When I was first booking Italy I thought that 9 days would be plenty, it would be the longest I had spent traveling through a different country so far! What was I thinking…?!?! 9 weeks wouldn’t have been enough time!!
Italy has been my favorite country so far! There is much more multiculturalism and diversity than I ever imagined! The people, the culture, the lifestyle and the food are incredible! I really wasn’t ready to leave and there was so much more I wanted to do and see!
It was an amazing adventure but it has been extremely exhausting! I need a holiday from my holiday! We have spent approximately 30 hours on trains and visited 7 different cities. We explored; Rome, Pompeii, Pisa, Vanazza (Cinque Terre), Siena, Florence, Venice and Bologna. Each were unique and different from all of the others, they were all breath-taking and I have loved every part! In the short time that we were in Italy it was good to get a little taste (literally) of all of these different areas! However, my favourite place has been Vanazza, where I was able to sit by the ocean for the first time in nearly 5 months and eat gelato as the sun set! I can’t wait to come back one day and spend my more time in Cinque Terre and the countryside of Tuscany!
The weather was also amazing, we were extremely lucky! Blue skies and generally a balmy 8 degrees will put a smile on anyone’s face, especially after snow and -8 degrees in Poland! While we were walking around everywhere, I was noticing that everyone was rugged up with scarfs, beanies, gloves and big winter jackets! Here I was striping off my jacket and thinking it was delightful… What has the Polish weather done to me?! I think I might actually melt when I return to Australia’s crazy hot temperatures!
I think we’ve eaten some of the best and worst Italian food! Ranging from restaurants, to dinners, to meals from the train stations or supermarkets! But without a doubt the best gelato I ever tasted in my life! Only in Italy is it ok to have gelato for lunch and order 4 different flavors!! I actually think it’s possible that I ate about 2 litres of gelato over the 9 days! A number of times we went in search of a restaurant/cafe/gelateria that was recommended and at least 50% of the time they were closed or we couldn’t find them… However it is not these places that are the best anyways, it is always the ones you accidentally stumble across that are much more delicious!
Whilst traveling with fellow border crossing student Lachie, it was only a matter of time until we ran into some bad luck! If you have read his blog you will have noticed that he doesn’t have the bestest of luck when traveling.
At our hostel in Rome I had money stolen from both my suitcase and my handbag! Skylar you are sharing rooms with poor backpackers, lock up your belongings because these people aren’t as trustworthy as you are!! I was lucky to have gotten away with it for so long and it could have been worse (they still left me with some money (only taking the bigger notes), and they could have taken my whole wallet with all of my cards). Next Lachie lost/left his phone on a train; we went back to look for it and if course it was no where to be seen! It wasn’t the phone that we cared about, it’s losing the photos that was devastating. And lastly, we sat on a train for an hour longer than we should have while traveling the coast of Cinque Terre! This really isn’t a big deal but it was two wasted hours we could have spent exploring the different little towns!
Four extremely valuable lessons have been learnt in Italy…
1. Lock up your stuff at all times. NO ONE CAN BE TRUSTED!!!
2. Look after your belongings
3. Be aware of your surroundings and do a little bit if research into where you are going and what you are doing when you are on a strict time schedule
4. Gelato makes all of the above better 🙂
We finished out Italian adventures in Bologna where we went in search for a recommend pizzeria and gelateria! What a way to end the trip… The best pizza and gelato we had eaten whilst in Italy! We strolled back to the train station and caught a bus to the airport, we were really pushing it for time and after running around different areas of the airport we finally make it to our gate and were one of the last to board the plane! You would think I would have learnt this kesson by now… Arriving to airports late and nearly missing flights or actually missing flights is something I really need to work on!
Ohhhhh and to make this little adventure even better I received an offer to do my Master of Education! This was a massive relief as I wasn’t sure if I had got my results back to Flinders in time to be accepted and if not, I had no idea what I was going to do with myself when I got back! I am excited to return to Adelaide and for a new chapter if my life to begin! I always feel that there is an opportunity to start fresh after returning from travels!!! But I’M STILL NOT READY FOR THIS CHAPTER TO END! I don’t think I could ever be ready to say goodbye to Poland, the beautiful people I have met and the life I have created!