In June 2007 I went to Italy with a group from my school. Ever since I was really young I had always wanted to go to Italy. Everything you see in movies about the friendliness of the people to the beautiful architecture always appealed to me. Italy’s history fascinates me to no end. I love learning about it. The Italian language itself has always captivated me. I think it is the most beautiful language. That is why I took two years of Latin and am now taking Italian.
Our trip started in Rome. I did not want to miss a thing Rome had to offer. Roma is a breathtaking city. Seriously, almost getting run over every five minutes can take your breath away. Rome is so alive and beautiful. Fashion is a main part of the city. Italians can pick out Americans right away just by the way we dress.
Our next stop was Tuscany. With its rolling hills and unending fields it is absolutely gorgeous. We were lucky enough to stay in a villa called La Fratta. One evening, one of the men who ran the villa gave us our own cooking lesson in which we prepared an authentic Italian meal. It was a delicious experience. Oh, to have more money! In Florence, I ended up overdrawing my bank account. I had too much fun with my debit card and all the fantastic shops and street vendors. Throughout the trip our group climbed the bell towers of several Duomos. However, I have a fear of heights and missed the view from all of them except the Duomo in Florence. Since it was my last chance, I felt the need to climb to the top so I rallied my courage, closed my eyes and conquered the bell tower.
Finally we made our way to Venezia. Along the way to Venice we stopped in Parma. We learned about the absolutely scrumptious traditional balsamic vinegar and how it is made. When we made it to Venice, we explored the spectacular water bound city. We took a vaporetto or waterbus to the island of Murano, the center of the glass blowing industry and were amazed by the things people can make out of glass.
The organizers sought restaurants out of the tourist areas. One involved our taking a train to the end of the line, then a bus to its end and finally our walking to the restaurant. The food was worth it. Italian cuisine has always been my favorite. It is very difficult to find a bad meal in Italy. I love the fact that when we asked about the delicious things we were eating it could turn out to be something we normally do not like or never thought we would like. Never a fan of vegetables, I discovered what a difference fresh Italian vegetables can have on my taste buds. I would eat all of the vegetables on my plate, which I never did at home. Gelato is made every day with the freshest ingredients. It is by far the best dessert; or breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, etc.
I always knew that I wanted to see the world but taking that trip really opened my eyes to the truth that I must travel the world. Because if I do not I will miss out on what the world has to offer outside of the United States. Learning about different countries’ cultures, histories, beliefs, and so on has become a passion of mine. Italy may be at the core of that passion but other countries beckon.
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