Sunday, 4 June 2017

Europe 2017 Diaries. All about Italian food and architecture.

Next country was Italy. And of all the stops, this was the country I was looking forward to the most by FAR! Not just because I LOVE PIZZA but because I'd heard so much about Italy and the architecture and the beauty of the country. 

First came Pisa... home of the Leaning Tower of Pisa of course. It was just a quick stop but if you're in Italy it's something you have to see right? 

It still baffles me that it used to be straight but was 'put back' to leaning... 

It's fair to say Florence didn't disappoint. Italy, unlike France, is still very old architecturally, which I absolutely love. The views in Florence are indescribable. We visited Leather Shop, had a walking tour of Florence, ate the first of many pizzas, just ate more gelato and even went to a karaoke bar. Pretty hilarious. 

It was also the first chance we had to eat 'properly like an Italian' and when I say properly I mean properly. It was a 5 or 6 course meal as far as I can remember. Pasta galore, lets put it that way. 

Rome was one of two places in Italy I was really really looking forward to. Seeing the Colosseum has been one of the top things on my list to do and the more I was in Rome, the more I became fascinated with Roman history. 

We saw all the usual stuff - Trevi Fountain, The Roman Forum, The Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona and The Pantheon. I mentioned our Tour Manager, Tom in my France Diary and The Pantheon is one of this favourite buildings - so he couldn't stop telling us.  I do understand why. It is very historical and architectural beautiful inside and out. 
Trevi Fountain
The Pantheon
The final and most exciting for me stop in Rome was the tour of the Colosseum. Breathtaking. I think most of us found it pretty amazing. You could really imagine where the animals were kept and where the fights took place. It crazy that pretty much the original structure is still standing. That's what I loved about most of Rome. It's still standing from the Romans.

Quite strangely perhaps we went to some burial/remembrance chapels dedicated to Capuchin Monks called a Capuchin Crypt. It was a little chilling but fascinating. It hit home how many monks actually died.

Did I mention, I ate more pizza and gelato - yum!

Vatican City
Going to Rome also meant a stop off to say hi to The Pope. You may not know that the Vatican City is also another country but in Rome. 

Anyway we lucked out because on the day we visited The Vatican, The Pope was going to ride around and give out blessings so we received those and caught a pretty good view of him and. He seems like a pretty cool dude so I definitely didn't complain. 

Being in The Vatican also meant visiting the Sistine Chapel - pretty cool as well. Just very very very very busy, which put me off slightly. 

Venice was the other place I was really looking forward to. I'd always wanted to take a ride on a gondola and just see the beauty of Venice. It'd hard to believe it's a city of rivers until you're actually there. 

No surprises, architecturally it's very old and you can see where the city has flooded when you ride on a gondola.

When in Venice, one thing Tom recommended doing was trying a drink called 'Aperol Spritz', a traditional Italian cocktail made with Aperol, Soda water and Prosecco. We were told you'd have to have a few to get used to the taste but it was actually quite nice. 

Venice also marked the end of pizza, pasta and gelato. It was hard to say bye. They all just tasted unreal! 

Meeting some amazing people...
I think now is where I should mention the amazing people I met on this trip. When you're doing something like this, you always wonder if you'll meet people that you really get along with. And luckily I did. 

I met some pretty cool and amazing people from all over the world. They made me laugh till my stomach hurt and without them I don't think the trip would have been the same! You'll probably see pictures of them doted over these posts. I doubt they're reading this but thank you to everyone I met. You made it an unreal 2 weeks. I loved meeting so many lovely different people. 

And that ends the Italy entry... 

I've well and truly fallen in love with Italy and would love to see other parts of the country! Any recommendations?

Next up... Germany... Keep an eye out...

1 comment

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