Venezia without Venice

Hi all!

Our day in Rome started dark and early at 4 am before the sun even rose. Our morning workout involved dragging our luggages to Rome Termini in the dark for 1.7 km in 45 mins. That was a serious achievement unlocked for us during the entire leg of our trip, considering has physically tired we were by them. We arrived in Milano, where we stored our luggages for 12€/24 hours at the station, before rushing to catch our connecting train to Venezia. After we’ve got our water bus pass, we headed straight to Burano, a small island scattered with brightly coloured houses. It made for such a bright and cheerful atmosphere.

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From Burano, we dropped by Murano instead of Venice because my friend was keen on seeing a glass-making display. However, we didn’t know where to see those, plus, it was quite late then (~4 plus), so most places could have closed for the day. By then, my desperate need for feed and a washroom was making quite a show in my mode, so we settled down for lunch/dinner. Pesto pasta (another item on my Italy food checklist) was pretty good though slightly salty.

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In the end, we didn’t visit Venice, the clouds were rolling, rain was pouring and we were rushing to catch our train back to Milano. Venice still remains on my bucket list to see before it drowns. But that just means I’ve to return back next time. Till the next post, bye!

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Naples & Pompeii

Hi all!

I’m in procrastinating mode as I penned down this post even though I’ve to get my proposal ready in less than 3 days. Naples was basically the highlight of my trip ever since I watched a documentary on how pizza originated from there. So basically my aim was to have pizza. Pompeii was a side thing (priorities). But the day begun with an epic start as our pre-booked train closed its doors in our face. We were left scrambling to get another ticket to Napoli (luckily the wait for the next train was not long). At the Napoli train station, we got a (return) express ticket (11€/pax) for the circumvesuviana train to Pompeii. Side track a bit, the kind lady who helped us with our ticket purchase was dressed super sexily, literally buttoning only the middle button of her tight button down shirt.

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Once in Pompeii (which was freaking hot), we queued about 30 mins for our entrance tickets. It took us about 4 hours to cover the area. But after a while, most things look the same.

Tip: There’s a pretty informative map/guide for the area if you are not following a tour group.

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The kitchen area – the hole in the foreground was the stove.

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Below was the people answer to postal code.

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A bath tub in one of the houses.

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A skeleton covered in volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted.

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While waiting for the our reserved train to arrive, we got a lemonade to share. Even though it was quite pricey (it’s a tourist area), it was super refreshing, especially on a hot day. So no regrets.

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Once back in Naples, we quickly hunted down the nearest highly recommended pizza eatery within a 10 mins walking distance from the main train station. Despite the long queue, the margherita pizza (baked using a charcoal oven) came out pretty quickly. We were also the only people who ordered a medium pizza (4.5€) to share. But I can’t imagine finishing a whole pizza by myself. I was stuffed after half of it. Ignoring the burnt crust, I like the fresh tomato base.

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele – Address: Via Cesare Sersale 1/3, 80139, Naples, Italy

 

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En route back to the station, we dropped by sfogliate calde, a pastry shop, where we got a custard puff to go. The puff was really fresh and quite good (2.5€). They also had this nutella/chocolate pastry that looked really nice but we were too full and not craving enough sweets to get that. We then dropped by the supermarket at the station to grab our rationing supplies for the next day’s train.

Antico Forno delle Sfogliatelle Calde Fratelli Attanasio – Address: Vico Ferrovia 1/2/3/4, 80142, Naples, Italy

A little TMI, but I’ve realised Italians prefer using tampons to pads. It was so hard to get pads from the limited selection available. Okay, till the next post, bye!

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24 hours in Rome/Vatican

Hi all!

Setting foot in Rome (or rather any place in Italy) was pretty much a dream come true to me. It was also the hottest leg of our trip. I got pretty tan in just 4 days here (in Italy). After we left our luggage at our hostel, we headed down to the Palatine Hill where we got our combined entry tickets to the colosseum as well!

Tip: Head to the palatine to get your tickets to the colosseum. There was no queue when we were there (i.e. during peak period) 

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The ruins here were quite different from the ones I’ve seen in SEA, and I prefer those in SEA a lot more because the artefacts are a lot more interesting with their carvings. Although, the story behind the ruins in the Palatine are a lot more interesting.

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We then headed back to the hostel to settle our check-in administrative stuff. Of course, we grab pizza to-go from Alice pizza on our way back. This came highly recommended by our friends, especially their potato pizza. Though, I didn’t really fancy the potato pizza, but their creamy mushroom pizza was fantastic. The pizza was freshly made and came up piping hot to the counter where it was quickly grabbed up by the customers. Do note the pizza is sold by weight. But for a slice of pizza, it’s still pretty affordable (probably less than €5 for 2 slices).

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Thereafter, we rushed down to the Vatican museum/Sistine Chapel to meet the timing for our pre-booked tickets. I’m not into the arts so while I’m amazed by the plethora of artefacts on display, I’m not like wow-ed by them. Plus, the crowd was a damper in exploring the museum as well.

Tip: If there’s one place you need to pre-booked your tickets, it’s for the vatican museum. The queue was massive. 

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St Peter’s Basillica, where we dropped by to take a look of its facade, but were just too tired to queue for entrance.

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Passed by the Pantheon and the Trevi fountain on our way to get some gelato (highlight of the day)! I was more amused/impressed by the crowd that surrounded the Trevi fountain then the fountain itself. Nevertheless, we quickly made our way passed the crowd in out hunt for gelato. 🙂

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Giolitti – I was so inclined to come back everyday for their gelato but we had no much time. Either way, I got the cinnamon, chocolate and pistachio flavoured ones. While my friend had the lemon, peach and banana flavoured gelato. All were awesome. The fruity ones were particularly refreshing and really do taste like actual fruits. I was in bliss~

Giolitti – Address: Via Degli Uffici del Vicario 40, 00144 Rome, Italy

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Then went to da Francesco for dinner. Luckily we could get a seat even though we had no reservation. I had a tonacelli w perico cheese and black pepper but it was too salty for my liking, so I switched with my friend. We then passed by the “birthday cake” on our way back to camp for the night. Till the next post, bye!

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