Updated: Aug 8, 2021
Italy is one of the countries that I had less of a specific itinerary for, but just wanted to wander through the quaint cities and indulge in some good food. Throughout Italy we travelled to Venice, Florence, Pisa, and Rome.
Venice is where I met up with two of my other friends from school who were also travelling throughout Europe and we began to gain the groove of travelling with the new dynamic of people. This is also where we learned about Aperol Spritz. We had a cute little hostel room, just for the three of us; however, we did’t find out how to control the air conditioner until the second night, after tolerating the 32 ºC room somehow for an evening. We wandered the streets of Venice, not realizing how large the city was until we had a bus to catch, and our aimless wandering had taken us to the farthest edge of the city. We managed to navigate ourselves throughout the streets a little bit better the second day, not significantly, but enough to see the major attractions that we had been just mere streets from the day before. We went up a tower overlooking St Mark’s Square, the terracotta red roofs and the ocean that looked so unfamiliar after being inland all throughout France.
Florence for myself was fairly underwhelming. Whether this was due to a lack of research for what to do in the city, we wandered for maybe 6 hours and felt we had covered enough of the city. We went on our walking tour and learned more about the history of the city and its famous statues and buildings, but by this point in the trip, I was beginning to recognize the similarities between the large structures, and they all began to blur together and my appreciation for their fine details lessened, despite their elegance.
Pisa was one of those cities that you go to and never have to go to again. We started a self-guided walking tour, courtesy of Emily, but when it began to rain we went straight for the Leaning Tower. The Tower was beautiful in that it has remained intact with its history, but not something you need to stand and look at for very long, and given the rain, we didn’t do much staring.
Rome was touristy, but we found a few hidden gems, including a cat sanctuary that balanced out the over-crowded coliseum, the Vatican, and surrounding attractions. We visited the coliseum after dark one of the evenings, and this in itself was magnificent, the crowds had lessened, and you could really just appreciate the beauty of the massive structure. The coliseum was one of the places we went, that truly made me reflect on its history and the innocence that was lost, and how lucky we are to live in the time that we do. Although nothing is perfect, we have come a long was in terms of a society.
Italy was intimate and endearing, unlike anything I could have imagined it to be and I was able to share it with two amazing friends.