We arrived in Italy today, ready for whatever adventure awaited us. We had two options: continue by train up to Venice and keep our car reservation, or, since we were already in the southern part of Italy, go to Rome and tour this part of the country. After checking prices and reasoning everything out, we decided to catch a train to Rome.
Italy is a darling country, reminding me of a more advanced Albania. The older architecture is similar, and, at least in Bari, that was very prevalent. I didn't see too many huge highrises in Bari, but what I did see was beautiful.
We got to the train station at about 9.30a, and bought our tickets around that time. We didn't have anything to do, and quite frankly, even though we slept like babies on the ferry, we were all still tired.
Our train didn't come until 1.42p. We grabbed some deli sandwiches and water for our brunch, and sat near the platforms in the little shade we could find. It was peaceful, if not hot, and the few breezes that came by were definitely appreciated.
About noon, I got tired of just sitting around, so I took Mr. Garmin and went for a walk through the city. I figured since I didn't speak the language (I know enough words to make an Italian smile, that's about it; then they start speaking to me as if I know what they were saying. I think our taxi driver said I pronounced Italian well, but the blank stare I returned assured him I had no idea what he was saying) I was automatically a real tourist. For some reason in Albania, i was always hesitant to pull the video camera out, but here in Italia, people were staring as I walked up and down the streets talking to myself. Haha.
As I returned from my walk, I decided that I liked the atmosphere in the country and that Rome would be an interesting test of my travel skills. It's admittedly hard to travel with more people, but I think I will just take it a little easier.
We will be approaching Rome in about 4 hours. Our plan is to get a hotel and cool down. We might take a night stroll through Rome, seeing some of the sights in the coolness of the dark. We'll stay in Rome for a few days, taking a day trip tomorrow down to Naples and Pompeii, then the third day touring the Vatican and other cool Roman sights.
We have yet to decide whether to take a train to Florence (I have a friend who lives there), or rent a vehicle from Rome instead of Venice. It's harder to travel by train with more people, but not extremely difficult, although I think some would feel better if we went by car.
Enjoying the peaceful trainride, ciao!
Update: We got to Rome fine, and after a little trouble finding a hotel room, we ended up staying at Hotel Nardizzi Americano, which is a small little hotel on Via Firenze. We got into Rome about 6.30pm, and we'll taking a chill evening tonight in order to be ready to go tomorrow early. We plan on going to the Vatican, Colliseum, and the Forum (perhaps E.U.R. as well). Rick Steves calls people like me a kamikaze tourist...I think.
We're here for two nights, afterward we'll be getting a car (may be cheaper for four of us, plus the 'rents don't have to carry luggage) and heading to Florence.