Before my slew of Italy posts, I thought I'd begin with a word on my experience.
I was worried that Italy was overhyped. I've now been around the block travel-wise and have seen a few places, ya know? Would Italy live up to the fantasy everyone had made of it?
I can say without hesitation that I am in love, and now a believer. My lover's name is Roma, and it's left a blushing impression on me. I'm wondering...how and when can I get back there? It's the hardest thing when you find a city you adore, only to leave it a few days later. Although I have left Italy, Italy has left something with me...
A more open heart. I think this is why people love Italy so much. Sure, the Colosseum is grand. The coast line is breathtaking. But you can find other countries with ancient ruins and pretty beaches. What sets Italy apart is the open-hearted people. I would wake up in the morning at my bed and breakfast, situated in an apartment complex, and hear neighbors laughing, having long conversations before work, investing time in each other. It always put a smile on my face, even if the loud chatting woke me from my slumber. Italians don't just openly laugh, they openly yell, cry and express all their emotions publicly, and expressively. They make intense eye contact. They also make extremely rude gestures. But no matter what, they are always open.
This. This was the most endearing thing for me to learn. To be open with all of yourself, the good and the bad.
Thanks, Rome. Until we meet again.