A trip 6 years in the making is finally here! Amrita and I have been planning our dream trip to Italy since we were in 6th grade together, and now that we've both graduated we're finally here! Our trip is 10 days; we start in gorgeous Venice, spend a quicky day and a half in Florence, and 4 days in Rome before heading back to Venice and heading home.
It's been an emotional few days for both of us...my moving back from Manila is still pretty hard for me and her graduation is a big step in every person's life. This trip could not have come at a better time. The jet-lag that I was experiencing from Manila, a 12 hour time difference, is cut in half here in Italy where the time difference with the US is only 6 hours! Also: it's nice to get away just the two of us and have some stress-free time this summer before college.
We arrived in Venice on Tuesday midday and spent the rest of that day exploring the neighborhood of our apartment, not in Venezia city proper but on a quick bus-ride outskirt, and we both spent a really long night catching up on sleep. The next day we were off to explore Venice!
Amrita and I didn't have a proper plan for the day, no museums we wanted to specifically visit or anything, so we planned to spend the day walking around the canals and streets of Venice.
This is one of my favorite pictures that I've taken in Venice so far!
We got thoroughly lost walking around Venice...and loved every second of it! We wandered over too many bridges to count, passed hundreds and hundreds of boats and gondolas by the end of our day, and gained a thorough appreciation for comfortable shoes.
A and I stopped to eat lunch around 1 pm at a small, canal-side restaurant where we gleefully partook in pizza, gorgonzola macaroni, and the new-to-us legal drinking age of 18 with some classic Venetian bellinis.
We wandered again after lunch, this time unhappily finding ourselves swept up with the rush of the shopping district. Tourists everywhere we could see, packing the narrow streets lined with shops designed to sell to the non-locals.
We quickly found our way out of that mess, going from a rather peaceful stroll next to the canal past restaurants with locals dining and laughing to an immensely-packed, obviously touristy area is not a fun transition.
At this point, my relatively-new shoes, despite their promise of comfort, had my feet popping out with blisters all over the place. I changed my shoes and we continued our wandering before we ended up back in the same square we had lunch in.
Of course, when in Italy you must partake in the fabulous gelato. The original ice cream, gelato is an absolute must for any and all cities you visit in Rome, I promise you it is better than anything you'll find in your freezer at home.
Amrita and I decided to make like the locals and sit on the steps leading down to the canal with our treat. Several people sat with us, including several pigeons that were not afraid to walk right up and introduce themselves! The pigeons in this city, much like those in New York, are so completely unafraid of humans that they walk right next to them through the streets--at great danger of being accidentally kicked, might I add.
We ended our day with a quick walk through a park before the rain ended our fun and sent us back to the bus stop. It was a very fun, albeit very blister-causing, first day in Venice and we can't wait to get out and explore again tomorrow!