Roam Sweet Rome: Italy Part Two (Rome, Vesuvius and Pompeii)
Buon giorno! Welcome to part two of my blog which documents my travels through Italy earlier in the month. If you haven't seen part one yet, you can find it HERE.
My previous blog culminated in a beautiful sunrise over San Gimignano in Tuscany. Later that day, after a run through the vineyards and a leisurely breakfast, we hit the road... and as all roads apparently lead to Rome, it was fairly obvious what our next destination would be!
Rome should be on every traveller's bucket list and I'm glad to have ticked it off mine. My 4 day experience of the city was mixed: on one hand, culture and history oozed out every crevasse; on the other, the sheer volume of tourists and maniacal drivers meant it wasn't exactly a relaxing experience. At times, I was slightly overwhelmed by the ubiquitous decadence (especially at the Vatican which isn't really a surprise) and as a result I didn't shoot too many photos until later at night once the hustle and bustle had subsided slightly. The results are quite pleasing though...
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Vesuvius and Pompeii
If you read part one of the blog, you probably realised that I'm not very good at sitting still and prefer instead to cram a lot (probably too much) into my trips. After two days of our four day stay in Rome, we decided to make the most of the rental car and head further South to Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii. A few hours later and we had arrived at one of Europe's most notorious volcanoes. The ascent of Vesuvius is steep but short and like pretty much everything in Italy, you have to pay an entrance fee (11 euros). This does allow you to walk around two thirds of the rim of the dormant volcano and the vistas over the multi-coloured forests to Naples and the Tyrrhenian Sea are magnificent.
I remember learning about Pompeii in primary school and how an ancient town had been preserved perfectly under ash and lava when Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. Wandering through the cobbled streets and in and out of the villas, it's almost hard to believe that these buildings date back a couple of millennia. We stayed in Pompeii until quite late in the day. The low sun provided a rich, majestic light which complimented the hermetical murals and arcane architecture perfectly in my photos. I was pleased to be able to capture Mount Vesuvius itself which had been obscured by cloud for most of the day.
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There you have it, my trip to Italy in a nutshell (or technically 2 nutshells). Was it fun and interesting? Yes. Did we try to do too much? Definitely. Did I return feeling like I needed a holiday? Zzzzzzzzz!
I'll be back in Tuscany to cover a wedding next summer so no doubt I will do some more photographic exploring (but factoring in some downtime). It is a truly fascinating country and, if you haven't been already, then I recommend it... just plan to start a diet and fitness programme when you get back!
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