My name is Taylor Richards, I am 19 and I am going to take you through my summer journey through Italy. I am about to begin my sophomore year at Texas State University, but I am from Houston, Texas. I am going to college to become an International Social Worker, so traveling is truly my goal in life. After I graduated from high school, my mother and I started saving money to go to my biggest bucket list location, Italy.
Can You tell us something about your trip to Italy ?
We arrived in Italy on June 12th, 2019 and we immediately entranced by the scenery that this country displayed. The scenery, from the architecture to the beaches were the best part of the trip. The food was amazing and completely from America’s attempt at Italian cuisine, but the scenery is what kept me in awe the entire trip. Traveling to Rome, Florence, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Milan, Verona, and Venice; the differences between each city’s architecture, attractions, and local art was astounding. Rome may not have been built in a day but nor could one see it in just a day, Florence’s Duomo that took up a block and every inch was honestly stunning. Pisa’s leaning tower and festival (we happened to be there the day where they celebrated the saint of the city and Italy really knows how to put on a firework display), Cinque Terre’s stunning five cities, each as different than the last, Milan’s streets that feel like you walked into a different country, Verona where it feels like you time traveled back to Romeo and Juliet, and finally (my favorite) Venice where you feel like you just walked into a dream.
What is your favorite region in Italy ?
Although my favorite city is not in this region, Tuscany was my favorite region to experience. Just the train ride showed me the scenery that everyone imagines when they think of Italy. Miles and miles of vineyards, hills, and just the most beautiful colors that were painted all around me. My eyes were truly glued to the windows while traveling on the trains through here. While traveling through these different cities, I realized each city was known for a different kind of food, drink, tradition, which was very surprising for me because I originally thought the entire country was known for these things.
And your favorite Italian dish ?
My favorite Italian dish, and this may be cliché, is pizza. Okay, hear me out. The pizza in Italy tastes nothing like American’s rendition of pizza. It is completely different and my favorite topping, hotdogs. That may sound super American or gross but trust me it was delicious. High praise.
Any other place you recommend when visiting Italy ?
My biggest recommendation for Italy is Cinque Terre. Not only do you get five cities in a one-day trip, but each city is different. The first city we went cliff jumping and hung out at a cute little bar, the second we walked around the shops and hung out a little at their beach, the third we hiked up a mountain to get to it, fourth we found a beach cove and took many pictures, finally we ate lunch and hung out on a bar on the beach (with miscellaneous gelato throughout the day, of course).
Did you visit any museum ?
I can’t say I am too much of a museum person because in my travels I try to hang out with locals and do what I can to truly experience the culture, but we did make it to the Sistine Chapel. We went to the Vatican, and us not being very religious, just wanted to see the famous artwork by Michelangelo. We walked through the paintings and sculptures for awhile before discovering the Sistine Chapel at the end and although we could not take pictures, I will forever remember it.
Anything you disliked about Italy ?
I will have to admit, the only complaint I had about Italy, were the prices. We tried not to buy anything in tourist areas because the prices were way higher than further away from the attractions, but in the heat of summer, we had to occasionally.
What’s still on your bucket list ?
I could go to Italy maybe ten more times (two weeks each) and do new stuff every time, but the two major things that are still on my bucket list are riding a gondola in Venice and travel through south Italy. I did not get to do the gondola this trip because Venice was our last stop and eighty euro was a little steep for us to do and south Italy is for a whole other trip. Having more things to do in Italy, though, just gives me a reason to return soon!