It’s been awhile. I’ve been quite busy lately. But I wanted to share some of my thoughts on a recent trip to Italy.
So this trip was not really something I planned well, but ended up being a great time. I had nothing planned two weeks prior to my trip. But then my mom stepped in, called a couple of relatives, and boom… a whole itinerary was created. I literally was in a new city every day of the week. On my first day, I arrived in Rome where my cousin Christian picked me up and proceeded in a three hour car ride over to Cortona, Italy in the Tuscany region.
Next day, I checked out the Frasassi Caves which had some pretty awesome rock formations. My uncles and aunts accompanied me, asking me as many personal questions they could think of along the trip. I remember having some of the freshest bread and espresso I’ve had in a long time. We proceeded with checking out the main city, Cortona, which had some amazing views of the Tuscany valley region.
Not shown was the shit load of drinking I did with my cousin Christian, who can hold his liquor pretty well, but not as well as me.
The next day, my cousin Christian accompanied me on a train ride to meet with my other cousins Rachel, Jonathan, and Jonathan’s girlfriend Aika in Florence. We then took a car trip to the city of Venice; mind you, I was a little hungover from drinking so much the night before. We explored and did a lot, including San Marcos Square, riding the gondolas in the canals, buying cheap sunglasses, eating authentic food, and taking dumb Instagram pictures.
At the end of the day, we found a nice hotel room near the train station, had dinner at this place called Michele’s which served pretty good pizza and dessert. Of course, we also had to have coffee which we found conveniently within walking distance of the hotel room.
On the third day, Christian and I proceeded to take a train to the city Florence where I met up with my distant relatives Aunt Ninicoy and Uncle Edwin. They showed me around the city, talking about its diverse history, culture, and legendary stories. I re-met up with my cousins from the day before to do some more exploring. I ended up buying an authentic leather jacket for a pretty decent price. I also was able to have dinner at a restaurant where one of my cousins cooked at. I tried a Fiorentine steak which was very delicious and a must-do if you are ever in the Florence area. I also met up with more cousins, Hannah and family, Patrick, Kylie, and Glen. I didn’t realize how many relatives I had (from my mom’s side) in Italy.
The following day, I took a bus tour by myself that was hitting three Tuscany based cities: Siena, San Gimignano, and Pisa. All had very interesting cultural significance and history to Italy. Mostly, I was there to take pictures just to prove that I was there. Siena has an awesome cathedral with black marble and lots of detail. San Gimignano had some of the best white wine and Tuscany views of the region. Pisa, of course, had the leaning tower where everybody was posing for their Instagram account. At the end of the day, I was able to see my cousins one more time before heading back to Cortona where I rested once more.
On my last official day of the trip, I went from Cortona to Rome where I met up with one of Christian’s best friends, Guglielmo. He chauffeured us around in his car and took us to one of the best places to eat Roman food. Christian and I ended up exploring the city, finding a place to stay for the night, and then go explore the major landmarks of Rome. Personally, I think Rome looks way better at night than it does during the day. I also discovered that Uber was available in Rome (albeit a bit pricey).
While the trip went by so fast, I had such an amazing time connecting with my relatives and exploring all that Italy has to offer. I pretty much have to invest in an espresso machine. I missed Italy so much, that I ended up going to my local Eataly. One thing is for sure, I will be back and it will be for a much longer time period. Ciao! Arrivederci!