingly, it was just within about the last 100 years that all the regions of Italy became one country. Naples, Sicily, Tuscany, etc were historically separate. The tour guide gave us bits of info as we walked and landed at St Ignatius Jesuit church (Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio di Loyola) which is remarkable because also though they ran out money to finish building the dome, the man who painted the ceiling made it look like there is one! In fact, the whole ceiling is an optical illusion, making it look much higher than it is. Next stop was the Trevi Fountain, first set to be built in 19 AD, but finally completed about 200 years go. We walked over to the Pantheon, the oldest remaining structure of the Roman Empire still standing in completion. And still in use! Very wild. Lastly, we visited the Piazza Navona and learned about the four rivers fountain. It was the perfect bit of sightseeing to cap off our time in Rome.…

      We were feeling a bit of food insecurity regarding our travels the next day, so we stopped at Il Panino Ingegnoso to get some supplies. It must have been fate, because there was a gorgeous porchetta just sitting on the counter waiting for us. We decided to sample a porchetta, olive tapenade and orange panino as our appertivo. We sat outside and enjoyed a quick drink with this bite as they made us our to-go order. Matt agrees, this combo was transcendent. The orange slices were thin, but with the entire rind included, which were the perfect bitter foil to the salty olives and the fatty meat. 10/10 👏🏻.…

      Dinner tonight was a thoughtful choice by Matt— GS anticipated that we’d have had our fill or Roman fare and made a reservation at Colline Emiliane, which serves food from the Bologna/Emilia Romagna region, and the menu stays true. Not one hint of roman food to be found. This isn’t a revelatory thought, but it really is true that the regions stick to their own food. Of course you CAN find pesto in Rome, or florentine steak, but it’s really not common! We started with tortellini in brodo, which was totally different than the one we had in Florence. The broth was much more unctuous, I doubt it was only chicken. Next we shared large tortellini (tortelloni) filled with spinach and ricotta and finished with a butter sage sauce. Lastly, tagliatelle bolognese. It was the most perfect dish on which to end our pasta tour. Matt had been staring at the dessert case all meal, so I obliged, despite my plans for street desserts after dinner. We tried the lemon meringue pie (in honor of Papa Stan) and strawberry tiramisu, and both were outstanding.

      As we wondered back home, I got the most delicious warm and fragrant roasted chestnuts from a street vendor (I think they’re out of season, but it felt nostalgic from my prior trip to Italy, and they were delicious, so who cares). I was in the looking for gelato artiginale but strangely we didn’t come across one on that walk. As we neared the hotel, I was forced to make a choice. Go generic or skip it altogether. I chose the former. I again went with my favorite, yogurt flavor, and this time got passion fruit as well. My review is this: in comparison to the gelato from the metal cylinders, this definitely has a lighter/fluffier texture, probably from some sort of stabilizers. It certainly isn’t BAD, but you can tell the difference. The yogurt flavor was a bit more chemical tasting, but the passion fruit was divine and I’d get it over and over again, despite the “inferiority” of the product. We went to bed around 11, in anticipation of our 3:30am wake-up— off the ground at 6:30 and headed home to our boys!!!
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    • Day 16

      Alla vägar leder till Rom…

      May 18, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      … som inte byggdes på en dag. (höhö)

      Idag har jag åkt tåg till Rom. Dagen började bra med att jag såg blå himmel för första gången sen jag kom till Italien! I tåget hade jag en mittplats? men som tur satte sig ingen annan på min rad.

      Jag var framme före check-in började på hostellet, så jag lämnade min väska där och började utforska direkt.

      Inte ens en timme efter att jag anlänt till staden försökte nån råna mig på metron, men som tur var min handväska så full med sladdar och snacks att han inte lyckades ta något. Jag skulle inte ens ha märkt något, om han inte hade himlat med ögonen åt sin kompis.

      Nåja, jag steg av metron och när jag kom upp från stationen såg jag COLOSSEUM! Det bara finns där, helt sjukt. Jag vandrade omkring och såg olika sevärdheter som jag bara har läst om tidigare.
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    • Day 17

      Kanske jag blir katolik

      May 19, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

      Idag vaknade jag med underliga bett på min arm… Jag lever i förnekelse och hoppas att det är något annat än vägglöss men vad är oddsen :/

      Nåja, jag lät inte det stoppa mig utan jag började dagen med god frukost bestående av en kycklingsmörgås och en cappuccino. Cappuccinon kostare 1,50€ och smörgåsen 4€!

      Efter det begav jag mig till museet Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea. Det var ett superfint museum!

      Jag hade bestämt att jag skulle äta middag på en restaurang nära mitt hostell, men den har stängt mellan 15 och 18 så jag vandrade omkring tills klockan blev 18. Under mitt vandrande hittade jag till Pantheon och två jättevackra kyrkor.

      Middagen på restaurangen var supermysig, och jag pratade med en kanadensisk grandma som åt ensam eftersom hennes dotter och dotterdotter var på bio. Hon bjöd mig på efterrätt, och vi hade en supertrevlig diskussion! Ibland är andra människor helt underbara.
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