Italy!! - My Family Travels


    I trudged in among the masses of people and craned my neck above the crowd, attempting to see how much longer before I could enter the Sistine Chapel. “Silence please! NO photos!” a stern security guard reprimanded. I was getting impatient after waiting for hours to see this, but I would have to wait just a little while longer.

             Soon enough, I was finally inside, but I did not stare in awe quite yet I wanted to get the perfect view first. My family and I gathered on what spare room there was upon the steps. Settled at last, I allowed my eyes to wander upward. Vibrant colors leapt out at me. It seemed as though I had entered Italy back in the 1400s and was viewing the chapel at its debut. Paintings of biblical stories and art masterpieces I had only seen in textbooks flooded my vision. I turned 360 degrees slowly. I almost could not breathe as I lost myself in art I only previously dreamed of seeing myself. The Last Judgment loomed on the largest wall, dominating the whole chapel. I picked out Michaelangelo’s depiction of himself, and got chills.

            My brother pointed out my favorite portion of the Sistine Chapel the creation of Adam. I was not only the happiest I had been yet on this trip, but also in complete admiration of the extent of Michaelangelo’s brilliance. I was stunned by the intricacies in his work and his sheer talent. The emotion expressed in each person’s face was unique, and body lines were flawless. How one man could create such spectacular religious art at such an early time continues to amaze me.

            This trip was exceptional because we were able to spend ten days in a picturesque country overflowing with history and culture. We visited Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan, experiencing culture, art, and religion. The food was incredible, quite unlike anything I have had stateside. Michaelangelo’s David overwhelmed me with its elaborate details and sheer size. Though the Pieta was covered in glass, I was still able to connect to the art piece scholarly and religiously. The beauty depicted in the statue stirred me emotionally as I gazed at it, and I was reminded of religion’s prominent role in my life.

            Besides visiting historical sites like the Vatican and the Coliseum, my family and I delved into the Italian experience. We bonded over a ride in the Venetian gondolas, explored local shops, shared gelato, and even learned some Italian! 

            The trip was made further enjoyable because of the accommodations. Not only were the hotels themselves wonderful, but the locals were completely welcoming. My favorite hotel was Hotel Saint John in Rome. It was charming, nestled among pizzerias and shops. Also, it was only a short walk from the historic Saint John Cathedral. Our tour group made this trip even more memorable. Our tour guide, Federica, was extremely personable and knowledgeable. My family and I enjoyed the company of the other tourists in our group, who came from all over the globe. We shared many delightful conversations and experiences over our meals.

            This trip to Italy was my favorite yet because of the historical sites and art that I previously only knew through textbooks. I was able to experience this firsthand with my family, and created memories that will last forever. I hope to return to Italy again someday soon so that I can explore even more of the country, from duomos to gelato shops!!!




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