Saying goodbye to my home-stay family in Austria was no easy feat. We hugged, exchanged our contact information, said our goodbye, and that was it.
On to the next one.
Ohhh, Italy. How I love your cuisine; I could shove my face with your food 24/7. Give me a slice of REAL Italian pizza or a cone of gelato, and I am one happy girl. Italy always seemed so distant- not only because the fact that it is over 3,000 miles away, but it simply seemed unattainable; Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would make it to Italy. My time in Italy was spent in Venice, Pisa, Florence (my personal favorite) and Rome, including the Vatican, each location providing once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
While my stay in Italy was certainly enjoyable, there were some things that I really didn’t like. I hate to say it, I really hate to say it, but I found a lot of the stereotypes of Italians to be true: I encountered many rude, loud and pushy (literally) locals. As long you can keep up with the fast pace and sass that is Italy, you’ll survive.
Those few negative connotations aside, Italy is simply magical.
The Colosseum and Roman Forum: Even if you’re not a history buff, like myself, the towering grandeur that is the Colosseum is something that cannot be missed. See the cite of where some of the most brutal battles in history took place. The Roman Forum, which is what left of the ancient remains of the original Rome.
The Vatican- The smallest country in the world is situated in the heart of Rome, and home to the Pope himself! Here you can see the famous Sistine Chapel, the breathtaking Saint Peter’s Basilica and artwork from some of the Italian greats, like Michelangelo and Botticelli. Up for something a little more eerie? Check out the crypt with the tombs of all the deceased popes!
Leaning Tower of Pisa- Go. Get your pictures just to say you’ve done it. However don’t waste too much time in Pisa. The Leaning Tower is about all that is exclusive to the city.
Tuscany- My favorite region of Italy; this is where Florence is! It’s an absolutely beautiful area. Sit in the countryside with a bottle of wine and a cheese wheel and basque in the sun. Florence in particular is fascinating because there is so much to the city. In the town square, you can shop at a Chanel or Valentino boutique, and less than a half mile away, you can wheel and deal at the flea markets. Here you can see the iconic Dome of Duomo by architectural genius Brunelleschi, or the astonishing 17 foot tall statue of David by Michelangelo