6月 13, 2007

Some updates

It's been a while I last updated, mainly because the places I stayed are pretty remote.

Right now I'm in Assisi, another hill town in the Umbria region. It was a pretty big town, comparing to Civita, the one I stayed at last night. Somehow I guess I have stayed too much in these hill towns: from Siena to Cortona; from Cortona to Orvieta; from Orvieta to Civita; and then finally I end up here in Assisi.

I planned to drive around from place to place, but I messed up with the reservation schedule and the car was rented out already. Most of the other rental companies have only stick cars, so I have to opt for taking trains and buses--which means, it's quite a lot of walking with my two heavy luggages. And may be because of this, I lost my tripod..... :( Hum, or was it stolen?? For some reasons, my luggages are feeling ligther and ligther day after day!

Anyways, I did have a good time though. As I said, I went to Civita di Bagnoregio yesterday. It is one of the towns in central Italy that were built on tufa, the soft volcanic rock that distinguishes the region's landscape. It is a small town that has less than 20 residents, but receives as many as 3000 visitors on a good day. Because the soft rock it was built on, and the uncontrolled tourists, a large section of the NW bluff of the site is in danger of collapse... The hostel I stayed at was pretty small too, but they served good food at a good price--for 15 EUR that includes all courses (which usually includes an appetizer, a bowl of pasta, an entree with meat, and coffee/dessert. Of course, you'll for sure get 1/2 liter wine!) I hiked up the hill (a very steep hill) before dawn to catch the sunrise--which was intoxicating. It's well worth all the troubles for the experience.

Before I went to Civita, I passed by Orvieto. Since I discovered my tripod was gone in this place, I had no mood at all--not even wandering around. So I spent most of the day waiting for the bus that goes to Civita. Fortunately, whenver I need direction, there was always people along the way that can help. No wonder people say catching buses and trains in Italy is quite an experience in itself.

And then I was lucky enough to catch a beautiful sunset in a town I stayed earlier, Cortona. Funny enough, the place I stayed is labeled by the Tourist Information as a "religious place", and they asked if I am sure I am going to stay there, and if needed, book a hotel somewhere else. I ended up staying there anyway, and found out that it was a church that wasn't in use anymore. I saw the sister, and she was pretty old. Taking care by the monks means you're in good hands and a quiet environment--so quiet and dark that it was actually quite scary. I went back to the place at 10ish after dinner, and found out that the place, this church, had all lights out. Since I had no idea where the light switches are, I had to guess the way using my hands.... and there was one firefly doing all these with me... but hey, it's only 30 EUR, so no complain at all. The next morning I found out that there were only four people staying in this large church... Having breakfast at their huge dinning room with the other folks without much talking was quite interesting...

Did I mention anything about Siena? I had very good and huge gelato there--for only 2 UER. Comparing to a 9 EUR gelato I got from Florence, I was happy (and sad that I fell into the trap...)

Rick Steve is right, you have to be alert all the time no matter where you stay in Italy (I just got a former European coin that is no longer in use... it has a very similar look and feel of a 10 cent EUR coin..... )

Sigh.....

標籤:

6 Comments:

At 1:50 下午, Anonymous jimmy said...

9 Euro for a gelato? I paid no more than 1.5 Euro for gelato everyday in Venetia!

Your iterinary now reminds me of hopping from one hill town to another in Spain!

I rather stay longer in one place.

 
At 2:12 下午, Blogger Jacky said...

For gelato in Firenze, you need to try the one near the bridge (a big wooden gate door). Locals said it's the best in town (which means the best in Italy, but that's a subjective view). It's around 4 EUR. Cindy and I love it!

 
At 2:14 下午, Blogger Jacky said...

So do you like Civita di Bagnoregio? Personally I think it's quite an experience to see a village (or castle) into the middle of nowhere. And yea, bus is crazy in Italy. It's hard to figure out the time schedule.

 
At 12:03 上午, Blogger euqus said...

Jimmy, yes, 9 EUR. I forgot to ask about the price before picking up the gelato. And there are quite a few people buying too so I didn't aware that was a trap... until I found the price list hidden at the back corner of the store....

Jacky, I was complaining that you must have given me wrong tips when I first arrived Civita. It was a very long walk from the bus stop you know, and it was thunderstoming too.... I thought Civita must be a very good place so I continued to walk on. But then it turned out that Civita is a "terminally ill" little city that is super quiet. There were less than 10 tourists when I arrived. And when they left one by one, I was speaking to myself... please... I dont't want to be the only tourist staying here overnight. Civita is good to stay overnight if you have a girlfriend :-) But then when I saw the beautiful sunrise... I think it's all worth it. There were thousands of birds singing early in the morning in the valley, and it feels like I'm in paradise.

I won't go back to Florence... too bad.

 
At 10:32 上午, Blogger Jacky said...

Hey man, that's the ultimate hilltown. Don't you think it's very weird to have something sticking at the top of nothing?

 
At 6:32 上午, Blogger euqus said...

Yeah I know, the hill town is great if view from afar. But staying in town with no friends made it shound a little bit weird.

 

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