Back with me again. Hehe.
In May 2017, I got one week holiday before two weeks exam period and I used that chance to travelling to the southern part of Italy. To be precise, I went to Rome, Pompeii, Florence, and Vatican City. I was anxious because this was my first time to travel alone, “Will I be okay?” Well, voila! I am totally okay and instead the trip leave a profound memory in my heart.
Few impressions after I arrived in Rome: “Okay, this city is too hot!”, “Gosh, I can’t stand the summer heat”, “I want Gelato right now!”. Well, I guess I was over-reacted because I already get used with the low temperature of Stockholm.
Forget about the summer heat and let’s focus on Rome. Rome was indeed very beautiful. Beautiful in a way that we can travel back to the past and walking in the ancient ruins that spread all around the city.
Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, and Palatine Hill, just to name a few. From all of it, Colosseum left the deepest impression on me. Though the colosseum is so enormous and gallant, I couldn’t walk inside it in happy mood. I guess it was because this Flavian Amphitheatre was used for live execution of people due to different faith from the ruler and was built by thousands of slaves.
Other than that, I really enjoyed of spending evening time by just sitting in Spanish Steps, eating Gelato ice cream and pizza, and having rich conversation with Dov Shalom, a jewish woman with inspiring experience.
In my third day, I went to Pompeii to see the Pompeii ruins. I though this journey will be as ordinary as usual, but my guess was totally wrong.
I was so ready to take the Circumvesuviana train from Naples to Pompeii at 10 but instead I found out there was a strike! Due to strike, Circumvesuviana train was not operated for 4 hours. So, here I was, stranded in Naples station.
I was too lazy to go outside because it was too hot. So, while waiting, I enjoyed the piano performance and just talked with my friends via WhatsApp and read papers for my exam.
One hour before the expected train came, I was squeezed with hundreds of people who also want to take the train. The announcement system was not clear, so, it was kinda funny on how we always got false hope every time a train was coming.
When our real train arrived, we changed from a herd of sheep into a drunken bison as we rushed to go inside so that we can sit down.
Fortunately, I got a place to sit. The journey took 40 minutes and I enjoyed the natural scenery of Vilnius Mountain.
The condition in Pompeii ruins is more or less just like Colosseum. I felt like I was sucked to the past I walked through the footpath with the ruins in the left and the right. The ruins was so enormous that I will need all day to walk through all of it. I couldn’t do that as I was pursued by the last train to Naples.
One spot that gave me deepest impression is the Garden of the Fugitives. It was a vineyard with 13 victims of Vilnius eruption, adults and children, seized by death while trying to save themselves. As I saw them with my own way, I realized that death is very near, we will never know when the death approach us, and what we can do is to do our best and appreciate life.
I walked more to see the amphitheatre then I went to the exit. I finished my visit in 3 hours to make sure I get the last train. I couldn’t imagine if i miss out the last train. I will be literally stranded =_=
Btw, this is quite out of topic but I can’t help myself to not mention the Circumvesuviana train. The train is quite unique as it was quite old and almost fully covered with graffiti.
I spent two days in Florence. I can surely say that I love Florence! It is not too crowded like Rome and not too hot like Pompeii. It’s because Florence is located in a valley and surrounded by hills.
I walked around randomly in the city. I didn’t visit any museum and I don’t like statues and painting that much. I prefer to walk beside the river, enjoy the summer breeze, and go to the Piazzale Michelangelo (square located across the Arno River) where I can enjoy the panoramic view of Florence.
I spent 30 minutes there before I walked to the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte, a church in the top of the hill. This place is quieter and I enjoyed my time full with serenity here.
In the last day of my trip, I went to Vatican City. Yeay! Back to the summer heat of Rome. Haha.
I visited St. Peter’s Basilica, walked inside of it just to find myself being so small inside the enormous and high ceiling of the Basilica. I also mesmerized with all the details of statues, portraits, and paintings along its wall. I also took the 551 stairs to go the top of Basilica. It was very tiring but totally worth is as I can see panoramic view of St. Peter’s Square.
I skipped the others such as Sistine Chapel and Museum because I don’t enjoy seeing paintings that much. But, I hope someday I can go back to this city again, after I re-read Angels and Demons novel by Dan Brown, so that I can see and understand the places in different way as they hold many historical stories (well, surely not in summer).
All in all, I did enjoy my trip. By travelling alone, I can walk around in my own pace. I have independence in choosing the route. Furthermore, I am more open to know other people. Along this trips, I had conversation with Dov Shalom, a jewish woman with inspiring experience, a woman doctor who help immigrant people who arrive in Sicily island from Africa, many nice people who helped me as interpreter every time I went to the restaurant or market and the owners couldn’t speak English, and my roommates in Florence, a Brazilian and Chinese women.