I’m a complete slacker, I know. Fall break was a month ago, and I finally managed to roll this out. I miss Italy. My heart aches for homecooked pasta, fresh pizzas, and cannolis. I miss staring down the entire city of Florence from the Dome of Santa Maria Cathedral, listening to live, acoustic music on top of Piazza Michelangelo, and sitting in front of St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican City because I couldn’t be bothered to line up to get in.
Florence – Where should I even begin? I was actually a little dazed when I arrived from Venice, because that’s the thing about Italy – each city is so distinctively its own world. I went from small, mystic, colorful Venice to the more medieval-looking yet also ironically young and care-free Florence. The city seems to be tinted in yellow and brown, the dominant architecture colors, with vestigial brick walls dating from who-knows-how-long-ago.
But if you peel your eyes off the buildings and look around you on the streets, there is an abundance of bars and clubs, pumping with music at night, flowing with young people looking to have a good night out. My Airbnb was literally right above a bar and I can testify that it was pretty lit. Florence has the most bizarre yet wonderful mix of old and new.
And then there’s Rome. It was nice to be back in a truly metropolitan area, because I love the city. We did all the touristy stuff – the Colosseum, the Roman Ruins, the Pantheon, etc. But my favorite part is wandering around the streets, and running into “accidental” finds. Impromptu hunt for the best tiramisu, visiting the cite where Julius Caesar got killed and which is now turned into a cat sanctuary, walking past Altar of the Fatherland during sunset. Oh, and the best pizza I’ve had in my life.
I spent my last full day in Rome with quite a few cats, which was kind of unexpected. There’s a vegan cat cafe near where I was staying at and it was such an adorable cafe with delicious food and cute cats. I also wandered around the city and ended up at Largo di Torre Argentina, which is a square of ruins from the remains of Pompey’s Theatre. It was believed to be where Julius Caesar got assassinated, and nowadays it has now been turned into a cat shelter, so you’ll see dozens of cats roaming the site!
Italy has always been on top of my travel list. I think this trip is probably my biggest accomplishment during my study abroad. (Meanwhile struggling for all the finals coming up…)