2. May, 2018

Italian Job 22nd - 29th April

We are off to Italy for eight nights. The itinerary is to fly into Rome, do some sightseeing and stay for four nights, then get the train down to Naples/Sorrento for four nights, do some sightseeing and fly home from Naples. Oh, and there might be some geocaching if I remember.šŸ¤« I‘m not going to do nine reports but wrap up all the geocaching in the one blog.šŸ˜€

We arrived in Rome and got to our hotel without problem by noon so we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon sightseeing, making the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, our main targets. It was so busy here especially at the Steps, a magnificent place teeming with visitors and flower sellers. However I still managed to find the trad, Ricixxx - Trinita dei Monti, hidden under a lamp in the middle of the steps.šŸ˜€ This wasn’t my first cache in Italy but my first in the State of Lazio.

The next day, we were going to visit the Vatican City. It was a long day and so busy. We shuffled around the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, it was so busy. After St Peter’s Basilica, I wanted to visit another Vatican treasure, Campo Santo dei Teutonici e dei Fiamminghi. This is a virtual cache but guarded by the Swiss Guard. However, it is a German church and only German speakers can access it.šŸ¤” if you can’t get past the guards, the CO is happy that a photo is enough to qualify. 

I ask the guards if I can visit the church, my request is denied.šŸ™ I ask permission to take a photo but am told that I must stand behind the white line.šŸ¤” The photograph is taken and I now add the Vatican City to my country list.šŸ˜€ I also did an Earthcache here based on the Obelisk in St Peter’s Square. This qualified me for a challenge cache In Kent as I needed an Earthcache in ten different countries.šŸ‘šŸ»

I‘d left the wife near the city walls whilst I did the EC so I met up with her and we set off. Luckily, the arch that we left the City by, had a trad - Ricixxx - Mira Leonine near it and as we passed, I spotted someone pretending to be a cacher or was it a muggle? The geocacher was from Sofia, Bulgaria and he had found the cache. He borrowed my tweezers to remove the log and we both signed. He said that most of the cachers in his country were youngsters and I said in my experience it’s the reverse where I come from.šŸ¤” This was the last cache of the day and we went looking for lunch.

The next morning, 24/4, I went for an early stroll. I’d had a look at the state of the local caches and most of them were missing.šŸ™ In the end, I was lucky to find two trads. The first, KG - A Guido Baccelli, outside a theatre was just large enough to hold the TB that I’d been carrying. 

I was wandering through a walled park not finding caches, when I spotted a large villa. This turned out to be the former residence of Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator when he was in Rome. I believe that he ended his days hanging from a lamp post in Milan.

After breakfast, we headed down to The Coliseum. We had decided not to join the queues today as we were all queued out from The Vatican. Our plan was to meander from the Coliseum up to the Pantheon and I had permission to gather a few caches that we passed.šŸ¤« In the end, I found four trads, all with a story to tell, but I want to finish this blog sometime.

We found one quite near to an Irish Bar but at least I could use their WiFi to write up the day’s logs. I had a very big result at Ricixxx - Largo di Torre Argentino. In the middle of the very large square are the ruins of the Theatre of Pompey. This is where Julius Ceasur was assassinated, Et Tu, Brute?

However, in the cache description, it mentioned that the ruins were now home to a cat sanctaury. Now my wife is a huge cat lover and as we’d have never have known about the sanctuary but for Geocaching, my hobby was suddenly viewed in a different light.šŸ˜€ After visiting the cats and parting with a €20 donation, it was off to find the cache with a wife suddenly interested in what I was doing. This was further helped when we found the cache in the hands of a French geocaching couple. After our chat, we headed up towards the Pantheon past the magnificent monument to Victor Emmanuel II, the last King of Italy. At the Pantheon, which was free to enter, we quickly found the nearby trad and then it was time for gelato to celebrate the last trad of the day.šŸ˜€

On our last full day in Rome, 25/4, we decided to have a mooch around the renowned shopping area near Piazza del Popolo. Luckily there was an Earth cache, Ricixxx - Obelisco Flaminio, the  Ricixxx - Piazza de Popolo easy multi and the Piazza de Popolo trad nearby which were swiftly hoovered up.šŸ˜€ However the highlight of the day was the Virtual Reward - Carvaggio a Roma. Three paintings by Carvaggio form the basis of this virtual. When in Rome, this has to be high on your list just for the paintings and it’s free, folks.šŸ¤« 

We are now in Sorrento. I had my wallet lifted in Naples but I chased the barsteward down and got it back but don’t let’s dwell on that.šŸ˜” We had a free couple of days and a search through the  app showed that caches around here were rather thin on the ground. I would be lucky to find more than a handful of caches here.

On the 27th, we decided to visit Amalfi where the scenery is supposed to be fantastic. We caught the ferry from the harbour and chugged around the coast, docking at and then pulling into Amalfi. We had a good walk around the busy street, finding a wonderful pizza bar and then settling down for a beer near the front. I had my eye on Limoni d’Amalfi, a trad which was high up above the town. However, I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to trek up there.šŸ¤”

Leaving my wife guarding my beer, I set off in the direction of the cache. Fortuitously, I found a lift that would take near to the summit for €1. Alighting the lift, I found flights of steps that took me closer to the cache. I soon found the well hidden 3/3 trad and started admiring the view. I could see me wife and my beer far below me so I set off back to the lift.

On the 28th, we were off to Pompeii. This has been on my bucket list for years. It is such a fantastic place but I can only drag my wife around old ruins for so long so we were only here for about three hours. More than enough time to have a good look at what I wanted though.šŸ˜‰ I also had time to find the trads, Gladiator‘s Lair and What’s On At The Theater of Pompeii. There had to be an Earthcache here and it took me a while to find the answers for Mount Vesuvius- Pompeii Ruins. It‘s amazing that a water trough and part of the aqueduct supplying it are still standing here two thousand years ago almost as good as new!

On the 29th, we just loafed around Sorrento, shopping, eating gelato and drinking the occasional beer. There were only two caches in town and I was saving one for tomorrow. I found the well placed Gulf of Sorrento and once I’d logged it, received a message from Happileigh saying that she had replaced the cache for the CO recently. What a small world!šŸ˜€ I also made sure where the other cache was so I wouldn’t waste much time here tomorrow.

1 Multi 2 Virtual 3 Earthcache 13 Traditional