We're in Sienna!

So far we've been to Rome, Naples, Sorrento, and Siena. We have Florence, Venice, and Milan to go, and, time permitting, Parma and Modena. Not everywhere has internet cafes, so only the Shadow knows when I will next be able to post.

We saw the ruins of two cities that were burried by Vesuvius: Herculaneum and Pompeii. Herculaneum was much smaller, but a higher-class neighborhood, and was better preserved. Pompeii was lower class, but HUGE. It was eerie to walk along the same streets that people did 2000 years ago. It also brought home how dark the Dark Ages really were in comparison.

Naples had some reasonable areas, but has realy earned its reputation as a dirty, seedy city. The main attraction was the archaeological museum which held all the artifacts found in Herculaneum and Pompeii, but those exhibits were closed. :(

In Sorrento they have a special drink called Limoncello, which is a lemon-flavored liquer. We bought some from a restaurant owner who only makes it to sell at his restaurant, but made some especially for us.

My new favorite sandwich consists of a small, round loaf of bread cut in half, with a hot dog and french fries in the middle. I suppose it's more my favorite sandwich to mock, since I haven't actually had one.

Italian keyboards are weird. Double quotes are above the 2, while the apostrophe is next to the 0. And the question mark is above the apostrophe.

Last night we both had truffles for the first time. Crostini (toast) with cheese and olive oil on top and thinly-sliced truffle flakes on top of that. Truffles are the best mushrooms I've ever had, but in the end they're still mushrooms. Very good, though. Cathy had gnocci with a delicious meat sauce, and I had spaghetti with bits of bacon, with a sauce of olive oil and egg, also very good. For the second plate we split some thinly-sliced roast beef in an excellent rosemary sauce. We had the house wine, Chianti, since that's where we are, and the waiter (who never smiled) brought out some sparkling white wine (Prosecco) with the bread at the beginning. For desert we had a fruit salad with chunks of orange, kiwi, and excellent pear. The restaurant was really cute, too, an old-timey bistro kind of place, with a couple of tables of Italians talking and laughing and having a great time. It was a very nice evening.

Ciao! Arrivaderci!


Anonymous lil' bro said...

what i'd heard of herculaneum was that it was burried by pyroclastic flow, as opposed to pompeii which "just" had massive amounts of ash fallout. the pyroclastic flow becomes harder than the ash, so i was told that we aren't expecting to be able to excavate herculaneum as thoroughly as pompeii has been for quite some time.

dunno how true that is, though?

12/24/2005 11:22 PM  

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