Ciao from Italy! I did it, I took the jump and I was super brave. I am writing from my comfy little studio flat (con balcony) in Pompei Santuario, the lovely modern version of the Pompeii we all know (and I love!) and the people here are just are lovely. As I write the noise of shouting Italians from the nearby cafe floats into the apartment. A chatting Italian family upstairs can also be heard and finally the children who play in the street seem to have gone to bed. Notoriously I’m not a big lover of noise but this is something different. In fact, when it goes quiet her, it doesn’t feel right. You can’t go anywhere, on a train, to a shop, to a bar, without someone chatting to you. The other day while having a beer after a day of laying out trenches I was. Named ‘Bellisima’ by an old Italian lady. “Belisima! Belisima!” She’d call and wave. Then she’d tell me many nice things in Italian about life. I got some jists but frankly hadn’t a clue really. On her leaving of the square, which by the way is particularly beautiful, lousiest and green and hugged by the looming sight of the cathedral, she gave me a white rose. That was lovely. The next day a small girl at a train station gave me ‘molti fiori’ (another girl tried to say in Italian what this meant – many flowers). It was very sweet. One by one she would give them to me. So far I have:
- Taken my first solo flight!
- Stayed in an apartment on my own for the first time
- Revisited Pompeii Scavi on my day of arrival
- Been on site at my first ever archaelogy all dig/project
- Revisited the beautiful Sorrento and sunbathed in the harbour with a beer
- Eaten my first dinner alone at a restaurant (at lunch and in the street so not so scary)
- Revisited Herculaneum (today)
- Taken a trip to the top of Vesuvius (amazing, and also today)
- Learnt a little bit of Italian along the way (so far)
- Been bitten sooo many times by mosquitos
SO many firsts, and I’m feeling rather proud of myself, like a puffed up little bird!
I have so many pictures, so many stories, but they will have to come later when I am not so tired. Tomorrow I am going on a proper tour guide group thing to Amalfi and Positsno from Sorrento. Or, if that doesn’t work out, I’ll grab a bed for a tenner and sunbathe by the sea in the harbour again. Both sound pretty marvellous to me. After tomorrow it’s back to the trenches (literally, these are the marked out areas for excavating at archaeological sites!) until I leave on Friday. Not bad for a volunteering stint!