Grand Tour III

06Sep05

Originally written on September 6, 2005  

Hello, hello

Here is yet another email from me but this time from renaissance Florence.

I have to say that I liked Rome because of the cultural importance, but the city, itself, is not the greatest one. There is a lot of tourists (duh), and Romans seem not to be the most pleasant people. I suppose that is the case with every big city. Nobody likes Torontonians either, and many find us rather rude.

On our way from Rome to the island of Capri, we made a side trip to Pompei. First of all, Pompei was a much larger town then I expected it to be. Although swarmed by tourists, it still is a ghost town and a reminder of how powerful nature can be at times. There are several casts of dead people on exhibit over there. The facial expressions filled with anguish and horror are overwhelming, and it is difficult to imagine how horrendous their death might have been – choking in volcanic ash, being burned, and ultimately perserved for the centuries ahead. Some columns still have remains of the original red paint which only could intrigue one’s imagination of how the place initially looked. 

Fresco paintings, Pompei (circa 1st century BC)

The island of Capri – is the most expensive place in Italy and the favourite of the jet-set society. I had never seen before so many yachts with helipads. Nevertheless, the beautiful scenary of the island is incomparable – wait till you see pictures. After all, if the place was fit enough for Caesar Augustus and Tiberius, why it wouldn’t be good enough for us? During our stay on Capri, I had time to relax and forget the chaos in Rome. Moreover, this was the first time I felt I was in Italy. 

The Island of Capri

Most foreign tourists come here on a day trip, and they are mostly led to Capri, the main town that has more Dolce e Gabanna boutiques than grocery stores, and where paparazzi are always on alert seeking a photo of a newly arrived celebrity.
The second town on the island, Anacapri is uneffected by glamour. We stayed in Anacapri, and it was the best experience so far. On the first day, we swam into the Grotta Azzura (the Blue Cave – a markland of the island)
instead of paying 10 euros for a 2 min boat ride to the cave. It was a remarkable feeling to swim into the cave where the sun light and nature do the magic, so that the entire place is lit up in neon blue. I’ve never seen anything like it. Tyrrenaen Sea is general has such a unique colour – deep sapphire blue. 

The Island of Capri

Furthermore, the largest lemons, I have ever seen, grow over here. They are as big as new born’s head!!! I just had to mention that because it was unbelievable!

Last night, a local food festival was held in Anacapri, and it marked our greatest day on this holiday so far. The entire event was almost like a movie scene. The festival started at dusk on the main square in front of the cathedral. Following latterns above our heads, we moved from one food station to another. All food was home-made right in front of us by the locals dressed in their folklore clothes. The event was followed by the musical performances and the dance on the square. It was wonderful to see eldery full of life – singing and dancing with the youth. We stayed pretty
late that night although we had to get up early next morning to catch a hydrofoil to Naples and head to Florence.

Local festival in Anacapri

Tonight is my first night in Florence, and I’m already in love with the city. Florence and Venice are without a doubt the greatest Italian cities, and a symbol of everything one would expect from this country.

Il Duomo, Florence

I’m not going to write much about it yet because the greatest things are yet to come. Tomorrow we are going to see David, and I doubt I’ll have any good sleep tonight. The excitiment is killing me …

Till the next time then!

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