On the second day of July I had my last presentation at the university. After that I closed down my laptop and did not open it until today. On the day of the presentation, Maria brought me to Italy to meet her family. We started our trip in Smarano, a village in northern Italy, in which Maria's family has their summer house. Jonas, Marias roommate, also joined us there and together we spent a few wonderful days in Smarano and Trento. Jonas, being the group's photographer, took around 300 photos per day while we were travelling, which has resulted in a wonderful collection of travel photos that I have been waiting to share on here.
Before doing so, I would like to point out that the pictures I share only present a small fraction of our trip. Lately, I have heard others say that they suffer from destructive thoughts and severe fomo from seeing others pictures and videos on social media. Knowing that I am likely to have caused others this feeling, I would like to emphasize that a picture never tells the full story of an event. For every good picture you see on my social media, there is likely to be 50 bad ones that I did not post. Personally this is a conscious decision, since I want my instagram to be a collection of my happy memories and good pictures that I have taken in the past. My intention is never to cause any sort of comparison, or to make anyone else feel less than me. If, however, my pictures do have that effect on you, please feel free to unfollow me or do whatever needs to be done in order for you to feel better, I will not be offended. Luckily, I have this blog where I can provide a more realistic glimpse into my everyday life than I could ever do in a few instagram posts.
Truth be told, travelling in a group of friends is always exhausting. There were moments in which i wondered hadn't it been better after all to go on this trip by myself. It is impossible to be on ones best behaviour constantly, just as it is impossible to always get ones way when travelling with a group of people. This is something I am still trying to learn. However, I can sincerely say that this trip was worth every minute, and that the company I chose to travel with turned out to be the best I could ever have asked for. With Maria being our full-time translator and Jonas speaking his mix of Italian and Spanish with an American accent, I found myself an unbeatable travel-duo. Along the way we came across many other priceless people that are also worth mentioning.
As earlier mentioned, these fantastic pictures are taken by my fantastic friend Jonas. I took some analogue photos myself, that I will likely post later. Firstly,from our stay in Trento:
From Trento we continued our journey yb taking the train through Verona to Florence.
Whilst getting drunk on Rosé in the train, obviously.
Before arriving in Italy we had made brief plans on renting a car in Florence to see Tuscany and the west coast, but we had no detailed plans on where to go. One night we went for a walk in the centre of Florence and came across some beautiful people on the way. We asked around what to see in Florence and where to go next. Many recommended us to go to Cinque terre, since it is supposedly one of the most beautiful places in Italy. We ended up having a lot of fun those two nights in Florence, resulting in us returning to Florence to stay one more night.
We made our own little mixture of vodka and ice tea and went out to play a few rounds of truth or dare on our last night in Florence. We ended up blasting our music and dancing in the central square on a Sunday night, and managed to gather a whole bunch of people to dance with us. For many of these social encounters we thank Jonas, since his American small talking skills came in very handy in these situations. Me and Maria would turn our backs on Jonas for a few minutes and in that time he would always manage to make one or two new friends.
With our lovely car Carola, we travelled from Florence to San Gimignano, to Pisa, to Cinque Terre, then through Lucca and back to Florence. These were a few intense and beautiful days. It was also an emotional rollercoaster of strong positive feelings but extreme sleep deprivation and low energy-levels for the whole group. On the drive from San Gimignano to Pisa we drove through the most beautiful scenery I have seen from inside a car. There were mountains, sunflower fields, small roads, beautiful houses...
During the trip we ate pizza more or less every day. And had gelato for dessert, every day. And white bread for breakfast, every day. I never thought I could get tired of pizza, but I stand corrected. Cinque terre was indeed the most beautiful place we saw during the whole trip, in my opinion. For someone as myself, who enjoys swimming, chilling at the beach, hiking and climbing it was the perfect spot. We hiked through three of the villages, and made it to the fourth just in time to see the sunset. As mentioned, it was an emotionally and physically exhausting day, ending with a captivating sunset.
I was basically hiking with the above outfit all day, since there is no amount of sunscreen in the world that can save this pale bitch from burning.
After returning our car we continued our trip to Rome. In Rome we visited Marias family home, and had a wholesome dinner that her grandma and grandpa cooked for ur. They made homemade pasta that we ate in their garden with Marias extended family. They also served us lots of greens that they had grown in their own garden. I could have stayed at the family house forever. It is located on the countryside of Rome, close enough to the heart of the city, but isolated enough for you to see the stars and on a dark summer night.
Before leaving Rome we had the privilige of watching Italy play in the Euro cup finals in football, which they won after an intense game against England. It was one of those once in a lifetime experiences that I cannot believe I got to see live. We saw the game at a pub in the centre of Rome, and after the victory we went to celebrate with the rest of Rome outside of the Colosseum. People were singing and shouting, cars were honking and the whole city was captured beneath a cloud of green, white and red smoke.
Lastly, we ended our trip in Naples, where we met up with one of my old friends, Sara. I unfortunately have no good
pictures of Naples yet, since mine are yet to be developed, and Jonas' to be upldoaded.
However, Naples deserves a separate post for itself. It is such a unique city, and feels very authentically Italian. Maybe the fact that we had Sara as a local tourguide raised my overall impression of Naples, but I truly loved that city. There was amazing street art all around, great food, good night life etc. This is starting to sound like some kind of Tripadvisor review. Maybe I should end my post here. More on Napoli when I have the time and energy.