From Rome, I took a train to Milan. My plan was to get to Milan late morning, hang out for the day, then catch a night train to Barcelona. I met up with my buddy Nick who is studying in Milan at Bocconi University. Nick and I met when we were taking classes as part of his study abroad program at my university a couple summers ago. We only met up for lunch because he had a few finals to study for that day.
After lunch, I wandered around the city for the rest of the afternoon before I had to be back at the train station that evening.
This is the giant Duomo, or cathedral, in the center of the city.
Across the street from the Duomo is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, which is a large, glass-topped shopping mall. After all, Milan is known for some of the world’s best shopping, so I thought I should check it out.
Now, FINALLY…Back to Barcelona!!!
From Rome, I took a day trip down to the ruins of Pompeii. It was about an hour and a half train ride from Rome. We had to stop in Naples and change trains.
The city of Pompeii was completely destroyed and buried by the eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius. Since then, the city has been completely excavated and is pretty much perfectly preserved as it was almost 2000 years ago. Even some of the people are in the same positions they were when the volcano erupted and covered them. It’s really crazy!!
Here’s a few more pictures of the city.
After wandering through the city for a few hours, me and a friend of mine caught the train back to Naples. The only thing we wanted out of Naples was a pizza, since it is the birthplace. We finally found a place, had a delicious pizza, and then caught a train back to Rome.
St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest cathedral in the world, and when you are inside it looks like it. This is the outside.
Now from a little farther out.
These are the guards that stand outside the cathedral. I don’t think they scare anybody in their clown pants!
Pictures don’t do justice to how enormous this place is on the inside. It just keeps going and going and going, and then it goes some more!
So after we finished at the Vatican Museum, Melinda, Gina, and I were trying to find the entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica (which apparently is separate from the Museum) when we walked into Vatican Square and saw thousands of people standing there looking up. We didn’t know what was going on, so we turned around and all of sudden there was the Pope in his little window. It was noon on Sunday and the Pope comes out to give a welcome address to the people. Not only did he give it Italian and English, but this approximately 2-minute speech he gave in 6 languages! There was Italian, English, Spanish, French, German, and some type of Eastern European language that I wasn’t familiar with. It was really cool that we randomly got to see the Pope that day. I was finally able to get a good picture of him, but it was tough because of how far up he was.
I visited the Vatican with my friends Melinda and Gina that I met at the campsite I was staying at. Something I didn’t realize prior to this is that the Vatican is actually considered its own country! We decided to go on the last Sunday of the month because it was free. I really didn’t plan it like this, it just kind of worked out that way. In hindsight, I’m pretty sure I would’ve rather paid the 8 euros on a normal day than deal with the massive crowds on the free day, if there is even any difference. We arrived a little after 8 in the morning with the museum opening at 9:00. This was the line already when we arrived…
And behind us about 10 minutes after we got there…
Some of the people in line were pretty rude and some were kind of sneeky. There was a group of about 50 Korean tourists (easy to spot from miles away) that started out behind us in this crowd and somehow the entire group ended up in front of us when it got down to a single file line. We were confused how that happened.
Once you’re inside the place is like a maze, and the massive of amount of people and tour groups there, it took forever to walk through. That’s why I said I would’ve rather paid. Anyway, here’s some shots from inside.