Prego, Grazie

We went from the hills being alive with the sound of music to the land of pizza and pasta.

Buckle up, everyone. I’m about to run you through my whole trip to Italy fast and furiously.

Our long bus ride took us first to Venice where we spent the afternoon seeing hand-made glass creations, riding gondolas, and relaxing in the city center. We were only there for a short 3 hours or so but I did manage to get my movie star shot. Changing my name to Audrey Hepburn now incase anyone wants to know.

We then left for Florence and in the morning we went to Tuscany to do a wine tasting and Tuscan food tour. Tuscan vineyards have an amazing reputation for a reason, they were so beautiful. Back Im Florence, upon arriving I had some of the best gelato flavors I have ever had – lavender with brownie and Moscow mule to be exact. If you’re in the city, here’s the place. It doesn’t disappoint

I also tried tortello, not to be mistaken with tortellini. It was a grilled pasta filled with potato and had me wondering where it had been my whole life. The rest of my time in Florence was spent wandering the city and marveling at the old art and architecture, taking the friends on interesting shopping trips, and watching the sun set over the city.

From Florence we left for Roma. When we arrived to our hotel, it became clear to all of us that we were staying in the creepiest hotel we had ever seen. Padded walls, mirrors lining the room, old armoires next to the beds, and long hallways leading to deserted rooms made us ready to leave our own weird version of The Shining. We toured the city, saw the beauty of the ancient city of Rome, watched a dance festival in front of the Pantheon, and I attended my very first mass at St. Peter’s basilica. Not a bad place to attend their first mass, am I right? I am not catholic but went with my friends who were and they guided me through it. It was also in Latin, but even though I did not understand all of the language, I will say – when the choir started to sing and I sat looking up at the enormous beauty of St. Peter’s, the biggest church in the world and one of the most important places for the catholic faith, I felt chills down my whole body and got a tear in my eye. It was beautiful.

From Rome we left for a quick tour of Pompeii. I had never been and was immediately taken by how beautiful this area of Italy was – the mountains merged with the sea and Pompeii looked over it all from its spot high up on the hill. It was easy to imagine just how beautiful the place was during its time.

Whew – are you tired? I think back on these parts of the trip where we travel often and spend long hours driving to see all these places. Many times we were completely delirious with lack of sleep and spending too much time with each other on that bus.

A comment was made on a particular drive in Italy though, that while many people fly or travel by train to get to these places, it was a unique privilege to road trip through Europe.

How true that was.

More time to spend time with (and annoy) 40 or so of some of my best friends.

See you in Greece,

Opa!

T

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