6/29/15 - 6/30/15
Naples was one of the places that we felt like we had far to short time to explore. We only ended up being there for a day and a half because of our transportation schedule, but we both ended up wanting at least another day there.
One of our most important stops in Naples was to what is supposed to be the best pizza in the entire world--Antica Pizzaria da Michele. It is a famous restaurant where you have two options--with or without mozzarella (that is, margharita or marinara pizza). The pizza was very good, thin but quite doughy compared to the crispy pizza of Rome. We had our two and enjoyed them very much.
Then we went on our walking tour of Naples. It was very different from Rome. Much more gritty. A lot of graffiti. It felt very urban, but there was still a distinct feel to the city that was enticing. We both loved walking down the main street and looking at the churches, monuments, and endless shops hawking their food and souvenirs.
From here, we went north to the National Archeological Museum. This is one of the best in the world because it houses the best of the treasures from Pompeii and Herculaneum (a smaller site similar to Pompeii). Thus, while Pompeii has the buildings and the massive scale of a city, the frescos, mosaics, and statues are over here in Naples.
That being said, the next day, we did go Pompeii. It was enormous. It was easily actually the size of a sizeable modern town. It was frozen in time from the blast of Mt. Vesuvius, which covered the city and its residents in volcanic ash, leaving them and their dwellings intact for archaeologists to find millennia later. It was neat to wander through the ruins, trying to decipher what everything was, and getting a sense of what ancient Roman life was like in one urban setting.
From here, we were off to Dubrovnik, via a long bus ride across the country to Bari and an overnight ferry. We will post about Dubrovnik soon. But first, Madi wants to share a little...
Leaving Italy was very emotional. I have dreamt of visiting Italy since I was a little girl; it was on my bucket list, so to speak. There aren't a huge number of things that I want to do before I die, but seeing Italy was one of them. I don't know how many of you have a dream from childhood that you still hold onto - and got to experience coming true. It is such a surreal adventure. And not only did I get to go to Italy, I traveled Italy. I saw from the north almost all the way south. I saw the coast, the countryside and big cities. I did more in Italy than I had even known was possible. So as we pulled away from the port in Bari soon after the sun set, I got teary-eyed. I know, I know...it's silly to feel like crying when leaving a country you just visited for a few weeks, but it was more than that for me. I got to say that a childhood dream of mine came true! I felt so blessed. And I also had loved everywhere we went in Italy so much, that I would have loved to stay. Haha...but that was not to be. So I said an emotional good-bye not just to the country itself but to the fulfillment of one of my strongest dreams.