Eyes Widen and Heart Soars | My Family Travels
Maya at the top of the Duomo in Florence
Resting spot in Venice

Picture this:  You’re walking down a cobblestone street,  to the left you can see a small glimpse of the canal that runs through the town and to the right a few shops filled with hidden treasures. A couple more steps and your eyes wander to a gelateria displaying a case filled with intense colors. A group rushes past you almost knocking you off your feet, gathering yourself you tune into the sounds around you. An old women sitting on the street corner shakes a tin holding a euro begging in her native tongue. Your attention is drawn from the old lady to merchants shouting into the street selling their handcrafted jewels. The street is covered in confetti from Carnivale; tracing each stone in vibrant colors. A tall man walks down the street wearing a whimsical mask with a costume to match.  At first he is intimidating  but you then recognize the beauty of their culture.  Intrigued, you walk down the alleyway, away from the crowd, to get closer to the calm of the canal. The walkway ends without a warning and drops right into the water. You lean over just enough to look at the bridges and the endless path of water leading down the twists and turns of Venice.

In Italy there always seemed to be a new road to walk down, a store to get lost in, pizza to eat, and I found myself always wanting more. More twists and turns that the pull of adventure led me down. After seeing  Doge’s Palace and Saint Mark’s Square,  both in Venice, Juliet’s balcony in Verona, and  The Vatican, in Rome,  I wanted more. And it wasn’t because I was never satisfied, it was the desire to learn and discover new things that kept me enveloped in what Italy had to offer.

Allow me to share with you one day, one day of beauty, mystery, excitement, and desire. I awoke at around 7 in the morning, like we did every day in Italy. Normally,  I would complain that no one should be waking up at such a time on vacation but rather I wanted to get the most out of each day I had. I dressed for a long day walking including my white converse and my favorite cross body. A friend and I grabbed a croissant at a nearby bakery before we were to meet with the group. It was warm and flakey, and to my surprise filled with creamy nutella. The plan for a day in Florence started with a tour of the Galleria dell’Accademia  which houses Michelangelo’s David. After discovering stone that had come to life in the hands of a man, we walked our way through the streets of Florence to The Duomo . The Duomo was in fact one of the most incredible things I have ever seen and was stuck in a trance looking at the intricate detail of the walls. After witnessing art like I had never seen before the group stopped at a small pizzeria for probably the largest pizza I have ever seen. That was maybe four hours out of the trip. Never a moment to catch your breath because in Italy there’s so much to see.

I would say travel whenever you can and explore what the world has to offer. Find a place where it’s easy to get lost, maybe the locals speak a different language or the cars drive on the opposite side of the road…somewhere, anywhere that makes your eyes widen and heart soar.

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