I’m going to flat out admit right now that I’m addicted to carbs. Pizza is my favorite food, and I would never say no to a plate of pasta. My parents used to call me the “carb queen” when I was younger, thankfully that nickname never stuck. With all of this being said you can imagine how excited I was to jet off to Italy to indulge in all of my favorite foods for a week. It was a quick turn around for me- I came back from Ireland on the Friday night and left Sunday morning for Venice. Thankfully I’ve gotten pretty good at shoving my life into a tiny backpack.
We arrived in Venice around dusk (the best time of day) and after picking our jaws up off the floor and taking 1000000 pictures of the grand canal we set off to find our hotel. Now we were silly travelers and left our bookings too late and so we ended up having to get a hotel off of Priceline for Venice. Unfortunately this was a room for two meaning we were going to try and be sneaky and sneak one of us in each night. Well that genius plan only lasted a night before we got caught, but fortunately the owner let us continue staying there if we just paid for the third person. It was worth a try.
Venice is the actual definition of a labyrinth and so you can easily spend your days walking through the city taking in the sights. I would never allocate more than two days in visiting the city. Venice is also tourist central and so it is for sure a little crowded and a little less authentic than maybe a smaller more unknown city would be. But still so beautiful and so quaint, I loved how there were no cars on the island. The first day we were there it rained which was a little bit of a bummer since the only thing to do in Venice is walk around but we made do. And to make up for it the second day was absolutely stunning. We spent two hours lounging in the sun on the steps of the canal people watching. No complaints from me. On the Wednesday we caught an early (6:30) train to Rome where we were welcomed by more sun and even more heat. Hello dress weather. Right off the bat we recognized that our hostel was probably not going to be our favorite. The guys that work there came off as super creepy, but after a few days we got used to it and were able to laugh with (at) them. They also loved partying which meant music blaring till 12:30 every night, the first night this was a little daunting but we soon realized that if you can’t beat ’em ya join ’em.
Rome is massive and it’s basically one big museum. Which means lots and lots of walking. I feel like in the past five months I have walked more than I have in my entire life. It will be weird being back in Canada and driving everywhere. We spent an afternoon visiting the Vatican and St. Peter’s which was very cool. I saw the infamous Sistine Chapel and was able to sneak a few pics of it. We also spent a day walking through Paletine Hill, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. Rome is super fascinating to me because its filled with different archeological sites within the hustle and bustle of a city. Seeing remains from 5BC was a little crazy and its almost hard to understand just how old these artifacts are.
It was a super hot three days and so we often took breaks and lounged in the sun in a park. This led to us all getting sun burns. Summer is here and I am a happy camper.
We filled in the rest of the time doing what we all do best; wandering. Everywhere you turned in Rome there was something beautiful to see so it wasn’t hard finding things to fill our time.
I’ll end off with a few fun/interesting things from the past week in Italy.
1.) I learned in Venice that my Italian accent is FAR better than my French accent. I will attribute this to my dad always throwing around Italian phrases to me at various points and growing up with two Italian best friends.
2.) We were walking through a market in Rome and I stopped to look at rings ( my hands are almost full!) and while I was chatting with the lady she noticed that I had a Laborordite stone on one of my rings. I was shocked this Italian lady knew that what the stone was, but then realized she didn’t know where labordor was. So when I told her that not only was it from Canada which is where I’m also from but that my dad actually got it in Labrodor she was SUPER impressed. She was giddy when I let her try it on and kept explaining how beautiful and pure the stone was. So props to you Daddio on the ring.
3.) On Sunday Rome is cannonizing Pope John Paul II and the city is FILLED with different tour groups and pilgrimages of people from across the world here to be apart of it. When we drove past the Vatican on our last day there were news stations setting up and getting ready all over the block. I’m glad we were here before the weekend and missed the craziness of it all but it was cool to see the beginnings of it. We met a couple from South Carolina who came to see it and they were so excited to meet us. The lady has three daughters and asked to take a picture with us so she could send it to them. Those are the moments that make me fall in love with the world.
4.) As amazing as traveling is it definitely wares on you. I’ve been gone for a week now but before that I was in Northern Ireland for a week so I’ve been on the go for a bit. All of the train rides and flights and switching hostels, and being in tight quarters with people starts to rub you the wrong way after a bit. I’ve been in kind of a slump the past few days because of this so I’m hoping for some good alone time exploring in Greece to get over it. So looking forward to my family visiting in two weeks as well.
I’m now sitting here in Thessaloniki, Greece in our hotel (luxe life) so ready for bed after a long day of travels. We have NO idea what to expect from this city but from what I’ve read it’s pretty cool. PLUS I’m in Macedonia which is pretty flippen cool after growing up surrounded by Macedonians.
Lots of love to all of y’all.