So now that I actually have a long moment, let's try and catch up on my experiences so far!
Italy - Salerno
Yo, Italy is WARM. Amsterdam was a balmy 75F/24C compared to the 85F/30C that Salerno was getting the time I was there. Oh, and we have to be in full suits for the wedding? I was brimming with excitement. Not to mention, the flight to Italy was when I started really feeling under the weather (thanks to my lovely girlfriend for giving me a going away gift). Anyway, meet Rob!
I met Rob a couple years into college when we were in the same classes together and we helped each other with school work and hang out in the Computer Science lounge during our free time. We became good friends, played games, and worked on group projects together. He graduated a semester before I did but got a job in Pittsburgh so he wasn't too far away. So when I got a wedding invitation from him, I was super stoked. Not only was he getting married, but it's going to be in Italy? Aw hell yeah.
So shortly after getting situated in my room, I got a chance to see Rob before the wedding as he showed me around Salerno and where the wedding was to be held. I also got to meet his fiancé Claudia for the first time but unfortunately could not spend the rest of the evening with them and their friends as I wanted to use the rest of the night to recover as much as I could before the wedding.
The next morning, the rest of my friends and Italy travel friends arrived. Sean and Meghan came first in the morning from Scotland so they were pretty adjusted to the time difference already. Nee, however, decided to drive from Pittsburgh to JFK (~7hr drive) before flying to Italy. He basically didn't get any sleep since leaving so he was heavily jet-lagged.
But friends were to be wed so formal wear was donned and we were on our way. I swear, I worked up such a sweat that I felt like I was going to pass out half-way through the wedding. But we managed to survive, snap some great pictures, and make our way to the wedding reception at Hotel Raito.
The reception was held in such a fantastic venue and lots of food/drink was had. And what's that? I'm sick and tired and Rob is requesting people on the dance floor? I will always sacrifice my body and dignity to keep the party going.
Italy - Amalfi + Ravello
After sleeping in, we made plans to take the nearby ferry to Amalfi where explored the city, had some gelato, then took a bus to Ravello. There, we walked around a bunch, checked out some of the public villas, and had lunch. Words don't really describe as much as pictures do:
Italy - Pompeii
On the last full day at Salerno (and the last day before Meghan left us), we visited Pompeii. It was during this visit that we learned of Sean's "skill" of bullshitery as a fake tour guide. Some facts that we "learned:"
- The technology of Pompeii was ahead of its time
- They invented rebar
- They used laser projectors in their ampitheatres
- They used Arabic numbers
The best real fact that we learned was that one of the conspirators of Caesar's murder lived in Pompeii. Naturally, we inferred that Pompeii was an inside job so that he could cover his tracks.
Italy - Florence
Our time in Florence was a walking and pizza bonanza. This was when we took second dinner to stride and it was well worth it. We visited (although not necessarily went inside) a lot of the major landmarks in Florence, took a nap in the Boboli Gardens, met other Pittsburghers (guy studying at the university there and his mom who was visiting), and at lots of pizza. We did so much the first day, we actually used the second day to just walk around a little bit and just relax (in between eating of course). Florence was a blast with these two jokers. We laughed, we shared stories, we walked, we ate until we couldn't eat anymore, and we laughed some more.
Italy - Milan
Our last Italian stop was Milan. In fact, Sean was going to stay for all of like 6 hours before going to the airport. So we spent the rest of that day walking around a bit, grabbing our last dinner together, and saying good bye. Nee left the next morning and I spent the rest of my day just relaxing and trying to recharge. I love those guys but I get emotionally/mentally drained easily when being with people for an extended period of time so I needed a day of rest and Netflix (Watched a few episodes of The Get Down and it's been super fun. Check it out!).
And that finally brings up to today! This morning, I took a train from Milan > Tirano and then took the Bernina Express through the Alps to Chur, Switzerland where I am right now. And wouldn't you know it, the other person that's renting out this apartment is from Philadelphia who's been living in Switzerland the past 2 years doing architecture work. With the rest of my night, I'm going to figure out what I'm going to do tomorrow and then get ready for bed. Until the next post!