Tuesday, September 14

My Week in Italy. First, Napoli and Roma!

Day One. Roma to Napoli. After arriving at Fiumicino Airport around 4 p.m. (we left Memphis at 7 p.m. local time), we took two different trains to get from Rome to Naples. The second one was a Eurostar, which meant comfortable seats and a chance to relax and freshen up. I took the opportunity to brush my teeth using a bottle of water. That was interesting...

Vesuvius from the train.

Jonathan relaxing on the train.

When we finally arrived in Naples, my aunt and cousin were there to greet us. I hadn't seen my aunt in almost three years, so it was a long-awaited reunion. Instead of leaving for Capri, they asked us if we preferred to spend the night in Naples so Jonathan could enjoy the sights, see my family's real home (Capri is just their summer home) and enjoy some really, REALLY good pizza. We said yes, yes, yes!
Vivid colors on our train ride from Roma to Napoli.
The Bay of Naples at dusk.
We had drinks in a little alfresco bar overlooking the Bay of Naples. We drank wine (or beer in Jonathan's case) and ate fresh olives and crackers. It rained for five minutes, but it was such a light rain that we didn't even feel it. We enjoyed our first Italian aperitif very much as we recovered from a very long day. I didn't even care that I'd been wearing my clothes for nearly 24 hours...After all, I was in Italy!
The building across the street from my family's apartment building.
They don't build them like this anymore.
Day Two. Napoli. My family has owned several apartments here since World War II. Italians don't move houses like we do in the States. My grandparents did leave for a few years (my grandparents lived in Meridian, Miss. following WWII, and they retired to Booneville, Miss. in 1990). They kept the apartment, and my grandmother eventually returned to Italy after my grandfather passed away. My aunt and her family have lived across the hall for as long as I can remember. I spent many years here as a child, but this was only my second time to visit since we moved to the States in 1992. Things haven't changed much. I like that. Jonathan was amazed by their building's elevator. It's original to the building, which was built in the 1920's. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of it!
You can see the Bay of Naples from one of their balconies. New Year's Eve is incredible here, as you can probably imagine.
Looking up the street.
I'm currently working on a word-heavy blog about my experience in Italy. Because it's something I can't write in a week (or maybe even two), I decided to proceed with a multi-part photo montage memorializing our week in Italy. :)
Day Five and Six. Roma. The Arch of Constantine, which is steps away from the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
It's truly amazing when you realize you are standing in a place that was constructed in 72 AD.
To me, this is one of the most amazing sights in the world.

Jonathan with the crowds behind him at Fontana di Trevi.

The Fontana di Trevi is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome. It is truly amazing to see in person, and in fact, I'm pretty sure that every person in Rome does go there to see it! When we arrived at the fountain, it was so crowded that we didn't even throw in any coins (which is supposed to ensure your return to Rome). Next time, next time.
Another close up of Fontana di Trevi.
In Italy, the Virgin Mary is everywhere. I thought this painting, which is on a building in front of the Pantheon, was breathtaking. If you haven't read Under the Tuscan Sun, you should. Frances Mayes does an excellent job of capturing the raw beauty you find in this country. In Italy, beauty is truly everywhere -- from the side of a building to a bottle of wine to a flower growing on the side of a cliff. It is incredible to see, but at the same time, it's not really very surprising. After all, the greatest artists, authors, poets and architects are 1.) from Italy or 2.) have come here numerous times for inspiration. You can't help but leave this country inspired on every level -- from spiritual to creative and back again.
Part II will be coming up soon!

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