South River Girls Soccer Takes Italy - My Family Travels
Maryland Strikers Group Picture with an Italian Team We Played and Dined With

If you ever have the opportunity to travel to Italy, I highly recommend taking the time to explore the beautiful cities that litter the Tuscan landscape. I had the pleasure of traveling with 25 other girls to 5 wonderful cities in Italy this summer.

Traveling through tourist sites like Piza and Florence, and leisurely exploring quaint towns like Luca and Sienna, have impressed upon me memories that will last a lifetime. Not only did I get to explore cities, I also was fortunate enough to get to experience the competition of Italian soccer; getting to play six games total.

From my week long adventure in Italy, I would like to share 3 tenants.

One; there is no such thing as too much gelato. Get at least one cone a day, though I would highly recommend two. You’ll find the “best” gelato in Florence or in a small mountain town overlooking Montecatini. Hint if you don’t see a display of giant mounds of gelato with a creative garnish a top in the store don’t buy it!

Two; your trip should be about doing. If your only in Italy for a short time don’t waste it. Make sure to do everything and anything possible. If you only have a half hour to explore; run. Take a good look around you and just go. Try wandering if you have the time; many times thats when you find the coolest places. Look for interesting shops in Lucca that are off the main drag. Walk across the famous jewelry bridge in Florence even if you don’t want to buy anything. Take a selfie with the Leaning Tower of Piza. Watch the palio de sienna in Sienna. Experience Italy to the fullest you don’t want to check an extra bag crammed with regret on the journey home.

Three; eat like a local. Italy is famous for its food so don’t eat like a tourist. Try to scope out local favorites in the towns you’re visiting or venture off the beaten path to find the gem of the city. My best meal was an antipasti plate in a small restaurant in Sienna. Away from all the tourist traps it was no more than fifteen euro but it was fresh as anything and was something I wouldn’t traditionally buy in the states. Be adventurous try a new dish; the leonardo pizza in Florence is delicious as is the carbanera in Piza. Make dining a part of the attraction not a hassle when you’re starved from walking all day. When you embark on your next transatlantic journey keep these tips in mind and you might just have a story or two to tell when you get home.

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