Saturday, December 12, 2009

Honeymoon Part III – To Torvaianica and Naples

After three days in Roma, it was time to head for the coast. The ancient Roman port of Ostia Antica sounded intriguing, so we decided to go there first.

Keep in mind that we didn't have a set itinerary, so we were free to go wherever we wanted. Our plans were always fluid. It's also worth noting that neither of us had ever been to Italy before and we don't speak the language. So there were challenges, as we were about to learn.


We started the day by going to the main train station in Rome. Here's Kim with all of our luggage. We each had a rolling backpack, each with a smaller detachable backpack.


Our train arrived. We thought it would take us to Ostia.


While on the train we learned it would take us further down the coast than we expected. We ended up getting off at Neptuno, where a friendly Italian student helped us figure out the bus schedule. Turned out we could get as far north as Torvaianica, which was at least 10 miles from Ostia. We hoped that from there we might get a cab or bus to Ostia. No luck. There were no buses or cabs. We were stuck in a town whose name we couldn't pronounce – Torvaianica.

We would add Ostia to the list of places to see later on our trip.


So I was stuck in a weird little town with my lovely wife. Bellissimo!

The problem with Torvaianica is that it appears to be a resort community designed for people who stay in their own little condos in the summer. It doesn't have much to offer, at least while we were there.


But we made the most of it. We walked on the beach and enjoyed the Tyrrhenian Sea. Here's a colorful fishing boat.


The sunset was beautiful and I never stopped forgetting that I am the luckiest man on the planet.

The next day we started plotting how to get to Naples. We came to our senses and figured out that the best thing to do was to hop on a bus to Rome's main train station, above. From there, we would take a train to Naples.

At the train station I needed to use the toilet. So I followed the signs downstairs. When I got there, I thought I was in the wrong place. A well-dressed Italian man, who looked like he was ready to go to a nightclub, was standing behind a desk with a line in front of it. While chatting up a woman who appeared to be his girlfriend nearby, he signaled to some poor young fellow wearing plastic gloves and holding a rag and a spray bottle. The young guy ran into a stall, cleaned it and ran out. The guy behind the desk then collected .70 Euros (about $1.04) from each person before they could use the toilet. Then, after each use, the young man cleaned the stall again. talk about a hellish job!


It was so weird that I tried to discreetly take a photo, but as you can see, it didn't work.

I hated the idea of paying $1.04 to take a crap. Then again, the toilet was clean compared to the one at the Naple's train station, which consisted of a porcelain hole in the ground with two raised platforms to place your feet. Blood was splattered all over it, and the sinks outside the stalls didn't work.


We were really happy when we got to Naples. Here was the view from our hotel!


It was beautiful.


We wandered the narrow streets and poked our heads into the local stores.


The streets were wild and crazy, with scooters and little cars zipping all over the place. At first, it seemed like total chaos. But after awile, we learned that there were some rules. The key is to assert yourself. If you want to get across a street, you need to step out and stop traffic. But be careful!


I love the Fiat 500.


Here's Kim at Piazza Dante, named after the poet.


Here's a statue of Dante. Note the graffiti. It's everywhere in Italy, and no object is sacred enough to be spared from the rattle can.


Here's some political graffiti.


I hope that the zombies get the message that they're not welcome in Naples, at least not by Crab.


I was often overwhelmed by the visual delights in Italy.


We enjoyed wandering the streets of Naples and the other cities we visited and seemed to have an aversion to spending too much time inside looking at museum. But the Naples National Archaeological Museum, which contains a large collection of Roman artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum, was well worth the visit.


Aphrodite really came through for me recently, so I wanted to check her out. This was my favorite. It's a 2nd Century AD copy of a Greek original from the 5th Century BC.


I predict that this will be the newest crazy in breast enhancement. Rather than getting breasts enlarged, people will have multiple breast added. The more the merrier.


Here a satyr with the infant Dionysus.


Here's a drunken Dionysus. That's one of the pitfalls of being the god of wine.


Here's Dionysus again.


That's a big head.


Later, we peeked in this castle.

Next: More Naples, then we visit Amalfi.


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