Just kidding about the melodramatic music. But my vacation to Italy through my school was originally cancelled due to a volcanic eruption in Iceland. Mount Eyjafjallajokull. Though when I got the call at five saying I didn't have to report at six to Logan International, my ignorance as to the correct pronunciation resulted in the volcano being spontaneously dubbed Mount Eekiejeekiepoopoo. So I spent my April vacation with my relatives in the-middle-of-nowhere-oops-I-meant-western-Massachusetts, pruning blueberry bushes. Don't get me wrong, I love my very large family even though they are certifiable lunatics and don't mind helping out on the farm, but COME ON!! I was supposed to be in Italy!! I might have been a little pouty.
The trip got rescheduled to the end of June! I was ecstatic. Duh
Now for the tips:
1. There is no such thing as bad gelato. Try every flavor. Lemon with Tiramisu? Surprisingly scrumptious. But the best flavor of all? Nutella. For those of you who haven't tried this chocolate-hazelnut food of the gods, your taste buds have been deprived. And making it gelato...can you hear the faint Hallelujah? That was sarcasm because Handel's chorus must have just BUSTED YOUR EARDRUMS!! Nutella gelato. Do it.
2. Don't follow the pink church. Me and my friend got lost in Venice because we thought we were seeing the same Pepto-Bismol pink church over and over again. Long story short – we weren't. My Italian is shoddy, but I think the first person we asked said emphatically, "very far." The next person spoke English (YES!!) But the first thing he said was "You are about as far away from Piazza San Marco as you can get." (NO!!) He gave us directions but said we should consider a water taxi if we had to be there in under a half an hour. (We had to be there in fifteen minutes). I bought a coconut to console myself and we started sprinting. We made it.
3. Don't follow the Albanian boys. This I did not do personally. Two of my friends did. I won't elaborate on what happened except... let's just say we still make fun of "Ber-toothless" today.
4. Be open to every experience. I'm going to burn in hell, but before we went to Assisi, we kept referring to it as the place that starts with ass. While they did serve us a mystery meat in the hotel that I really didn't want to solve (tip number 5. eat at restaurants, not your hotels), the city was stunning and everyone loved it.
6. Finally, don't bring a Frisbee. Just don't. Three of my friends played Frisbee in the Vatican and while I'm not surprised lightning didn't smite them, I am surprised that a Swiss Guardsman in his harlequin costume didn't tackle them. We also played Frisbee in Assissi and threw the stupid thing on top of a hedge. Sign right next to one of the boys climbing the fence to grab it? Security cameras, guns, dogs. The last Frisbee misadventure occurred in Rome. I might have thrown it into a fountain and I might have taken the word of two snickering Italians that the water was only up to my knees. My shorts took quite a while to dry.
In the end, it didn't matter where I went, but who I went with. The adventures we had and the things we learned still make me laugh, because the best vacation ever rose up out of the ashes of Eekiejeekiepoopoo.
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