Rome has a ton of old shit in it. There are thousand-year-old ruins awaiting your eyeballs literally around every corner, and you can't swing a porchetta without hitting the facade of a beautiful cathedral built when the years only had three digits. Looking for paintings that came from the hands of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? They're all over Rome, many of them in off-the-beaten-path churches and piazzas strewn throughout the Eternal City. But if you're interested in learning what life was like for Ancient Romans, your options are limited to The Roman Forum and a few other small sites throughout the city, as most of what remains from centuries past is constrained to the two G's of Ancient Rome-God or Government. If you're interested in what your average Orange Julius did on the daily, you're going to have to take a day trip, and most people will take the 2.5 hour, €60 train down to Pompeii. Then they'll pay €20 to enter the archaeological site, or maybe even spend up to €100 on a private tour, and that doesn't make sense if you're on either a time or money budget when you're in Rome. If you're on a trip to Rome with no budgets, by all means, spend your time in Pompeii, and also let's be best friends. But for most, a day trip to Pompeii is unnecessary when they could have gone to Ostia Antica.Read More
There are many posts I would encourage you to explore on our website, not the least of which is an almost two thousand word epic extolling the virtue of a pita sandwich with eggs and potatoes, but none may be more helpful than an explanation of why we are travelling in the first place. The thought of undertaking a trip around the world for an undetermined amount of time can be quite daunting for some people; it certainly was for me, no matter how much I did not want to admit it. As we began planning stops and buying plane tickets, accumulating hotel points and making extraneous Amazon purchases, I stumbled upon this picture:Read More
Slow travel is the new buzzword in backpacking. Slow travel is the absolute best way to experience a city, they say. Live like a local, they say. Paying to go on a tour while you travel is the epitome of lameness. If a restaurant is listed on TripAdvisor and you eat there, YOU SHOULD JUST GO AHEAD AND KILL YOURSELF BECAUSE YOU'RE JUST A DUMB TOURIST PUT A CAMERA AROUND YOUR NECK AND PUT THE MAP ON THE GROUND AND GET IN IT! God forbid you only spend a few days in a destination, you may as well have just stayed home. But what happens when you don't need two weeks to see a city? What happens when you arrive in a city that is hundreds of years old, absolutely beautiful, steeped in history, but the entire city is just one large area with the popularity of Times Square? And everything in the city is priced accordingly at Times Square level insanity? How do you live like a local when the locals number only fifty four thousand and the tourists number have grown to over thirty million a year? Do you stay for a week in the name of slow travel? Or do you try and fit as much into a one night stay because you basically blew your budget on a small room a forty minute bus ride from the city center?
This is the issue with Venice.Read More
One of the things I immediately noticed upon arrival in Paris is the inordinate number of men and women walking around with a baguette in their hand. "How can they do that? Don't they know they're just living up to the most basic French stereotype? They should all grow handlebar mustaches, smoke cigarettes and wear berets." Nothing made me giggle more than passing by a man casually munching on a phallogical loaf of bread the size of his torso as they jauntily headed down the Rue Desjardins Mont Blanc Croissant. Then I found myself in the line at Pain Pain Paris, being handed a baguette that was at the perfect temperature to hold, not too hot that I had to juggle it, but still so warm I could have cracked it open and seen steam emerge. I found myself being told that most good bakeries in Paris will ensure their baguettes are coming out of the oven every twenty minutes, so that every one bought has this perfect temperature. I found myself being told that the butchers will give you advice on how to cook their meat. That the cheese shops will pair their cheese with the bottle of wine in your hand. THAT THE MACAROONS ARE MADE FRESH EVERY DAY. Why would you buy your cheese, meat, and bread at one big-box grocery store, when they've been sitting out all day being breathed on by slovenly big-box grocery store employees? Why would you even set foot in a grocery store when all of these specialty stores are within a ten minute walk from your apartment? WHY IS THERE NOT A BERET STORE ON THIS BLOCK? HOW DID THIS HANDLEBAR MUSTACHE APPEAR ON MY FACE?
These are the kind of questions you begin to ask yourself when you learn to shop like a Parisian and not like an American jerk. Allow me to explain.Read More