Tomorrow, I'll be making my way by train to the Eternal City, Roma. The past week in Italy has been amazing - I've seen the famous Venetian canals and soaked up the sun in Florence while enjoying fabulous gelato along the way. Italy has lived up to the stereotypes of the Southern European countries in that Italians do indeed enjoy a slower pace of life - slower than I'm used to now in England. For example, you will never get your check at a restaurant unless you ask for it, and even then the waiters are in no rush at all to get it to your table. In a way it's nice to experience a more leisurely meal, but I supposed I'm just too acclimated to the American dining experience to not get at least a little impatient. One thing I can't complain about is the weather - this is definitely the most sun I've had since coming abroad. I've also noticed that Italians are pretty friendly people. Part of that is because most of these cities I'm visiting survive off of tourism - without it, they simply wouldn't exist, especially in Venice where it was sometimes hard to move through the intense crowds (and this is the low season, they say)!
If I had more time in Italy, I would love to venture out to a smaller town so that I could get a more authentic Italian experience. The farthest off the beaten track I've been is Pisa, which as you can imagine is still pretty touristy. One thing I've learned from this super long spring break is how I like to travel. The past few weeks have been very fast paced, going from one city and one country to the next - I can hardly believe that it was three weeks ago that I started the trip in Dublin. I think I prefer to travel at a slower pace- spending maybe five days or so in each place. I also prefer visiting smaller cities and less visited towns. It is in that method of travel that you truly get to know a country or a city, from the inside out. Granted, the big tourist-attracting cities attract tourists for a reason, but I just think that sometimes it gets too overwhelming and commercialized for my taste. In other news, today is my official three month mark of being abroad! I truly cannot fathom how it has been three months since that chilly day in London when I stepped out of Heathrow and into the greatest adventure of my life.
Until next time -