GETTING OUT OF NAPLES
As you probably gathered from our last post, leaving our work exchange was vital to our sanity. We threw a few ideas around before we decided to head to Bologna. Hannah, our friend and fellow volunteer, was planning to take a bus to Bologna and then continue home to Germany. Since we didn’t have anything else planned, and car rental seemed relatively cheap, we opted to for indulgence.
ON TO THE ITALIAN RIVIERA
Cinque Terre is one of those places that has started to boom with tourism in recent years. If you’ve ever looked at Instagram travel photos, chances are you’ve seen more than one photo of Cinque Terre. Unique in its composition, Cinque Terre is comprised of five small fishing villages dotting the cliff-filled coastline of the Italian Riviera. Considered a gem amongst most tourists, the crowds and infrastructure here reflect the hype.
WELCOME TO FIRENZE
Oh, Florence. Coming from Rome where there are plenty of tourists, but also bountiful space, Florence confronted us with situational claustrophobia. We were hopeful that the end of September was just late enough in the season that we could dodge crowds and squeak our way into some of the famous sights. In retrospect, we severely underestimated the amount of preplanning that needed to happen in order to ease the tension of the crowds and navigate Florence smoothly. However, if we were to do it again, the only thing I would change would be the not-so-forgiving stomach bug.
CONTINUING THROUGH EASTERN EUROPE
While limited in my experiences, I’ve seen enough to say that Eastern Europe is well worth the visit. This is a place where modesty and appreciation for the simple things are most important- a place where the infrastructure for tourism is relatively new. Here there is a dichotomy between locals skeptical of all of the rapidly occurring changes and those who enthusiastically embrace and welcome foreign visitors. Much in contrast to our time in Krakow and Warsaw, Budapest proved itself beautiful and unique while making us work for comfort and familiarity.