Trip Start Feb 20, 2006
Trip End Feb 18, 2007

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Flag of Italy  ,
Sunday, August 6, 2006

left rome yesterday morning and have now arrived in naples. when i got off the train, i was kinda inclined to get straight back on again - seedy was the word that sprang to mind... naples is DIRTY. i have been informed (a most reliable source - some guy i met in my hostel) that the reason it is so dirty is because the mafia are in charge of keeping the streets clean, and although they dont do it, they refuse to allow anyone else, like the city council, to step in. so rolling fields of rubbish are the order of the day.

but, having negotiated my way away from the train station, things improved. the city isnt really beautiful, but it seems quite fun. i have minor paranoia, thanks to every guide book i read telling me i am going to get robbed, but that seems to be universal ;)

and the bay around the city is gorgeous. there was a huge storm yesterday afternoon too - i had to keep checking to make sure it wasnt mount vesuvius blowing up, the thunder was that loud!

i went to pompeii today and spent a ridiculous amount of time there, cos it was so cool. it was so different to what i expected, it is amazingly preserved, and you are walking down these 2000 year old streets and you can see what the city would have looked like. i loved it. and the pompeiians had the best invention ever - the pedestrain crossings are made of raised up stones - like a zebra crossing, but with the white stripes made of raised stones, which are at the same level as the pavement. so when you crossed the road, the carts would have been FORCED to slow down to let you past, because they had to negociate between the stones. i think this innovation could be put to good use in italy today - it is IMPOSSIBLE to cross the roads.

i had it figured out in rome - to cross the road you just waited for a passing nun and crossed with her, because no-one is going to run over a nun (but they might run over a tourist). but naples has no convienient nuns, and so if you want to cross a road you basically throw yourself in front of the cars and hope that they stop. which they may or may not do... its nerve racking. i spend a great deal of my time waiting for gaps in traffic here...

am headed down to the amalfi coast tomorrow to soak up a bit of sun - sightseeing is tiring!
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