Insider Italy: Part DueCity Travel, Dispatches from the Road, Italy, Lost Girls, Shopping & Style, Studying Abroad, Travel Philosophy, Traveling Solo & Together — By Lost Girls on May 15, 2009 at 8:47 am
Last week, we asked Yelena Galstyan, an 18-year old freshman at Syracuse University, to share her experiences about visiting her boyfriend in Italy. Here is the second installment of her diary on how to live the dolce vita.
Sunday, March 29th
We spent our last day in Amalfi soaking it all in before we had to depart. It was drizzly outside so we stayed for a while, but the idea of spending time in our own private villa wasn’t the worst. The previous day we laid outside on these two sun beds that the owner brought out for us (very nice!). Unfortunately when we came back down to watch the waves at night we noticed them gone and the waves completely dominating the platform we just lounged on. Whoops! We definitely underestimated the how rowdy things got down there.
The locals in Amalfi were much different than what I experienced in Rome. Although the Amalfi Coast gets a lot of tourists, I got the impression that the people who resided there were protective of this beautiful coastal town.
After finally finding a mercado that sold fresh fruits and vegetables, I hand picked out the things I wanted and went up to the register to pay. WRONG. Apparently its custom to just point at the fruit and have the employee come up and pick what you get because they are the most knowledgeable about their produce. Go figure. Too bad I found that out on a US Airways Magazine‘s guide to European travel on the way BACK to the states.
So were strolling along, going about our merry little way, when a car pulls up next to us on the street, a man gets out, and demands in Italian that my boyfriend, Scott, show him our “ticket.” Come to find out, this guy is a cop and wanted to see our receipt for the food we just bought. If the woman in the nearby store hadn’t helped us out, we probably would have stood there for hours trying to figure out what kind of “ticket” he wanted from us. Hold tight to your receipts in Amalfi!
Monday, March 30th
Back to Rome. We took the same arrangement back and had a half hour rest period in Naples. If planned accordingly, we could have gotten a few free hours to check out the city in between stops.
The locals in Rome were extremely diverse. Just like any metropolitan city you can expect to find individuals of all walks of life. Attitude wise, they all seemed to mind their own business and were intent on getting to their final destination as quickly as possible. I guess blatant staring on the bus isn’t considered as rude in Europe, so I didn’t take it personally. The city itself seemed very tourist friendly, but that could have been because I never actually had to find anything on my own. Most vendors and locals knew some English, and if not were willing to communicate in hand signals until the point came across. It was common to hear English on the streets of Rome since its such a popular study-abroad location. Most of the college students, such as Scott, blended in with the overall modern culture of the city.
Rome is a great place to go out at night because just walking to your destination is one unbelievable stroll through history and beauty. I hope to come back and spend more time in this remarkable place.
Tuesday March 31st
This week flew by at the speed of light. Although it’s good to be back in my comfort zone at home, traveling makes me want to travel more; my thirst is never fully quenched at the end of trips like this. A few tips I would give to travelers about Italy would be:
1) Balance out a hectic city like Rome, with a more relaxed, peaceful place like the Amalfi Coast or Tuscany.
2) Just like in any big city, watch your bags for pick pockets.
3) At any market place POINT to the goods you want instead of grabbing.
4) Try new things, go to new places, and have an amazing time like I did!
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