Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Italy, Part One - Naples


A few years ago, Lois and Eric and I went to Italy. We had all been to Rome on previous trips, so we decided to see different parts of Italy on this trip. We had two weeks in early summer, before the worst heat set in. Nonetheless, we knew it would be hot, and that we would have to handle our own luggage. Here you see me with the gear I took: just a backpack and a small roll-on.

For summer travel, thin lightweight clothing allows the small suitcase that will fit in the overhead rack on a plane. You'll notice that I'm wearing a dress in the photo. That's because we planned to get outside the major cities on our trip. Many of the interesting things to see in Italy are inside churches (like the neon Madonna at the top of today's entry), and in some places women cannot enter wearing trousers.

Besides, dresses are cooler than jeans, and shorts are even more inappropriate than trousers in church. So I took a collection of comfortable dresses with light jackets, and was able to go everywhere we wanted to go.

We started our journey by flying into Naples, chosen because we wanted to see Pompeii and Herculaneum. Naples is just a brief commuter train ride from the once-buried cities.

Naples is an industrial city without much in the way of tourist attractions, but you cannot go anywhere in Italy without tripping over history. We stayed in a Pensione in the middle of the city. As is seen so often in European cities, it had once been a luxury apartment. The building was probably a century or two old (new by Italian standards), but the interior had been mostly modernized. However, lie down on the bed, and up above you see amazing plaster ceilings.

That's a great thing about Italy--there is beauty everywhere. But especially when you get outside the more modern cities.

Next week: Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Italy from the Inside

The saga of my journey to India and Nepal begins here.

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