Archive | October 2011

Hidden Animals

Can you find the Norwegian cat?

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Can you find the Roman pup? Don’t be fooled by the statues of dogs in there…

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Can you find the Stuttgart spider?

Can you find the Hiroshima pigeons?

Can you find the Capri goats?

Can you find the Paestum lizard?

Amusing Local News

“A woman ate a “baba,” a typical Neapolitan sponge cake soaked in rum syrup, at a baptism party in Caserta. When the party was over, she rode a bicycle home. In a town where people often drive fast, city cops chose instead to stop the woman who was riding the bicycle.  She was tested for blood alcohol content and tested positive, resulting in a reading of .09 percent, a little bit higher than Italy’s maximum legal limit of .05 percent. In accordance with new rules of the road, her driving license was suspended.”

Taken from: “Bicyclist arrested for driving under the influence of ‘baba’.”  “Panorama” newspaper, 56th year, No. 38. Friday October 7, 2011.

Paestum

Saturday, October 8th 2011, I went solo to Paestum, pronounced by the locals like Pay-ay-stoom. Justin did not feel like going. It was a tour through the military, so I wasn’t really alone or anything. It was a 2 hour bus ride which was scenic, so it wasn’t too boring. A few of the photos are taken from the bus when we were passing through Salerno, which has great views of the sea, part of the Almalfi Coast, and Capri. Overall, it was a nice one-time trip.

First I went to a Mozzarella Factory. It was less of a factory than just a few rooms and the domesticated water buffalo pens, aka cow pens. But they make the delicious Mozzarella di Bufala…aka Buffalo Mozzarella, that the area is famous for. I had lunch at their restaurant and ate some fresh cheese with bread and then some potato pasta, which tasted like potato stew.

After lunch I went to the ruins and the museum that houses the artifacts found at the ruins, mostly under the temples. It was all pretty neat. Let’s learn! The site of the Paestum ruins was originally called Poseidonia in honor of the Greek sea God Poseidon. There are three Greek temples, two dedicated to Hera and one to Athena. They area about 2600 years old-ish. A few hundred years after the Greeks were there the Romans came along and build a town there. So the ruins near the temples are all Greek, but the ruins elsewhere around the temples are Roman.  They are the best preserved temples in the world due to the area becomming unlivable due to deforestation, the growth of marshes, and malaria in the 4th century. They were rediscovered when someone (much later) was building a road from Naples through the area. The road goes right through the site, and part of the ruins were recovered with earth and now sits below a few shops, the museum, and whomever’s private property. That’s my summary, knowledge is power!

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The Island of Capri

Saturday October 1st, 2011 Justin and I headed to Capri, an island in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was a nice day trip from which to escape Naples. After about a 50 minute boat ride to the island we docked at Marina Grande. Then we took the funicular (basically an escalator bus) up the side of the steep island to the town.

We wandered and lolligagged through the streets for a while and then had lunch. After lunch we went to the Certosa di San Giacomo monastery/gallery, which was one of our top favorite things in Capri. On display was Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach’s incredibly large, atmospheric/dark paintings, two of which can be seen in the photo slideshow. We went to a few bookshops, a few overlooks of the island, and smelled perfume (Capri is the birthplace of perfume).

We were going to go into the famous blue grotto, but when we got to the dock to get tickets we realized it would take a little too long and we would miss our boat back to Naples. So we took a boat tour around the island instead. We saw all the caves, rocks, and grottos, but just not the inside of the blue grotto. We did go through the archway of the middle of the three Fraglioni rocks.

I know you are dying to know, so yes, I was wearing capris on Capri. I did not, however, drink a Capri Sun. Next time.

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