My Love Affair with Italy!

In December 2016 through January 2017 I had the great pleasure of visiting Italy! It was honestly not somewhere I had planned to go anytime soon. A friend of mine mentioned wanting to go and we found a flight deal. So, off I went to visit Europe!

THE BREAKDOWN

I want to break down to you very quickly how we set up this trip. Disclaimer: I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE DO THIS!! The reason being is because it was A LOT of moving around in a short period of time. We had 14 days and we chose to cover 7 cities. We purchased a Eurail pass to travel to each city once we got into Europe. Great decision! It was easy and we felt safe. (I will post a recommendations page to those that are interested in visiting.) 7 cities however did’nt happen. We made it to 6; Rome, Siena, Florence, Milan, Verona, and Venice. We had to skip Pisa due to scheduling.  We were flying through these cities!! Most of them we had just 24-48 hours to explore. I would advise at least 2 complete days in each city. It is well worth your time.

FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE

Out of the 6 cities I definetly fell in love with one place and I am already longing to go back! drum rollllllll …..ROME!!!! I don’t think I can find one word to describe Rome. All I can say is PLEASE GO! You can easily spend 2-4 weeks in Rome and not see everything. I found myself in jaw dropping awe at each place we visited. Everything was enormous and grand! The food was spectacular topped off with delicious wines. Cheese, sandwiches, and Gelato OH MY!!

Out of all these beautiful cities there was one I just didn’t feel a connection with……MILAN. I wanted to like Milan but it just didn’t happen. It was like struggling to put on the shoe of a toddler that is having a tantrum. LOL! It just didn’t happen. Milan is beautiful though. I met some amazing people there and had a great time.

FOOD

So I’m sure you can imagine that I was in food heaven! After living in Japan for 9 months at this time it was such a relief to have some Italian food! My favorite were the sandwiches!! The breads you had to choose from were fantastic! The thick slices of mozzerella cheese in between…ooooweee! Then there was delicious wine to top it off with usually for 1 to 2 euros! We must not forget the beloved gelato. Now, it was the end of December into January so it was cold! That still didn’t stop us from early afternoon and late night stops to find the nearest gelato shops. They were everywhere! LONG LIVE GELATO!! I also had some wonderful soups, tortellini, lasanga, spagehetti, and pizza!

ITALY HIGHLIGHTS

The Colosseum

It’s hard to chose one thing to highlight in Rome. I’m going to talk about two things in which I felt the most connection to. The first thing is the Roman Empire and the Colosseum. Before going to Italy, there was one place I was most excited to see. The Colosseum! One of the seven New Wonders of the World! The Colosseum was built in 70AD and saw four centuries of active use. It could hold an estimated 50,000 to 80,000 spectators who came to watch gladiatorial contests, mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, and re-enactments of famous battles and dramas based on classical mythology. The one thing I found the most interesting was that during gladiator fights, most gladiators did not die. Famous gladiators had a huge following and since most fights would end with a vote from the audience, they voted to keep thier favorites alive!

I could not leave without going inside this great amphitheatre. Walking through the halls and being inside was simply breathtaking. Below you see some shots from outside and inside. I also included before pictures so you can see the change over the years.

 

The Roman Empire

The first period in Roman history is known as the Period of Kings and lasted from Rome’s founding until 510BC. The period of the Kings is a great way to describe the construction of the place! Even in it’s ruins, it is still one of the most magnificent places you can experience. That’s just my little opinion! It was so hard to imagine people walking down those grand streets like it was another day in paradise! Such architecture that is still partially standing to this day is just unbelieveable! Below you will see some pictures of the entire Roman Empire and before pictures! WOW!

 

The Pope

I happened to be in Rome on Christmas Day. On Christmas morning, the Pope gives a speech at St. Peter’s square. I went. I was in total disbelief that I had that expereince. It was very humbling to hear him address the people and to see the excitement of people around me. It was a grand affair. A moment I will never forget.

Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi gallery dates back to 1560. It was built to house the administrative and legal offices of Florence. It holds a collection of priceless works, particularly from the period of the Italian Renaissance. Paintings from Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo are housed here as they once gathered at the Uffizi “for beauty, for work, and for recreation.”  Below you will find some pictures of this gallery.

Ty

 

For more pictures, please see the Italy photo gallery!

 

3 replies
  1. Veronica
    Veronica says:

    I enjoyed reading you post and would like more info on the Euro Pass. I also have been thinking about living and teaching abroad. Can you tell me what school you went to and if its cheaper to travel abroad if you are living abroad verses living in the states? Thanks

    Reply
    • Tiffany
      Tiffany says:

      Hi Veronica! Thank you for reading! I would suggest you go to Eurail.com for the best most comprehensive information about the Euro pass. You can live chat or email them with questions you do not get answered from their site. Teaching and living abroad has been a wonderful experience! I first worked through a company called EF. It is a language school that I highly recommend, especially if you are living abroad for the first time. There are many website you can go to to search for teaching jobs abroad. You can start by looking into a desired location or searching job boards. Travel while abroad is not always cheaper. Sometimes, yes depending on if you are traveling to nearby countries. I found China to be a very cheap hub to most of Asia. However, there are flight deals that you can get from many American airports that are not offered in other countries. Overall, I can say that I have been able to do more international travel because I am living abroad!

      Reply

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