Yes, I’m completely aware that it’s been a good 6 weeks or so since I’ve written in this. I’m fully admitting that I’m a terrible blogger. There. =P
BUT, lucky for you all, while I was in the Madrid airport during my 7 hour lay-over coming back to Granada, I jotted down everything I wanted to say in here on my iPhone…iPhones really do save lives (well, moreso boredom than anything, really…)
While I could really focus the entire first half of this entry on the disasters I faced with actually getting to Italy (my airline going out of business and me having to fly into Rome a day later to meet my friends), I’ll choose to not dwell on the little, negative things in what was really such an amazing experience.
Essentially, throughout Italy, I hauled ASS. 7 days, 4 cities. I made it HAPPEN, people! First up was Rome. At first I was a bit upset with the fact that I only had 2.5 days there, but I certainly took advantage of every minute I had in that city. While there, I visited the coliseum, pantheon, Trevi fountain (which really does sneak up on you out of nowhere as its a monstrosety of a fountain located right behind a building in a seemingly residential part of Rome), the Spanish steps, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Square, and finally…St. Peter’s Basicalla. In life, I think we experience very few moments where our breath is completely taken away by something so beautiful, and our bodies have no other choice but to give in to the response of tears. That being said, I bawled upon walking into the Basilica. It really is impossible for pictures to even do this creation justice. Such a pure place filled with art that makes you proud of the art that human beings can create when given such a gift. For some reason, I couldn’t help but think of my family in the Basilica, and how much everyone would absolutely love it. In reality, I was thinking of grandparents the entire trip—thinking of they should really be the ones getting to experience this place, as neither of them have been able to return since their families immigrated to the U.S. That being said, I make sure I took in every precious moment for them that I was experience. None of my time spent in that basilica was taken for granted.
Overall, for me, the entire city of Rome had a so
ON TO FLORENCE!—I found myself entering this city with extremely low expectations, simply because everyone I knew who had been there told me that it was one of the most beautiful cities they had every seen. Therefore, I figured it’d be better to expect the worst and hope for the best—I did the right thing! I was very impressed—a city painted entirely in shades of reds, oranges, and yellows. It even glimmered in the freezing temperatures. Oh yeah…that’s another thing. I could have sworn that Florence was the coldest city I had ever been to (even colder than Chicago, in fact), but little did I know what I was about to face when I arrived to Venice…I’ll save that for later. At any rate, I also made sure to fully optimize my time in Florence, visiting the top of the Duomo with incredible views of the entire city, Academia with with original works of Michelangelo (including the original David), the tombs of Michelangelo, Dante, Leonardo DiVinci, Galileo, etc. However, as beautiful as Florence is, I found myself running out of things to do there after 2 days. Therefore, it seemed like a good idea to go visit the city of Pisa for a day, as it’s only a little over an hour train ride from Florence. I was pleasantly surprised by this little city! All the things people had told me about Pisa (it being entirely too small, fairly shady, overpriced, etc.) proved themselves to be completely untrue. As cliche as it is, one can’t help but admit that it’s still a little fun to take a picture posing as if you’re pushing that bad boy of a tower back up ;-) I highly recommend a day trip to Pisa for anyone who finds themselves running out of things to do in Florence!
And the “frozen” cherry on top of this amazing trip was last, but certainly not least, Venice! The train ride up from Florence led me to believe that we were going to be in the ultimate winter-wonderland. There was as much of 5ft of snow as we were passing through Bologna. But no…Venice was SO cold, in fact, that it couldn’t snow. Instead, the entire city had turned to ice—quite a site considering it’s all built on water. We knew were going to be in for possibly, painfully frigid experience.
The city was a bit different than I expected, but in a really interesting way. It was rather dark and mysterious behind all the back alleys with a sort of ancient, medieval look to it that you could tell possessed a lot of ancient beauty. Once we arrived in the more scenic, well-known parts of the city, we could see it…this was really one of the most beautiful cities on earth. Even in its frost-bitten state, Venice is a city from your dreams. Truly one of the most romantic places I have ever seen. We found ourselves braving the sub-zero temps just to breathe in every bit of opportunity that we could. Luckily, this landed us in a restaurant with a pizza that was unimaginable in all the best ways possible…Pizza a la carbona. Yep this is what it sounds like—a pizza with fresh, raw bacon bits soaked in the yolk of an egg spread throughout the top with a mouth water cream sauce…I died and went to heaven. After eating pizza for every lunch and pasta for every dinner in Italy, this was the BEST one I had, and I was so grateful that it was my last and was my final memory Italy’s impressionable food =) The only thing that pained me (aside from the cold) was seeing the reality of a city that really is sinking. How could such a thing be possible?? I’m hoping that one day in life I’ll be able to go back and share with others the same type of amazing experience I had there.
SO…in summation…Did I freeze my little patooty off and return to Granada possibly 5-8 pounds heavier? Sure. But did I have the adventures of a life time that I’ll carry with me forever? Absolutely. Italy had done me well, and with my many coins thrown into the Trevi Fountain wishing to return there one day, I’m sure I will =)