Italy’s great history, delicious food, impressive landscapes, beautiful seascapes, warm people and rhythmical language makes this country outstanding.
They say lifetime is not enough to see Rome, what more for the whole country? I stayed in Italy for 13 days and visited 6 cities and 1 island. Everything is uniquely beautiful and I’m in awe; from small streets, narrow canals to big monuments and towering buildings.
The historical sites, sumptuous food and outstanding architecture are some of the reasons why I love Rome. There was no time to waste in this Eternal City so after my arrival, my host gave me a tour of two of my must-see-right-away monuments- the Colosseo and Trevi Fountain. I got teary eyed when I saw the famous landmarks I had always dreamed about. We also passed by Trastevere, a place where locals hangout and offer free drinks.
I was blessed to meet my host who accompanied me the whole day to show me interesting places like Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, and many more. On our way back to his car, we suddenly realized how far we’ve walked as we recall the places we passed by. The street performers with incredible talent, the lovely houses decorated with colourful flowers and stop overs at gelateria made this tour an easy one. The only thing that was hard on this trip was choosing a gelato flavour.
There are lots of remarkable churches in Italy but St. Peter’s Basilica at Vatican is the grandest of them all. The interior is full of impressive works of art and it houses the famous Pieta of Michelangelo. The Vatican Museum has priceless collections from Michelangelo’s Seven Days of Creation in the Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s rooms with famous frescoes like the room of the Fire in the Borgo and room of Segnatura.
FLORENCE and PISA
Florence is where renaissance art and architecture flourish. Getting lost for hours in this charming city was pretty tiring but fulfilling. I kept making wrong turns but they lead me to nice places. My host could not believe that I just walked to see everything in Florence and even made it to Piazzale Michelangiolo. I rewarded myself a box of pizza and ate in front of the church of Santo Spirito. As the saying goes – When in Rome (Florence), do as the Romans (Florentini) do.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa deserves a visit for its unintentional tilt. I arrived there and saw a lot of superheroes, with two hands on the air as if they were taking off to somewhere but actually they were just pushing or preventing the tower from falling (using forced perspective). Yes, I too am guilty of doing the mandatory pose. I asked a couple of people to take my picture and hoped that they take a good one, but all failed. Sigh!
After a series of failed attempts to get a good photo with the leaning tower, I headed back to Florence and went out on a date with an Italian..food! I must say, having a relationship with a pasta is oh so delizioso!
VENICE AND MURANO
People can spend hours getting lost in this beautiful city full of canals, small streets and bridges. I was lucky to explore Venice easily as I had my host with me who knew the right turns, shortcuts and even took me to secret places with a great view – away from the curious crowd. We also went to a park and waited for the sun to paint the sky orange and red as it sets.
My host introduced me to his friend and we watched a dragon boat rowing competition together at the Grand Canal. After the regatta and awarding ceremony, the officials allowed some people to try the sport. I signed up and paddled the clear waters of Venice – it was an awesome experience. At night, my host and I went to a bar to hangout with his friends. The group was entertaining. I listened to them speak their mother tongue and even though I can barely catch up to what they are saying, it was a pleasure to listen to.
I also went to Murano, where I visited a glass factory to watch an artisan make a glass and turn it into a beautiful masterpiece like chandelier, lampshade, jewelries and more.
MILAN and COMO
Milan is a busy city filled with trams, expensive shops and impressive buildings. The skyscrapers in Porta Nuova were very interesting to look at. One that really caught my attention was the Vertical Forest, a building that houses more than 900 trees. On the other side of this luxurious city, lay Castel Sforzesco. Inside it are museums that are home to one of kind art collections, one piece to look forward to is the Pieta Rondanini of Michelangelo.
Within Piazza del Duomo, you’ll get to witness the infusion of Gothic and Glam culture via Vittorio Emanuele II ,a high fashion shopping gallery and Duomo di Milano, a gothic cathedral. As I wandered around the iconic cathedral, I met a kababayan who gave me some bread for the pigeons. I gladly accepted it and started to feed the birds, it was a happy moment and I felt like I was a kid again.
I went to Como to try paragliding, but sadly, the flight was cancelled due to bad weather. So I joined a boat tour to see the lovely houses by the lake instead. The next day, I walked around the medieval city and braved the halls of Musei Civici alone (no other visitors at 9:30). Seeing an Egyptian mummy for the first time was thrilling.
Know more about my trip and tips in the land of pizza and pasta:
My adventure in Italy was amazing! Grazie Mille Italia! Ti Amo! Fino a quando ci incontriamo di nuovo (Until we meet again)!