Ciao! Italy is a wonderland of beautiful nature, mouth-watering pastries, and passionate people. The images stuck in my mind of the vibrant green scenery will forever keep me yearning to return. As I sit here with a glass of Sangiovese red wine in my left hand, a Pulitzer Prize novel on my lap, and a breathtaking view of rolling mountains and the Mediterranean ocean, I already wish I could stay in this wonderful country forever. Aside from the piercing blue ocean and endless vineyards, I have come to appreciate the culture.
Being American, I came to Italy expecting it to be not much different; I expected to see heavy Americanization. I couldn’t have imagined how wonderfully different it is. The peacefulness of the people and country is constantly surrounding me, a quality rarely found in America. This persistent quietness has allowed me to appreciate things that I have never thought to before. The food, oh the food. Where to begin? While I did expect the meals to be maginificent, I didn’t expect the culture of eating and speaking quietly and appreciating every bite as you take it. Everything I have eaten has been organic, grown by the locals that rely on your business for their living. Due to the lack of chemicals and preservatives found in almost every meal in America, I feel healthier than ever! So although I am constantly eating goodies such as gelato, pizza, calzones, pasta, and just bread in general, I know that I’m putting decent food in my body. In return, my body is gratefully staying healthy.
Then there’s the drinking. Last week, I sent a selfie of myself with a beer to my dad as a joke. He wasn’t amused in the least. What is often misunderstood in America of under 21 year olds drinking in Europe is that the drinking being done is purely for taste. I haven’t had a meal without at least a beer or a glass of wine. I learned to appreciate the taste when mixed with my meals. I am not drinking for an end goal; I am drinking in moderation. I can appreciate Italy’s famous vineyards with each and every sip.
My life here is a dream come true; I now know how much I would enjoy living here in the future. Italy has been wonderful to me and I know who to thank; God has been constantly showing me His light during the duration of this trip. From strangers finding a way (despite the language barrier) to stop me from getting off on the wrong train stop, keeping me safe in dangerous areas of towns while traveling, and leading me to a wonderful summer romance (yes, I like an Italian college student here). I have no idea what the Lord has in store for me but I cannot wait to find out. For now, I can only continue to pray for His hand to continue showing me His plan.
So far, I have visited Florence, Pisa, Elba island, San Giminano, Voltera, Naples, Capri, and next week I will visit Venice! Stay updated for more!