Monday, July 9, 2012
Yesterday was a day well spent for the most part. I wasted a good 2 hours in line at the train station waiting to reserve some tickets to Orvieto only to discover that I could do it in the automated machines! (even with the Eurail) To reserve my seats it cost me €3 which really isn't bad. That's cheaper than a two-way journey for OC Transpo and this train took me to another city! Anyway, the ride was about an hour and when I got there I had to take what they call a "funiculare" to get up to the city. Afterwards I had to take a bus, line A (there are literally two buses and two bus lines. A and B. A takes you to the Duomo and the B I'm not sure. To get around town you had to walk because there is no other public transportation but to walk from one end of the town to the other it only takes about 40 minutes. It's that tiny. Orvieto is built on top of a giant piece of volanic deposite. Directly underneath the city is a series of hundreds of manmade caves that were first started to be built by the Etruscans. Orvieto as a city is gorgeous. It's one of those tiny village type towns that you only see in the movies. It was breath taking. I spent a total of 6-7 hours there and I still hadn't seen all there is to see. I could have easily spent another day or two there. I bought what they call a city pass which granted me entry into 8 different sites across the city, plus a two way ride on bus line A and the funiculare to get from the train station to the city and back. While in the city I saw the Palazzo dei signori sette et torre del moro, the duomo and cappella di san brizio, orvieto underground, pozzo dio san patrizio, and a few museums, plus a park. They were mostly art museums. I had wanted to see the cava well but I ran out of time. I eventually got back to Rome at about 9pm which really isn't that bad. I basically took a shower and went to bed, exhausted. The torre del moro was a really, really high clocktower that gave an absolutely wonderful view of the city. It was about 50 meters high. The duomo was a massive black and white cathedral and was gorgeous! I didn't go in because there was a service in place. The pozzo was St. Patrick's well. I feel as if it went down about 50 meters. It was freezing and the steps were all slippery. I had to go to the very bottom with the water, cross a small bridge over the water and then head back up. But it was really neat, by the time I made it back to the top I was soaking wet. It was pretty gross. Orvieto underground I waw 2 caverns, one which was filled with ancient pidgeon coops and another was used for making pottery, wine, and olive oil. It was pretty neat. We saw a room that was dug in WW2 as a refuge for people in the hospital. Also, forgot to write it on my last post but I managed to look like a local. I had a bunch of tourists ask me for directions and surprisingly it was to a place that I'd already been so I could help! Yeah! I guess wandering around with a purse and not having a map out really helps. Also, the Italian men are so very flirtatous. If you ever want to bring up self esteem come to Italy. There was this very forward Italian guy that kept trying to hit on me two nights ago and I ran into him again last night. Once again he tried to hit on me, right after some other Italian dude asked if I wanted to be his girlfriend! I think I should find a cheap ring and say that I'm married. lol, maybe that'll work to ward off some of the attention. It probably won't though and I can't say that I'm not not-enjoying the attention. It can be fun for a bit. The waiter this morning kept winking and flirting with me too. That guy was actually really cute so that was quite fun. Breakfast with the hostel costs €3 and it's an all you can eat buffet at the bar downstairs (uner the hostel) so I tend to grab a big breakfast and a little extra for lunch during the day. That's pretty good for two meals worth of food. Also, there was peach flavored jam this morning. That was pretty neat as I'd never seen it before. I definitely grabbed two extra things to bring home. My parents always bring me back food from down south, I shall bring them jam. It's a good trade, right? As for the weather, it has been wonderful! Not a single cloud in the sky. Yesterday when I saw the sign at the farmacia it was 34 outside and that's not including the humidex. It was so warm I had to take two cold showers and I was actually sweating within minutes of stepping out of the cold water. You could just sit and do nothing and sweat bullets. It was insane. Today is supposed to be warmer and I'm planning on attempting to find Ostia Antiqua, an ancient Roman port city just outside of Rome. For more information you can go to http://www.ostiaantica.info/index.php. Though I just found out that the castle is closed on Mondays so I'll go tomorrow instead. Today I'll see what happens. I'll try to find St. Clemente's church, and the rest is unplanned! All in all, I'm having an absolutely wonderful time and I'm definitely loving Rome. It's been a much more pleasant experience than the last time I was here (though having the same company as last time would be really nice for this trip).