Thursday, September 30, 2010

Napoli.....and tales of pizza

Hey all I just finished a four day tour of Napoli (Naples) and the surrounding areas. Let me start with this: Naples is loud, filthy, chaotic, it has trashed piled up in the alleys and sidewalks, and there is a strong mafia presence (as I learned from some locals). That being said the place does have a ton of character and does warrant a visit. The best thing going for the city is pizza. It was created there. I ate five over the four days there. By far my favorite was the Antica Pizzeria Da Michelle which was established in 1870!!  Their menu has two pizzas on it: margherita or marinara. The place has only five tables and constantly has a line out the door. It was incredible. I spent some time hanging out with the Italian hosts of the hostel that I stayed in. It was ver interesting to get their perspective on the place. I also got a chance to check out the Archeology Musem. Highly recommended. It is full of sculptures from the 1st and 2nd century AD.

From Napoli I made a day trip to Pompeii. The condition of the ruins there is astonishing. The city had a functioning water/waste collecting and filtration system, bakeries, fast food restaurants among other modern conveniences. The crazy thing though is that Vesuvius erupted in 75AD and they were that far along! I recommend checking it out for yourself.

My last day in Napoli, I took a day trip Procida. Procida is a small fishing island adjacent to the island of Capri. It was a great trip. The island is not touristy in the least bit, and it was a good opportunity to see the way people lived. 

About the pictures.....I have been in an internet cafe on a piece of junk pc that still has a floppy drive in it. It crashes every time I upload a picture. I will post some good ones once I can find an adequate pc. I was able to get one up. Below is the view of Naples from a castle on a hill above the city.

I am in Rome right now and about to head out to the Colliseum. Ciao for now!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ciao from Italy

Hey all!  I met up with my friend Mike Harris in Monterossa, Italy. We hit the beach and did some hiking around the Cinque Terre towns of Corniglia and Manarola. From there I caught a train into Pisa to check out the leaning tower, that is really all there is to do there, and then on to Firenze (Florence). I have spent the last few days in Firenze, and today I caught a bus out to Siena. Siena is a little town in the Tuscan countryside south of Firenze. It is the place where they hold Il Palio, which is pretty much a no holds barred horse race around the main square in the city. You should check it out if you have never heard of it, pretty crazy. Tomorrow I hop a train for Napoli (Naples) the home of the pizza. Enjoy the pictures!
Houses in Corniglia
View of Corniglia from the start of the hike
View of Manarola where we are hiking to
Terraced hills full of grape vineyards
Mmmm future vino.
Boats in queue to hit the water in Manarola
Town of Manarola
We finished the day by jumping off of this rock into the sea. The water there was a good 20ft deep. You could see cleat to the bottom.
You know what this is ;)
The Duomo in Firenze, construction began in 1294!!
Frescoe painting on the Duomo.
More Duomo.
Climbing to the top of the Duomo, this was crazy!
View from top of the Duomo.
Copy of David in the Pallazzo Vecchio, the original is housed in the Galleria dell Academia which has ridiculous lines to get into. Good enough for me.
Arno River.
Cathdral, I forgot the name.
Another cathedral.
Cool reflection on the way up to Piazzale Michelangelo.
Sunset from the Piazzale.
Yet another fake David at the Piazelle!
View of the Piazza del Campo in Siena where they hold Il Campo.
Alley in Siena
View of the Duomo in Siena.
Buildings in Siena.
Distance shot of the Duomo.
I like this one!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Photo Dump Edition!

Greetings from Cinque Terre National Park in Italy! This place is incredible! For those who have not heard of it, Cinque Terre National Park is a portion of coastline and surrounding hillside along the Italian Riviera. It is comprised of five villages; Monterossa, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The area is full of terraces with grape vineyards and olive trees along the hillside that run up to cliffs overlooking the sea. I have tons of photos of the area to go through, but until then here are recent photos from Grindewald, Engleberg and Lucern Switzerland. Tomorrow I am heading to Florence with a pit stop in Pisa to check out the leaning tower!

Views from above Grindewald along the Eiger Trail: The Eiger

Eiger Glacier

Eiger Glacier with Jungfrau in the background

Eiger North Face
Where did the Eiger go?
Ski lift at the base of the Eiger!
View from above Grindewald on the way down the Eiger trail
Almost down
Whoa, two headed pig!
View while hiking in the ski resort above Engleberg

Lucerne, Switzerland

Perimeter wall around Lucerne

View from top of perimeter wall tower

Lion of Lucerne, saddest sculpture ever

Mt Titlus as seen from Lucerne