Heya, friends! Today I’m digging back into my travel journal to tell you about my first trip to Italy.
This long weekend back in May of 2017 was… not what I expected. But hey, travel isn’t always perfect 100% of the time, and I have committed to sharing my honest experiences with you all.
I guess the best place to start is, obviously, the beginning. A and I had decided to take a road trip passing through Switzerland. We got up early on a slightly chilly morning in Konstanz, drove through a deserted Altstadt, and then over the border into Switzerland.
The weather was perfect for a roadtrip and the drive was actually pretty enjoyable. We even had gorgeous scenery.
Driving into Italy, we decided to go up over the mountains instead through the mountain tunnel. At that point, I seriously had never seen so much snow in my life. (I have seen quite a bit more since then!)
After getting over the mountain pass, we arrived in Italy, where it was indeed much warmer than it had been up in the mountains.
We parked outside the city, rode the subway in, and dropped our things at the hostel before heading out to explore.
Oh, Milan. I so wanted to love you. I wanted to bask in your sunshine, listen to the song of the Italian language, devour every morsel of legendary Italian cuisine… But, this didn’t happen.
I’m sure that Milan, like most places, can feel like home for some people. But, Milan is a city where I just wasn’t able to get that this-is-my-kind-of-city feeling in the time we spent there.
I enjoyed walking the streets and trying to imagine the history. I marveled at Sforza Castle, remembering tidbits of history related to the Sforzas.
I sauntered along in the heat, checking out some marble statues but not feeling any real connection to the art. How can that even be in this country which is so significant to the history of Western art ?
There were a few highlights though. One afternoon we spent well over an hour in a botanical garden, examining each specimen as if my life depended on it… until I would see a butterfly that is.
And for anyone who knows me, they could probably guess that my other love in Milan was a cemetery. The Monumental Cemetery. Those Italians know how to make a beautiful cemetery, with sculptures, plants, and such a serene atmosphere.
I may not have fallen in love with Italy on my first visit, but I guess that’s a good enough reason to need to go back and try out some of Italy’s other destinations.