One of the best meals I ate in Italy was not pizza nor was it fettuccine alfredo (which isn’t really Italian… the more you know), and it wasn’t lasagna! No, the best meal I ate was a seafood dish that I had while staying in Gaeta. The hole in the wall restaurant that I stumbled […]
Hey there fellow travelers, readers, and bloggers! I am stopping by today to make a quick post (you will see more in a second) and to catch you up on some details in my life, after all this is a blog. So I know that I haven’t been the best this past week with posts, but within […]
Assisi was my favorite part of this high school trip. Four years later this is the most vivid day and night I can remember of these days spent in Italy. I remember when we approached the town on the hill I didn’t expect much, and when our tour guide told us this was where we would be sleeping I thought, “Oh great, another boring night.”
Of course I was wrong.
After taking tours of the San Francesco and Santa Chiara Basilicas we were left to explore the town on our own. The first thing my group did was eat lunch in a small deli near the Santa Chiara Basilica. I had one of the best caprese I have ever had in my life. The clerk behind the counter spoke english very well and told us that the olive oil used in our food was from the olives that grew at the bottom of the town (you can see some of the olive trees in the picture above). His daughter worked at the deli too and loved talking to us and that was when I realized, not everyone hated Americans. Yes, there are some people that do not like us, but it isn’t everyone. After talking to this family I felt more comfortable in a foreign country. This is because I was taught that if I traveled those not from the United States wouldn’t like me because I was American. After this trip to Italy I realized that yes, some people don’t like me because I am American, but some people don’t care, as long as I’m a kind person that wants to talk to them and get to know their culture. If you travel to another country you should be willing to learn about it, not just assume you know about it because you read it in a book. The locals are your best way to learn about where you are. They will tell you the history, the best places to eat, the sights to see, you just have to give them the chance to tell you.
After eating we climbed to the very top of the hill to the Rocca Maggiore. In the picture above you can see the two towers peeking above the treeline. It is a long hike, but it’s worth it. I know you have to pay what I believe is about two euros (it might be more, but I don’t remember, I do remember paying a fee to get into the castle). I highly recommend doing so. You can climb up and down special holes in the floors, you can walk through underground pathways, you can even climb a tower. Let your inner Game of Thrones take over!
After this we settled into our hotel and heard singing and music from our window. Being teenagers we had a curfew, but that didn’t stop us. We left the hotel and went to the cafe below. There we drank wine and danced with the locals. It was the most fun I had the whole trip!
If you have never been to Venice, please go. The city itself is breathtaking, the people are kind, and the food is to die for.
When I was there I walked around the narrow streets and alleyways with my classmates. We ate at a small hole in the wall restaurant and had pizza (but not the best pizza I had in Italy, but hey it was better than what you get in the United States). We went on a gondola ride because we thought that’s absolutely what you had to do when you were in Venice, right? Well, no, you don’t have to. If you want to, go ahead, it gives you a different perspective of the city and takes your mind off of life for a bit. The locals do not take gondola rides, it is a tourist trap to get your money. But hey, at least it’s a relaxing one. If you decide to skip on this aspect of your trip you won’t be missing out, there is a lot to do!
Venice also has a lot of creepy sights. I’m a person that loves creepy and gory things. I used to have a photo of the Bridge of Sighs but I lost it. This bridge connects the new prison to the interrogation cells. It was given this name because prisoners would take one last sigh at the beautiful city before going into their cells.
Now, if you are feeling really adventurous you can go to Poveglia which is a small island right off the coast of Venice. There is an abandoned mental hospital which still stands on this small island. When it was still open a doctor conducted gruesome lobotomies, then he jumped from one of the towers saying ghosts made him go mad. Supposedly this place is haunted, I have no idea if the public can get to it or if there are tours, but it might be something worth checking out! This place is on my bucket list, so I know I’ll be going back to this city.
One thing I definitely think you should not skip out on when you are visiting here is seeing how they make their beautiful and elegant glass creations. I saw a glass making demonstration by Murano Glass. It was memorizing and breathtaking watching these artist take sand and turn it into venetian glass.
So, overall skip the gondola ride and go see a glass blowing demonstration.