A Visual Tour Through Italy

A Visual Tour Through Italy

I met Adriana for coffee near her apartment just east of the Colosseum. Its neighborhood, despite its proximity to the most famous building in Italy and Europe, is not particularly touristy.

“Rome is home, ”she said, when I shared my relief on my return to the capital after a few uninspiring days in Sardinia. “And what about the other places you went after Rome – you went to Naples, is not it?

I nodded. “I took the train over there and rented a car at the airport,” I paused for a moment, tracing my proverbial tire tracks as sunlight began to pierce the space between the umbrellas above. above us. “I drove to Alberbello and explored Puglia for a few days, then spent a day on the Amalfi coast before heading back to Naples proper which was lovely as always? “

A Visual Tour Through Italy

“And then in Sardinia? She asked, glancing at the menu – a physical menu, which is rare in Italy these days.

“No, I flew to Sicily first and spent a few days there,” I explained, recalling my semi-circular route counterclockwise around the outskirts of the island. “I started in Syracuse, then I took the train under Mount Etna to Taormina and Cefalú and finally to Palermo. And then I flew to Cagliari.

“And then you came back here?”

“Basically yes,” I smirked, not wanting to explain my mess of a day trying to see as many Sardinian beaches as possible, nor wanting to mess Adriana’s morning by repeating how the whole experience m ‘disappointed. “Did you want a coffee? It’s my pleasure, so please order what you want.

“I won’t have any,” she hesitated as I sipped mine. American, which was half gone by this point. “But I brought your pants.”

We had apparently met so I could retrieve the pair of jeans I had left at her house near Airbnb weeks earlier. But I invited Adriana to the cafe (rather than buzzing her from the street) because I hadn’t taken the time to chat with her during my previous swing in the capital. I was more focused on checking off items from my bucket list than making connections.

My list of things to do in Rome, and the long road that brought me to the capital. After crossing Italy from Switzerland (where I had found my best friend and her new baby) via Lake Como, I had followed three days in Milan and close to Turin with a long weekend in Venice.

I followed that up with a multi-day hike through the multicultural Dolomites and several days in Tuscany. While my trips to the wine country and the Cinque Terre have been delightful, the trip did little to mend the grudges I have long harbored against Florence herself. Well, besides confirming to me that people – Italians and foreigners visiting Italy – were well past the pandemic – the confirmation of Italy having crossed this rubicon was, on its own, worth the price of admission.

Adriana agreed. “I think the next time you come back – and stay in my apartment again, of course – this nightmare will be over.” Don’t you feel it too?

With this moment of hope and solidarity, Adriana and I said goodbye to each other; I returned to my hotel near Termini station to wait for the sun to come down from a more flattering angle. She had been right – Rome felt like home now, more than ever – which made me a little less motivated than I otherwise could have been for sightseeing.

After watching the last light of the day bathe downtown from Janiculum Hill and enjoy carbonara in Trastevere as my last supper, I stood above the constellation of crumbling Roman structures that orbit the other side of the Colosseum, as the pink remnants of the sunset faded to blue and then black. I tried to use perspective, both in space and time-space, to allay my anxiety about the future.

But instead of trying to make sense of it all, let alone make my peace with it all, I just breathed and tried to enjoy the moment – the present and the eternity of the Eternal City. The next morning aboard the Leonardo Express bound for Fiumicino Airport, the fiercest sunrise of my trip – the only truly exceptional, if I’m honest – teased and taunted me.

At the boarding gate, I met the last Italian – the last European – with whom I will speak at least until next year. She was a lot more glamorous than someone who works at an airport (a 21st century airport in the era of the pandemic, anyway) should be, which is probably why I let slip a compliment. that I would have otherwise kept to myself. “You look like Marilyn Monroe.”

She paused for a second, expressionless, and held my documents in her hand, then smiled as bright as the sun had shone when it came over the horizon earlier that morning. “This is what I was looking for. “

Joy seeped into me as I boarded the crowded plane for what I could tell would be a miserable flight. May be, I asked myself, and I imagined the happiness that had crossed the face of the woman, we all have the power to tip the scales from fear to hope.

I hope 2022 will be the year of your visit (or return) Italy. By then I think this whole nightmare will be over, can’t you feel it too? Here’s a visual wonderland that will have you going, so start planning.

A Visual Tour Through Italy

A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy

More delicious bites to whet your appetite.

A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy

There is nothing better than homemade Italian ice cream

A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy

Let’s not forget the pizza and the wine

A Visual Tour Through Italy
A Visual Tour Through Italy
Robert schrader

Robert Schrader is a travel writer and photographer who has traveled the world independently since 2005, writing for publications such as “CNNGo” and “Shanghaiist” along the way. His blog, Leave Your Daily Hell, offers a mix of travel tips, destination guides, and personal essays covering the more esoteric aspects of traveler’s life.

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