My Italian Adventure
A Dream Fulfilled.
Every designer or artist draws inspiration from something or someone. For me, much inspiration comes from history, particularly history of the arts. Since I was young, reading about famous artists and learning Latin in High School, I have wanted to travel to Italy. The more I learned about ancient Rome, Pompeii, the Renaissance, and Christian history – the more exciting the country became. Finances were a barrier during high school, college, and the years after. However, I decided to just start saving and planning to go to in 2015. The dream became a reality as I paid off my school loans, booked my trip and took my husband with me on an adventure to the beautiful country of Italy.
We first visited Rome – and stayed in a beautiful small apartment in the Monti neighborhood. The owner Paola and her husband were extremely friendly and helpful in learning the local area. The apartment was just a 5 minute walk from the famous Colosseum and 10 minutes from the important Termini Station. We were a 25-30 minute walk from Vatican City as well, so everything was accessible. We were living my dream. Each day from our apartment, which was on the third floor, we could hear a musician on the street below playing the accordion.
Our first full day in Rome, we trekked the 500+ steps to the top of St. Peters Dome for an amazing view of the entire city. To get there, we walked all throughout the Vatican Museum, seeing its many treasure, and then passed through the famous Sistine Chapel itself – awesome to see in person. The church of St. Peters Basilica is beyond words – so majestic, vast, and beautiful. In 6 foot tall gold words is inscribed in Latin – “Thou art Peter and on this Rock I will build my Church”. A reminder of the greatness of God and His sovereignty. In this church is also located the famous Pieta sculpture, by Michelangelo, which is gorgeous. Seeing the work of the famous Bernini, Michelangelo and Raphael is incredible for any person but doubly so for those who have studied their work.
The feeling of grandeur really does help your mind transcend into the heavens to contemplate the greatness of God.
The next day we visited the Roman Colosseum and Forum, as well as the Palatine Hill. It is fascinating to read about the history of these locations, but it is even more so to visit them in person. Touching the walls of the colosseum (whats left of it) and knowing that those stones have been standing there for 2000 years is very humbling.
One of the highlights of Rome was our Trastevere food tour – where we got to visit local eateries, meet the owners, and try local cuisine that was superb. I will let the photos speak for themselves:
After staying in Rome for 6 days, we took the train to Pompeii to visit ancient ruins, that are amazingly preserved. There is an eeriness to visiting this town as you realize that people just dropped what they had and either ran or hid, as Vesuvius spewed ash and lava upon them. It is so incredibly interesting to see how these people lived and how similar their culture is to our own, but profoundly sad to think how quickly it ended.
Life is fragile, so we must cherish what we have, and never take advantage of what time we think we might have left.
The next day we travelled north to Venice, Italy were we spent 3 days in another adorable Italian apartment. The accommodations were found through the site VRBO.com which is similar to AirBnB.
In Venice, we had the privilege of visiting the Doge’s Palace and Prison, The Bridge of Sighs, The Correr Museum (which had a fascinating modern art exhibit about the Edward Snowden leaks), Saint Marks Basilica, Piazza San Marco, Rialto Market, as well as many lovely restaurants. In addition to those visits, we had the pleasure of taking a gondola ride on the famous Venetian canals! The history and culture of Venice is everywhere you look – this city is colorful and exciting. It is easy and interesting to get lost in the maze of canals, narrow streets, and piazzas full of tourists, locals, dogs, shops and trattorias.
After leaving Venice we headed by train to the town of Fiumicino, which is where the airport is located. We stayed on the Mediterranean coast for 2 days before heading home. Coming home, my excitement for art history and culture is renewed. My spirit is rejuvenated from my experience abroad – learning more history, seeing ancient sights, beautiful churches and eating delicious seafood. The entire trip was amazing and is documented in numerous photos. I hope you enjoy the few photos I have posted and that you get to travel to Italy some day as well. If you have visited any of these places – please post your favorite memories in the comments!