Thursday, January 31, 2019

Beyond Rome...

As much as Rome will offer some pretty unparalleled photo ops, the reality is that there's an entire country beyond Italy's capitol city. While it's naive of me to think I can see everything, I do want to make sure I visit a variety of places and experiences a variety of different things.

After spending two days on a "hop on/hop off" bus, it'll be nice to sit behind the wheel and get on the road. My understanding is that, even though driving through the countryside is not as hectic as it is in Rome, one must still exercise a bit more caution than normal. Apparently, Italians are lunatic drivers.

Thank God for that $11 a day full coverage insurance on the Citroen!

So, much in keeping with my blog entry for what I intend to see in Rome, I'll do the same for those areas outside the borders of the Eternal City.

1. Pescara

My main reason for visiting Pescara is simply because it's on the Adriatic Sea, and I've never been to the Adriatic Sea. It's a little over a two hour drive to the northeast and promises to offer sites that are much different than Rome. It's not really a "tourist town". The old part of Pescara is essentially two short parallel streets of typical Italian houses. Traffic is well regulated into the city, and many of the smaller streets are reserved only for pedestrians.

2. The Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is a 50-kilometer stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, in the Campania region. It’s a popular holiday destination, with sheer cliffs and a rugged shoreline dotted with small beaches and pastel-colored fishing villages. It's about a 3-1/2 hour drive from Rome, so I may end up doing an overnight trip when I go. The drive is supposed to be, well, "challenging", but I'm not swayed.


3. Naples/Pompei

Located a bit further south than the Amalfi Coast, Naples is the third largest city in Italy, following Rome (the largest) and Milan in northern Italy. One of the most imposing landmarks in the city is the Castel Nuovo, built in the year 1279. Looking at photos online, I definitely want to photograph this place.

Pompeii was an ancient city not far from Naples. In the year 79 AD it was buried and preserved in ash and pumice after the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius. It's now a world heritage site and sees over 2.5 million visitors a year. That's more than 6,800 a day, every day.

4. Florence

The city of Florence lies to the north, about three hours by car. It's known for its architecture, its culture, its art and its monuments. Forbes calls it one of the ten most beautiful cities in the world. Like Rome, there's a lot to photograph, so it's probably going to amount to a really long day trip for me. Then again, I do day trips to Savannah from St. Augustine, and it's roughly the same distance.

5. Terni


Yup, Terni.

Only about 65 miles from Rome, Terni is a strong industrial hub in Italy and has the nickname "The Steel City". It's also known as "the city of lovers", as Saint Valentine was born and became a bishop there, and his remains are preserved in the Basilica san Valentino located not far from the center of town.

For me, though, the bigger draw lies about five miles outside the city. Created by the ancient Romans, the Cascata delle Marmore (Marmore Falls) are the highest man-made falls in the world. Because it's man-made, the flow of water can be, and is, controlled. The falls normally flow between noon and 1:00pm and again from 4-5pm daily.

The trips outside of Rome are going to make for some long days, even the relatively close destination of Terni because of the side trip to the falls. The undeniable reality is that there's simply just too much in Italy to try to see in the time I'll be there. In all honesty, I don't know if two full weeks would afford me enough time. I would love to get to Milan and Venice but, unfortunately, those just don't seem to be in the cards.

So, the best I can do is the best I can do, and I'm going to make sure that my days in Italy are packed from the time I wake up every morning until the time I pull the blanket over me at night.

The way I see it, that'll make for a good trip...

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