In this blog I will tell you about my epic time in italy. First of all, I went to Italy with my family. We flew from paphos to rome. On our first and second night, we stayed at a house using booking.com in a lively neighborhood. First day in Rome, we visited Vatican, the ancient city, which left me mind-blown. The Vatican is closely tied with Rome’s heritage, and there is a wealth of art and history to explore there. There is a beautiful saying about Rome that when it comes to the city, “non basta una vita” – a lifetime is not enough. My favorite art era has always been Renaissance and being at a place where lots of famous renaissance artists have lived and left behind so many nice art works was an amazing feeling. We visited Spanish steps, the top of the stairs near the Egyptian obelisk offering a beautiful view, albeit one shared with throngs of other tourists. At the foot of the Spanish Steps the area is of upmarket chic, with an endless supply of small boutique designer shops and a wide range of restaurants and bars. We also visited Trevi Fountain which has a legend that when you throw coins in it, it is guaranteed that you will come back to rome with the love of your life. The fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi in 1732 and depicts the sea god Oceanus with his seahorses. It was also featured in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and is still popular with the crowds who make the pilgrimage to admire it. I threw a coin and made a wish, maybe I come back to Rome with the love of my life in this life. I would recommend knowing a few key phrases in Italian if you can’t find many English speakers around in case you need assistance. Many people in Italy can’t speak English which came as a suprise to me. Next day, we went to other tourist attractions of Rome, Colosseum and Piazza Navona. As a vegan, we also had loads of vegan choices. We had breakfast in a local bakery and they had tomato sauce pizza and some veggies like aubergine, broccoli, potatoes and many more. We also had proper vegan pizza at a restaurant and vegan ice creams at one of the cafes at the centre. Next day we took a bus to napoli. You can travel cheap if you search it. We found coach tickets for 6 euros each to napoli. The journey was almost 3 hours and very comfortable. We walked to the flat we booked and at night we went out with my brother. I absolutely loved Napoli and each night we have been there, we were able to make new friends. I even already looked at flights to Napoli when I am in England. The cheapest flights were around 50 Euros with return so if you can, I suggest you take a trip from Gatwick to Naples. Moreover, I suggest you to always talk to locals as you don’t only get to see the city but also learn their culture from their experience. There’s a saying that Rome is the heart of Italy, but Naples is its soul. Naples is gritty and chaotic, yet beautiful and authentic at the same time. The streets of Napoli was very old and impressive. I loved how they reserved the originality of the city and left it as untouched as possible. Naples is truly an amazing city with over 2000 years of history. Naples is also the city of the Mafia, the origin of Italian cuisine, and the place where people have lived for centuries with the threat of a natural disaster, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. We then rented a car to see Amalfi coast villages. You can easily rent a car from the airport in napoli. One advice, dont ever give full money to taxi drivers. Our drive to the airport costed £15 but when we handed £20 he didn’t give us the change back and when we asked for it, he shocked his finger, meaning no! Also make sure to put the name of the driver if you rent a car online as otherwise they wont accept your booking when you show up. This was the case with us. My brother booked the car online with his name but my dad was going to be the driver and they refused to give us the car so we had to rebook from another company. The road was very challenging for my dad as the traffic flows on the right hand side, as opposed to Cyprus and England. The roads where amalfi coast was based was very challenging as they had loads of curves and we were driving on the mountain roads. I loved the small charm feel, the gorgeous sea, the stunning views at every corner, shops, restaurants, you name it, I just couldn’t get enough of Amalfi and Positano. Both villages are lined with streets selling all kinds of gorgeous items from locally made clothing, hand-painted ceramics, custom-made sandals, and lemon everything. We also didn’t stay in those villages but stayed in a family owned house in a nearby village, Furore. We loved the decoration of the house so much as it was all vintage and full of art works. Next day, we drove back to Napoli to hand over the rental car and take the bus to Bari. Journey to Bari took approximately 3.30 hours but wifi was provided on board. Bari is more of a quiet town when compared to other cities in Italy. Bari holds the typical Italian mix of Old World charm with a modern touch. Many of the buildings in the city center date back centuries, including parts of the original medieval walls that once surrounded all of Bari. While the city definitely has an antique feel to it, it’s also filled with modern stores for those who want to shop. The tiny ear-shaped orecchiette pasta is most associated with Bari and you’ll likely see it served alla cime di rape e salsiccia, with turnips and sausage, as suggested by one of the friends I made in Napoli. Walk around the residential neighborhoods and you’ll likely see local women set up with their pasta-making tables in the street. We also asked locals of Bari where to drink and found a lovely bar. We also made some friends there which was lovely!
Till next time,