torrie's travels


Adventures in Italy November 15, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Torrie Schneider @ 4:44 pm

Today started off with a slight hiccup, much as it did in Madrid with less “I’m calling the police.” The “luggage room” at our hotel was on the floor near the reception desk. Um, no. So instead of going to the Forum straight away, we had to take a detour to the train station to leave our luggage there. Again, it was like Milan where it was 6 euro a bag, but he only charged us for 3 bags, even though we technically had at least four.

We made it to the Forum at 9:30 and got right into it. Except that it was really difficult to follow. We couldn’t decide where to start and hit a couple of dead ends first. But once we got into the groove and could follow the map(s) (we took photos of the map on site and the map in my guide book), it was great. It’s just so stunning to see buildings or columns or whatnot that have been around since BC, or very very early AD. Just crazy. On one of the Basilicas, it said the bronze door is original and the lock still works. I mean, that is INSANE.

This was classic roman ruins. The partial columns, the collonades, fallen capitals on the ground. It was just amazing. What was funny was that partially through (earlier on), Mallory said, “I’m glad you were mad enough to make us come today. I would’ve skipped it.” So funny. And it was a lot of fun. Seeing Augustus’ “house” and the area where Romulus is said to have founded Rome in 753 BC (Palatine Hill) is just indescribable. Or to hear that the Romans had to drain the area where the Forum was because it started as marshland. How did they have the capability to drain a marsh into the Tiber in BC??? Are you kidding me? I think that’s what stuck out the most. Just the antiquity and their abilities. I can’t fathom how some of these things were done or built. It’s awe-inspiring.

We realized that we were running close to time that we needed to leave to catch the metro. (We definitely could’ve spent more than the 2.5 hours there that we did.) And we couldn’t get out. Seriously, there were exit signs pointing in several directions and we would go in one direction, think we were going the right way (because why have another sign saying down stairs and to the right? That would be too easy.), only to find out that we were not. So we saw some people exiting and went to another exit, only to find out that we were above the people exiting and the exit was nowhere to be found, the path just kept going and going and going…in the wrong direction. So I said I was going to ask to be let out the front because we were going to miss our train. They were having none of it and refused to let us out and did not give us any further directions for the exit, except “it’s over there.” Thankfully we found it and hustled out and to the metro stop.

We made it to the station and retrieved our luggage (which was NOT in a convenient place in the train station), only to find out our train was 10 minutes late. Because of course it was. I wish there was some way to find that out, like with airlines, but we don’t have wifi, so even if there was, it probably wouldn’t help.

We arrived in Naples and found the Circumvesuviana train station and were on the train to Sorrento within 5 minutes of buying our ticket. That train was covered in graffiti and smelled bad, but what are ya gonna do? It took a little over an hour to get to Sorrento and we cabbed it to our (awesome) hotel. It’s called the Green House and it’s great. We have a large room with two single beds, a large closet/armoire, a desk, a bathroom (obvs), and a terrace. Yes, we have a terrace. It’s awesome!

We sat around for a bit figuring out what to do before deciding we were going to stay in Sorrento for dinner and walk around and shop. Right away, I found some great gifts for my fam and we even got to try limoncello at a shop. They make their own and it was good! It was really strong at first, but then it was nice. Not as sweet as we thought it would be. I shopped a lot, actually. I got another ornament for my “Misfit Christmas Tree”, but not a new nativity set that I was hoping to get in Italy. There’s still time! Finally, I have been looking for conditioner because I am running out, so we went into a salon to see if they had it. They didn’t have the Loreal brand that I use, but they had a different sulfate-free, so I was going to buy it. She said “20”. Gulp. 20 euro? For conditioner? Whatever, I guess. I gave her a 50 and she only gave me 22 euro back. Um, what? She said, no it’s 28. I said, then I don’t want it. She refused to take it back or give me my money, waving the receipt in my face and saying “this is important in Italy. It’s fiscal!!!” Over and over. And I said, I don’t care, return it. You can see how this went. Not in my favor. I was livid. I would never buy conditioner for 28 euro, are you kidding me? Ugh.

We decided to have dinner at Inn Buffalito. It was amazing. I ordered bruschetta again and Malory wasn’t going to split it, but once it came she couldn’t resist. It was also served with fresh buffalo mozzarella. YUM! This was the best bruschetta, hands down. I also finally had a piece of bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. So many places don’t give you a proper bread basket here. I ordered the seafood spaghetti (I’m on the ocean, after all), after confirming that the seafood was mussels, clams, squid, and prawns. Except when it came, I definitely had a tentacle in my spaghetti. Mallory ate it. I am not eating octopus. And I was worried there would be more, but I think it was a stray tentacle!

We then decided to get a drink at the English Inn. They had Magner’s on tap, so duh. And right next to it was Kilkenny and Murphy’s. I took a photo because I can’t believe I will be back in Ireland in just over 2 weeks!! Mallory got a Kilkenny and the bartender started getting flirty. He joked Mallory said we were from the US that he thought we were from Africa. And her beer was 5 euro and he said, everything is cheap here! And I couldn’t help it, I said, “even the staff!” He thought that was hilarious and couldn’t believe I had said it. It was fun. We drank our beer in peace and once mine was gone, he came around and asked if I wanted another. But he put his arm around me as he did so. Typical Italian! We said no and he said he would bring us something free. But we didn’t really understand that. Was he serious or was it innuendo? So we got ready to leave about 5 minutes later and as we were walking out, he yelled out, no I was bringing you these! Two shots of creamy limoncello. He took our photos with them and they were good! Very good! We tipped him a euro for that (as he had come out from around the bar) and put his hand on my back saying, we don’t tip, we’re friends! And he asked us to come back tomorrow! We’ll see!


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