December 9, 2011
Seven years ago this week, I was roaming around all over Italy, pretty much all by myself. (I say pretty much because I was there alone/without anyone I knew, but with a tour group.) I can't believe that it's been SEVEN YEARS. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I remember walking off the plane into the Fiumicino airport in Rome and being a tiny bit scared and anxious but mostly extremely excited. Going to Italy had always been a life-long dream of mine and I finally decided that I would stop "waiting for it to happen" on its own and MAKE IT HAPPEN. First I had to save money- I saved $50 from each paycheck for two years to be able to go on this trip. Then I planned...I ultimately decided that going on a tour (as I was going on this trip alone) was my best option. Not only was it my first trip to Europe, but I figured that having the tour company handle most of the details for me, was the easiest way to do things. I went with a tour from Trafalgar and honestly, it was the best decision I made. They took care of all the accommodations, most meals and plenty of excursions in each city we visited. I would most definitely travel with a tour group again. To save more money, I traveled during the last week of November/first week of December, as winter is the office season for traveling in Europe. It was quite cold to be honest (at least for this Miami girl!) but not so cold that you couldn't enjoy yourself outside. During my 2 weeks in Italy, we visited 12 different cities. We went to Rome, Florence, Ravenna, Assisi, Sorrento, Siena, Pisa, Positano, Capri, Pompeii, Verona, and my favorite- Venice. I wish I could have a video of all of the things I saw and experienced. I took over 2,000 digital pictures and 11 rolls of film and somehow it didn't feel like it was enough. The architecture, the art work, THE FOOD. I had some of the most delicious food in my life on this adventure. One of my favorite meals to this day was in a little fishing village on the island of Burano, off the coast of Venice. Fresh seafood risotto, fresh fish, fresh pasta...it makes my mouth water now just thinking of it! I still dream of Italy and would give anything to be back there again. One of my favorite things to do is watch all the Travel channel specials having to do with Italy and reminisce. Venice especially, will always be one of my favorite cities I look forward to the day that I get to take Mike there with me and have him experience a Venetian sunset, one of the most beautiful things in the world.
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