Verona, Italy


Ahh…Verona, the city that makes Romeo and Juliet historical figures. Here stands Juliet’s golden statue, with people touching her breast.


The main square. There’s a market there, but of course the main attractions are all The Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet related. All very close anyhow.


I went just because “why not” and to take some photos so the next time I teach Romeo & Juliet, I can show them to my pupils. Nevertheless, it was a surprisingly decent place to be. Brilliantly designed structures throughout.


Once again, a river.


Juliet’s tomb. It’s a museum and I didn’t go in as there’s a charge and I’m pretty sure Juliet never actually existed.

There’s a Shakespeare bust. And China built something outside, calling it the Chinese Romeo and Juliet.


The crown jewel of the town, a coliseum that’s well-maintained. Somehow there’s a dismantled giant abandoned outside of it.


Juliet’s balcony. Allegedly. Herds of people get into it, pasting love notes all over the place. This was taken from a shop opposite to it. Not that many people, comparatively anyway, discovered this place.


A castle thingy next to the river. Out of this world.


Verona desperately trying to be Her Majesty’s realm.


Venice, Italy


St Mark’s Square – one of the most visited sites in Europe.


Venice was absolutely beautiful. Sure, it’s got tourists everywhere and isn’t the easiest place to navigate (many dead ends); but the whole place was simply amazing.


The canals were all right.


The real Bridge of Sighs.


What a fantastic square. Too bad I couldn’t take a good photo of it.


The food was relatively cheap – you can expect around 12 Euros for a set meal, and just a bit more for a (not very good) buffet.


The church was unique. Byzantine and all that. Actually purchased a 3D puzzle.


Shylock’s Bridge. Can confirm there’s more than one Jewish person there now.


The city’s quite walkable, although it’s likewise possible to take a water taxi or a water bus.


First thing you see getting out of the train station.


Speaking of the train…Make sure you’ve got the correct Venice station! There are three.


Siena, Italy


The city wall, the sign of an ancient military might.


I didn’t even know Siena existed before my Couchsurfing host in Florence recommended it. It turned out to be my favourite of the three in the area I visited (Florence, Pisa, Siena). It’s not as packed, and I did like the buildings better.


It was literally built on a hill so visitors had to keep walking up and down. But it’s not too bad. It’s also got loads of rings to chain people to.


From Florence, it’s exceedingly easy to get there by train. The fact that it’s quite cheap was a big plus.


Whilst everywhere you go, you see something, it’s remarkably easy to navigate (with the exception of the synagogue, which was sorta a blink-and-you-miss-it type of thing). Their dear tourism office has multiple guides on offer, suggesting to you where you should go based on the time you have.


The urban area stretched beyond the old city walls, although they weren’t anything to brag about.


This was a curious spot. I rather liked this church, and I thought it looked best when I was right there with it; but this was the best place to take a photo of it.


See? Not very impressive from this angle.


There’s a sportswear shop that claims to have the best view of the city. The view was fine, but the windows weren’t that big and weren’t that clear so it wasn’t worth going…


The church, supposed to be the main tourist attraction.


It was relaxing just chilling in there.

Pisa, Italy


Question to The Queen of Pop Madonna: If “Italians do it better”, why is the tower not straight?


Obligatory photo.


The most iconic landmark in the town of Pisa – the leaning tower. There’s no evidence that Galileo was up there dropping balls.


But Pisa wasn’t just the tower. Or just the square. I took a bus (£2) straight to the square, then I walked back, passing through the entire town.


Although of course the tower was wonderful. And souvenirs were 1 Euro a piece.


There’s a river, which seems to be some sort of a staple for an Italian town.


One difficulty was taking a selfie that would show the “leaning” of the leaning tower.


The most interesting structure outside of the square. It’s basically empty inside but it’s an odd-looking church next to the river.


The Medici family liked this.


Another big square.


The whole square as you walk in.

Florence, Italy


It was 40 degrees!


Florence, a historic capital of Italy, the ancient centre of their art and culture.

It’s a pretty city, and uniquely Italian, but I didn’t find it that interesting. I guess I’m more of a landmark kinda guy and there just isn’t any apart from David in Florence.


His idea on how to conduct princely business influenced Shakespeare quite a bit.


Another thing that’s affected by enjoyment was that some street vendor hit me with a painting.

I was walking around and asked how much the paintings cost. Then I said I’d think about it and walked away. That guy kept following me, and at one point I asked him to please stop following me, then he hit me with the painting!

So I guess what I experienced in Argentina might’ve come from Italian culture. 😛


Fake David with his micropenis.


The best view of the city is on a hill on the other side of the river.


I also tried the steak. Sorry but I didn’t find it anything special…


Vatican / The Holy See


Even though Vatican City is in the other side of Rome, it remains a must-see place regardless of your religious views and affiliation. The truth is, despite not possessing most qualities a country is supposed to have, The Holy See is one of the most powerful in the world.


The city-state was so small it was probably of a similar size to an airport, but they did pack plenty in it. There were numerous souvenir shops, most trying to pretend Benedict didn’t exist, and the amount of Francis products does make you wonder whether the Biblical God would be happy with the papacy.

You also get certain embassies you don’t see in most places, like the Republic of China (Taiwan) one.

The churches around were also empty, btw.


I believe they stole the column from Egypt. Not the only item they’d stolen.


Seeing the Swiss guards was a high point for me, and not just for the erotic fantasies. After all, the institution is historic and they are one of the very few remaining forces in this form. Some dressed more elaborately than the others, no doubt for the entertainment of certain servants of God.


Do you know I can be the next pope? All you need is be is 1. male, 2. baptized Catholic. Can you imagine me as a demigod?

Rome, Italy


Rome, where the Roman Republic/Empire started. Coincidentally, also my favourite historical city. It has everything I like – impressive, imperial buildings, ancient ruins, and everything’s reasonably close.

The structure above was my absolute No 1 in the metropolis. It’s extraordinarily well-maintained and you can go on it and get a marvellous view of the city.




It was awfully hot though – around 35 degrees. Would probably have died had there not been literally water fountains everywhere downtown!

But it was so hot that despite the fact that I kept drinking and drinking water, I never really needed to go to the loo.


The complex looked much better in the evening with the lights, even though it might have been more difficult to take good photos of them.


Rome is a highly walkable city (you’d need to be a big walker tho), ever if you want to walk from the central station (where I stayed) all the way to the Vatican and back. It’s quite a nice walk too, with all the unique and stylish ancient buildings at every corner.


One thing that stood out to me was the atmosphere in the city. The archaeological sites had all aged quite a bit, and they were all ruins beyond repair. Yet, Rome still felt like very much the seat of an empire, albeit one that had fallen a long, long time ago.

On another note, they projected videos and images on to some of the walls and that was cool.


Still an impressive building but didn’t look as good as it was in the evening.


The trouble with visiting Rome is that once you’ve got there, you won’t find Athens that special…


The churches are all empty, btw. Very cool tho so good to visit during a heat wave.


Apparently Italians are exceptionally sceptical of air-conditioning, so you can’t expect to have that in most places.