Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Promise

Been to Italy and back and didn't write once. In my defense, I didn't bring my Macbook and it was too 'hard' to write on my iPhone.

So the trip was great. Realized that I can't eat bread, pizza and/or pasta 9-10 days straight, but when it comes to gelato, not a problem. If I had to put the cities in order of my favorite it would go as follows: Rome, Venice, and Florence. I had been really excited to go to Florence, but maybe I had expected too much and I also didn't have a chance to visit the countryside. It seemed that all the loud, obnoxious tourists were all in one vicinity, whereas in Rome, they were far more spread out. I do have to say that Florence has amazing museums. Michelangelo's 'David' and Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" is enough to make a trip.

When I was arranging my itinerary, Venice was a second choice if I couldn't make it to Cinque Terre. I wasn't at all interested in visiting Venice. My opinion was that the only thing to see in Venice were the gondolas going through the canals, which at the time wasn't enough for me to be excited and conclude my trip there. To my chagrin, the gondolas going through the canals was enough for me. I love water and the whole city is built on water. Only upon research did I discover that Venice is an island. Maybe I hadn't put much thought into it or never really cared. I knew that there were canals, but there are also canals here in Venice, CA and it's not an island.

Since Venice was more of an afterthought, as part of the compromise was visiting Murano. Anyone who has seen the ceiling of the Bellagio knows what I'm talking about. I didn't get to see someone actually blowing glass, but did see this guy make an ornament of some sort (maybe butterfly?) right in his shop. Witnessing this artistry first hand led me to believe that the items in his shop were not made in China and if I were to purchase a souvenir for myself it would be there. Not only did I make my best purchase in Venice, but I also had best meal of the trip in Venice (no bread, pasta or pizza were harmed).

What is there to say about Rome? Rome is simply Rome. It's one of the most amazing cities in the world. There is so much history that lies beneath the ruins and the monuments that still stand after 2,700 years. While touring the Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre), I was listening to a podcast about the Colosseum's beginnings and the type of events that were held in the arena. Typical entertainment was gladiators vs. animals or prisoners vs. animals, etc. The event that resonated with me and made me laugh out loud was a midget vs. a one legged or one armed man. I wonder who in the emperor's court thought up this idea and who won the battles. I'm probably just as sick as the ancient Romans, but the midgets or little person would dominate - hands down. When in Rome....