Just a week ago, my parents decided to go on a trip to Italy. They had some free time there and wanted to see the most famous sights there. We have been to Venice, but no other cities. So I had to organize an 5 day Italy trip only 2 days in advance. Well, after some heavy searching, I managed to book a flight from Berlin to Pisa and from Naples back to Berlin. Our trip is supposed to go from Pisa via Firenze, Rome and Pompeii to Naples.
So I did book the flights, but I did not book a hotel in Rome. There were no available rooms online for a reasonable price unlike in the other cities, so we decided to find our self a place to stay on our own there. The room price for a 3-bed-room was around € 80 around the main train station in every city. So on last Friday, we took the plane to Pisa. From the airport, we found a bus taking us to our first sight: The Leaning Tower of Pisa. We took some weird pictures (see above) and went to our first Italian restaurant in Italy. We ate for € 10 each (€6 for the pizza, €2 for the drink and €2 tax), but the taste was horrible. The pizza salame (pepperoni pizza) had 4 pieces of pepperoni and on the pizza mare, there were some empty mussel shells. Well, we didn’t stay long and took the next bus to the train station, where we bought us 3 tickets to Firenze for €5 each. Public transportation seems to be very cheap in Italy. In only 1 hour, we were supposed to reach Firenze. Half way there, the controller came for the tickets. We showed them to him and he started taking Italian to us. We didn’t understand a word what he wanted. After a 5 minute discussion, he started talking about “stamp” and we finally knew what he wanted. The tickets needed to be validated but how are tourists supposed to know that? (All other train tickets we bought did not to be validated by the way) He wanted to fine us € 5 for not validating our tickets, how stupid is that? After another 5 minutes of discussion we gave up and paid the € 5.
After reaching Firenze we went to our hotel “Derby” only 5 minutes away from the station and then started exploring the city. Now I always thought of European cities to be as tidy as German cities, but I guess that was only my imagination. Firenze seemed pretty chaotic. I guess I can’t stand those tight streets. After taking some pictures, we went to get dinner, again for € 10 each. This time, I took Lasagna. Well… top layer was meat all right, but the rest… 9 sheets of noodles with nothing in between. What happened to the good Italian food I was used to in Germany? Anyway, we decided to eat some Chinese food again for the next meal.
Breakfast was included in our room rent so we went to the buffet in the morning. They only had some croissants, no bred, no meat. I ate some muesli and we left to visit the historical science museum in Firenze. It was quite interesting there and they had all those old instruments Galileo used to describe and explain nature. There even was a special exhibition about sun dials which was really interesting too. Afterwards, we went to eat at the Chinese restaurant “Capitale della Cina” next the train station. We ordered 3 dished for € 5 each (which were so small I could have eaten up everything by my own). When we wanted to pay, we were kind of surprised to get bill for € 30. After asking the waiter how this could be, we found out that there is tea fee, rice fee and seat fee. How crazy is that? In Germany, a dish for € 5 would include rice, tea, a soup, dessert and you would have enough to eat. Takethis restaurant for example, where the food even tastes way better. So when you happen to go to Firenze, don’t even bother going to that Chinese restaurant on “Largo F.lli Alinari 12-13″. Later that day, we took the express train to Rome for €33.
After only 1.5 hours, we reached Rome and started searching for a place to stay for the night. Unluckily for us, every hotel was booked out. With every, I really mean every! All the local hotel reservation services only had a sign “sold out” hanging on their doors. After asking directly at a lot of hotels, we gave up and went sight seeing. After a round trip with the “110open” tourist bus, we got back off and started searching for a room again. Somehow, my dad managed to get a room in some Chinese guy’s apartment for €75. I guess it’s an advantage to be Chinese in such cases. I didn’t want to spend the night somewhere in Rome. Unlike in Germany, the train station closes at 1 am and there are no public benches whatsoever to rest in the hole city.
The next day morning, we went to the Vatican church and museum, where I saw the longest waiting line ever. It was around 2km long and 5m wide. I don’t know how many people wanted to get in that museum, but even after getting in, it was nothing else than standing in another line to get out again. Just imagine if all hotels in a tourist city are full, how many people there must be… Afterwards, we went to the Colosseum. Very impressive I have to say. Too bad there are no blueprints of how I looked like when it was still in use.
In the evening, we went to Naples for € 25 via an express train. It was already late, so we went straight to our hotel, a new two star hotel. It was so new that the guy at the reception seemed to be the owner and he hasn’t employed someone who speaks English yet. So first, he tried to tell us that there are no free rooms and after some discussion where neither side understood the other, he finally picked up the word “online”, started smiling, repeated the word “onnlinee!” and gave us our room key. So in the next morning, we went to the volcano Versuv and the buried city Pompeii. Climbing the Versuv was rather unspectacular, but Pompeii was really interesting, seeing how such an old city looks like. The old roads and houses just like in the history books from the third grade… I liked it very much there. After returning to the hotel, we took the plane in the morning back to Germany and successfully finished our Italy trip.