IT: Pompeii vs Herculaneum – Which one is better?

If you have ever had a dilemma while visiting Italy and pondered what is better to visit, between these 2 sites, then you were not alone: Pompeii or Herculaneum? Herculaneum or Pompeii? And here is my answer, if there is any at all.

Pompeii, located in Campania region, is mainly known for the ruins of the ancient Roman town with the same name. A roman colony for about 160 years before the famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius from 79 AD left many traces about the roman life, as well as other inscriptions by previous conquerors in the area. With its great position very close to the Gulf of Naples, Pompeii became a very important and large city, it is estimated Continue reading

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IT, Mount Vesuvius: Best time to visit

“To go or not to go” was the question for many undecided people. But not for us. How can we not visit the only active volcano on the Europe mainland?

Driving from Cinque Terre to Pompeii was without any major event. If one is not used to drive in Italy yet, now is the time. Once we passed Rome area towards South, we had a nice surprise to find a very low toll on the highway, but instead we found many roads under construction.

Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano with many eruptions over time, but it is best known for its eruption in 79 AD, when the Roman cities Pompeii and Ercolano (Herculaneum by its ancient name) were totally destroyed.

Mt Vesuvius Continue reading

IT, Florence: Firenze pass – Santa Maria Novella – Santa Croce- Accademia Gallery – Uffizi Gallery – Ponte Vecchio

“Italy is the garden of Europe

Tuscany is the garden of Italy

Florence is the flower of Tuscany”

Falling in love first time is about charm, attraction, fascination, obsession, purity, innocence. But falling in love a second time for the same city, same places, same sky – or maybe different – or just with different eyes but same heart (or same heart but different eyes?) is much more than I can describe in these few words, I probably will never be able to..

God was the first sculptor. He made the first figure: man.”

David Continue reading

IT, Rome: The Colloseum – Roman Forum – Piazza Navona – Terme di Caracalla – Via Appia Antica – St Sebastian Catacombs

As Virgiliu said “it’s the most beautiful thing”, Aristide named it “the capital of all nations”; Atheneu made a “summary of the world”, Ptolemeu the sofist called it “The city of all cities”, most of the people named it “The Eternal city”.

In a lifetime, the human being is continuously trying to find its own purpose on this Earth. Very few of us can truly say they found their own intent in this life. Our own hobbies, various jobs we go through, the books we read, the places we visit are the real proof we continue to search until the final moment.

This is how I felt when my own fate took my steps through Rome, feeling like I was born again. I could see how the modern life, present at every corner, is blending with the ancient ruins, making me thinking where we came from, and what we’re looking for. I realized that almost 3000 past years means almost nothing, I realized how ephemeral the Continue reading

IT, Cinque Terre: Italian Riviera – A glance over Cinque Terre: Monterosso al Mare – Vernazza – Corniglia – Manarola – Riomaggiore

Forgotten in an overcrowded train might be the paradox of the day. But I didn’t care, I was just happy that I got a window seat before the last station. I still had a lot until the day’s destination, but the train had come to an unexpected stop. I thought that it could be hard to pass through the next tunnel, or maybe other trains were due since ours was late from the beginning. Whatever the reason would be, I was still happy that our wagon stopped outside of the tunnel, about 50 m above the sea. I could see the seashore below the cliff and I was wondering how much work and effort has been done for this railroad: half the route is through the mountain and the other half is strong bridges at the edge of the cliff.

Bridge Continue reading

IT, Florence: The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flowers – Climbing the Dome

Visiting a church after another church gave me the possibility to discover or rather to rediscover the sacral dimension of our humble existence in this world. This was a unique chance one can’t have pretty often in a life.

If the first 2 churches visited in Florence were big, impressive, majestic and representative in their own way for the renascence period, going to The Cathedral, named in honor of Santa Maria del Fiore was a real surprise. The simplicity was stunning, the size was incredulous, the richness of the outside decorations had nothing in common with the indoors modesty.

Cathedral outside Continue reading

IT, Venice: Wandering through The Old City – St Mark’s Basilica – Doge’s Palace – Grand Canal

Understanding the beauty is totally different than understanding the beast. Once you have a preconception, it is very hard to remove the inoculated idea from the back of your mind. Most of the time, these preconceptions are born from jealousy, or just simply as a reason of personal denial. One should not have any preconception until one’s own eyes and heart are giving the whole picture to the brain to process the reality. And even then, we still have no guarantee the brain will process correctly the information, but we should hope for better.

Rumors that the canals in Venice are actually stinking came to me from different directions, but my refusal to believe or to think about this drove me to the idea that probably the smell was from some other time, season, or even space. And so it was. I was actually amazed to notice that even though most of the walls at the contact with water were slimy, with more or less green hanging weed, the surroundings were not smelly at all, even with the heavy heat I felt on my head from the sunny, and a little bit too hot Italian Sun. Continue reading