Italy, Switzerland · 10 Days · 17 Moments · June 2017

Nicola's journi to Italy

12 June 2017

8 June continued I love the little island where all the coloured houses are and lace is their specialty. We roamed the streets and did a couple loops unintentionally again. Finally cracked the public toilet costs and instead of paying 1.50 just pay .80 for an espresso then we both use the loo! Had a mad rush around Venice when we got back to pick up masks for the party tonight. Might've found another bag to buy too whoops but it's baby pink and Italian leather so couldn't say no for €33! Back at camp we had a masquerade party although no where near as ragey as toga party in Rome. There were leaders on the tables with bottles of spirits again giving shots and one of them fell off! There was also a massive creep who was pashing disgustingly with this girl then told nick he was gonna get with every girl any way - implying roofies. He grabbed at me then alana then Nikki shoved him ass over head! So so fantastic! He well and truly deserved that!
8 June Into Venice today! So nice to have such a stunning day compared to last time i was here. We caught the people mover over which is just a train but didn't do that last time! Once we got to Venice we did a 90 odd minute walking tour - going past the main sites like the most famous mask shop, a couple of the piazza's and some statues pointed out - like the book shitter! An unfortunate name but the statue does look like the guy is shitting books rather than leaning back on them. We finished up in St marks square then did the usual follow some streets, end up back at the square then take about street. I love all the little streets and alleys where you get more authentic stuff rather than the restaurants that charge exorbitant prices for cover charges and service fees. Got a deliciously nutritious lunch of tiramisu and cannoli 😂 but it was amazing. Still haven't had paneforte yet from Italy or a Bellini. After lunch we went to burano...
7 June Off to Venice today. Sad to say goodbye to Florence- the red roofs and the secrets the city must hold are making it very tempting to stay. Stopped off at Pisa on the way and everyone got the token tourist photos. Another stunning day there but hard to enjoy when you're back is killing ya. Rocked up to our campsite in Venice and had an Aussie guy go off his nut at us about setting up near his van - of course I got riled up and had a go back at him, along with half of our group. He got real creepy and watched us all moving our tents after telling at laura and the receptionist, then at nick when he walked past to get our bags after we had to move to our tent. To make matters worse the dick moved his van anyway that night. Was very keen to play loud music and let his tyres down since he thought we'd be party animals and he paid good money to be there. Dick.

9 June 2017

6 June continued For lunch we went to these indoor markets - on the bottom floor is little meat shops, veges, delis and cafes then upstairs it just a whole heap of foods stalls. Heaven. We had a eggplant arancini ball, beef ragu arancini ball, fried cauliflower & zucchini, bruschetta and the best margarita pizza I reckon I've ever had - loads of buffalo mozzarella, fresh tomatoes on top and the perfect base - this is Italy done right! The seafood there also looked amazing, as did the salad bowls where the bowl was made of a toasted pita bread. In the evening we went up to piazza Michelangelo to watch the sunset. There was lots of people on the steps when two carabineiri walked down in their helmets, picked a couple out of the crowd, talked to them, took photos of them & their passports and made sure the guys hands weren't in his pockets. When it got to the point that 8 cops were there for 2 people I got really uneasy & left. Just had a bad feeling about it!
6 June Florence is absolutely stunning. Just down from our campsite is piazza Michelangelo where you get beautiful views over the rooftops, with the duomo way above everything else. Started with a walking tour and again every where was so much more packed than last time. Started in the square with the palace and dozens of statues, then went to see the bridge that has jewellery shops all down the sides. Did some more wandering and eventually ended up at the duomo, you forget how impressive it is. Again the lines were massive so a good excuse to come back! Finished off with a quick leather demonstration, nothing different to last time. After the walking tour we just roamed Florence, and got gelato at the place where they turn it into a pretty flower shape! The yogurt flavour was so good. I reckon one of my favourite bits is that at the water taps in the square you have the option of sparkling or still water!
5 June continued Once again after dinner (no quartering food this time, only drinks!) We got some cheapo wine and say on the steps of the church having a drink, made some friends with two Chinese tourists. Karaoke was hilarious but no way was I getting up there! 2L & 1L jugs of drinks always goes down well! Got an amazing kebab on the way home, before we tackled the stairs and hills on the way home.
5 June Last day in Rome! Went back to the Vatican again for a tour, it is so crazy busy here compared to last time we came. Still get amazed with how elaborate everything is and how skilled they were to build and paint like they did so long along. The corridor with the gold ceiling is so ornate, although sometimes hard to appreciate when you're elbowing and getting elbowed along the way. Even in the Sistine chapel you could bearly move - not like last time when you could have a seat! It was a shame there were tons of seat out in the plaza because you lost the full effect a little. Got my first tiramisu as well! The cream was so yellow but my god it was delicious! Could get quite used to living in Italy but would definitely need a personal trainer. Arrived in Florence this evening, set up camp and had dinner at a steakhouse? The night turned slightly large with it being Jordan's birthday the next day, especially when the bar has karaoke next door!

5 June 2017

4 June continued Everything is practically under 10€ and got some great little traveling things. Could've spent so much money there!
4 June Everyone went to Pompeii today but we decided to stay behind and do a bit more exploring - would love to go there but didn't want to sit on a bus for six hours for a trip hour tour. Nick more than a bit hungover today! Headed down to the Vatican and saw a ton of people at St peters Basilica and the plaza before realising it was Sunday. Managed to get in and ended up seeing the pope! Drove past on his wee car thing maybe 10m from us! We put rosemary on the phone to hear mass and she was ecstatic. Down from there is Castillo St Angelo and a bridge with angel sculptures all the way down it. Can say as well that we've walked the perimeter of a country now! We tried to go to Davide's friends cafe for lunch but it was closed! Worked out well though because randomly Soph was in Rome so headed back to town to see her and munch on bruschetta, margarita pizza and aperol spritz. Also randomly came across a running race through town, and a fantastic shop called flying tiger.
3 June continued. After that all finally finished me and Nick did some of Davide's suggestions and went up to the orange garden for views over Rome. It's so beautiful up there with shade, grass, orange trees and panoramic views. Down at the end of the road is a gate where if you look through the lock you get a perfect view of St peters Basilica with trees lining the path of the garden. Unfortunately it was too sunny for a good photo but it was such an awesome view and something that bit different. For the rest of the Arvo we roamed around town. This party at camp tonight and safe to say Nick got a fair bit steamed! Got so many free shots and buckets for 15€ is also a recipe for a good time! Matt tried to piggyback Nick home after he snuggled on the concrete on Jordan's sheet but kept falling backwards then comered in the garden for a bit !
3 June continued Rugby contact in Rome! On the way for gelato we went past Hadrian's temple that dates back to the 2nd century and the Pantheon. The Pantheon is incredible architecture - inside the top of the dome is completely open so if it rains, you're wet! How they did that I will never understand. Break time was at a gelateria with 150 flavours to choose from! Finally decided on profiterole, biscotti and a ricotta/apricot. Next up was piazza navona then some temple ruins where Caesar was assassinated, and is now used as a cat shelter. Also went past the incredible Victor Emmanuel monument which is ginormous! Across the road was the Trejan column that has 2000 people carved on it then we finished up at the Roman forums, palentine hill and the Colosseum. Didn't go into the Colosseum this time but explored the Roman forums a little more - it's amazing how preserved everything is, and that people once lived and worked there. Would've been amazing to witness it.
3 June Up and at em with a three hour walking tour this morning. First up after the metro was an obelisk from the Egyptians down the road from the Spanish steps. It's over 3000 years old - older than NZ! From there we walked down past all the designer shops then I would love love to go into and shop up a storm, to the Spanish steps. There's another smaller obelisk there but it's actually an imitation of the first one we saw. It was absolutely stunning and scorching already and it's only 10! Just down from the steps of cafe grego - the oldest cafe in Rome that dates back to the 18th century. A ten minute walk away is the capuchin monks crypt - it's from there where the word cappuccino comes from. Down from the Spanish steps is the column of immaculate conception then next was the Trevi fountain. So great to actually see it properly this time with no scaffolding and water! The sculptures are pretty cool, and we both threw our coin in so will be interesting to see if nick gets a
2 June Big day traveling - couple of hours to get to ferry then six hour ferry to Rome theeen more time to get to the Rome campsite. The Rome campsite is insane with tons of bungalows, permanent tents, restaurant bar and pool. We're in little marques which are all permanent with proper beds!

2 June 2017

1 June Kind of a waste of a day purely for the fact we spent half the day waiting and sitting on a ferry but we went to corsica and IT WAS AMAZING! Definitely top three places I reckon. It was an absolute pearler of a day, and as you come in there's massive cliffs with houses literally built right to the edge. We only got a couple of hours to explore and it definitely wasn't enough. Alana fucked off with harry and left Nikki with us. We went down Escalier du Roy d'aragon which was phenomenal. There's steep stairs down the cliff edge then you walk around the cliffs for maybe 100m. There was stunning blue skies and water with white stone. Prime photo opportunities! I could've stayed there for hours. Us three got pizza and sat on the cliff overlooking the bay for dinner and decided on what we needed in our super yacht 😂 the roads are awful though back to camp, felt like I used to back in the old days going to Napier!
31 May continued I could get used to Sardinia, it's busy enough and enough shops to always keep busy, and so many restaurants. Would so love to go down south to Calgiri where Tash and DJ lived. Got treated to seafood tonight on tour - mussels to start then a octopus ragu pasta. Delicious.
31 May Hired bikes today, needed a break from walking! We were told by the touch guys and the guy setting up the water inflatable playground that the best beach was Bombarde so off we went. Some bitchy hills on the way which is always more fun when you don't have gears. The beach was nice, not great, and there were jellyfish all through it which also detracted somewhat. Could imagine how it would go off in summer though. From there we biked into Alghero which is the main town bit. It's old and stone and again very quaint and gorgeous. They have pink bikes and decorations everywhere for the 100th year old Giro d'Italia - Italy's version of tour de France. Got a great T-shirt with the classic anchor and Sardinia written on it, a cute silver ring where we found out from the guy working there that there's over four million sheep in sardinia. Got our first gelato! And I ordered all in Italian! Tiramisu, stracciatella, cafe. Once again caught out with shops closing...
30 May Finally arrived into Sardinia mid morning on the ferry. It looks amazing but just realised that we don't actually get anywhere near where Tash and DJ lived. Campsite is proper camping with rocks and no toilet paper in the toilets. Wandered down into the village town and got the most Italian lady where we stopped for lunch- no water bottles on the table to drink, she got angry when we shared a plate each, and spoke zero English. Nick eventually won her over and is killing his Italian! Typical nick also randomly meet a guy who invited him down to play touch at the local club. The beach is stunning with sky blue water and equality blue sky to match. The part were in is very much sleepy little town vibes. Could get used to this!