Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Italy & Vatican - Bits and Pieces

Just came back from Italy and Vatican 2 days ago... this 9-day trip was a little bit too short. The country is massively rich of historical and religious stuffs, hard to understand well within short time. It is a beautiful country, but extremely touristy. In general the living costs are high, higher than my expectation, but bearable to me as a tourist. I have visited Rome, Vatican City, Florence, Pisa, Lucca and Siena. The journey was rush and pack (my greediness wanted to see everything within the shortest time)... walked a long distance almost everyday.

The pizza is really delicious, can't compare with anywhere else. The tomato sauce must be the secret recipe. Gelato (ice cream) is the favourite of everyone, but each cone costs around EUR 3 to 4!! It is more less the price of a fairly good dinner in Malaysia. Pizza, pasta and panini filled up my stomach in this whole trip (except 1 delicious Chinese meal). I will stay away from Italian food for a short while from now.

Was surprised to see a fairly large crowd of African immigrants in Rome and Florence. Quite a number of them gathered around the railway station. And most of the illegal street vendors at tourist spots selling immitation brand of sun glasses or Prada handbags are Africans. They are always alert and ready to flee when seeing enforcers around.

Plenty of radio stations in Italy. The Italian musics are good. Scanning through all radio waves on air, I could hardly find a station bombarded with hip-hops... good taste!

WizzAir's check-in counter again asked me for the visa to Italy on my departure from Sofia. I explained to them the last incident and the supervisor insisted the same after returning from her office (with the bureaucratic sour face). At last my colleague had to explain to her "how" and "what" to check. She came back later and said, "I read wrongly under Ethiopian nationality." What a stupid excuse??? Do I look like an African? On the opposite, the immigration officers in Rome Airport are friendly. Starting with 'buon giorno' and ended up with a smiling 'ciao'. I did feel really welcomed.

The driving attitude of Italian has not much tolerance, and slightly undisciplined.

Thanks to the extreme huge crowd of tourists, I had to queue up for 2.5 hr to Vatican Museum, and 3 hr to Uffizi Gallery.