I think whenever I tell people that I'm going to a certain country for the weekend or the week, they think it's SO glamorous. To them, it's like "oh wow, you're seeing all these different places and I can only dream of going to them", which I 100% understand. However, it's not all fairytales and dreams come true. Sometimes travel is hard on your body, tiring and just downright exhausting. This trip started out as that kind of trip but then got better once we landed in Milan. Want to know why? I'll tell you...
Before we departed out of London, we had to wake up around 2:30am in order to even make it to the airport on time for our flight (something I'm about to do again this weekend, le sigh). We live in Zone 6 of London, which is pretty far, and the airport in which we were going to was about an hour and a half away. While public transportation (trains) aren't operating during the hours of midnight-5:30am, what are you supposed to do? We ended up having to take 3 buses to Liverpool Train station which has the Stansted Express (a train to the airport we were going to). Bear in mind - it took us from 3am until 6ish to get to that train station. Once at the train station it then took us another 30-45 minutes to get to the airport. We finally got to the airport around 6:50am and our flight departed at 8am. We had a little bit of time to grab breakfast and wait for our gate to open. The excitement of going to Italy outweighed the awfulness that was waking up at 2am in order to make our flight time. I think sometimes, at least as college students, you just do what you have to in order to save money and make things work. The earlier you leave from London, the cheaper. Remember that.
The Milan Cathedral - Duomo - was absolutely beautiful, inside and out. It only cost us €2. I highly, highly recommend it. The outside architecture of the place as well as the interior was just breathtaking. I wanted to just hang out inside all day but we had a city to see. I regret, however, not going up to the lookout part - I think it was about €12 if we had done that? But, I imagine the view of the city was just amazing - so if I ever go back to Milan - I'm doing that!
Italy truly does have the best Gelato you will ever eat in your life. This is a coffee flavor and it was just like a piece of Heaven. I know it's so stereotypical - but it really was great!
On Saturday, we went to the city of Verona because we always try to fit in as many places as we can. It was about a 2 hour train ride from Milan but it was worth every minute. Verona just had that overall Italian charm that I was looking and hoping for. Everyone was so friendly and it just felt so small and intimate even though it's a pretty large city. We visited the Arena which was €7.50 for students and everyone just walked to the top and walked all the way around to get the city views. Definitely worth the money.
After the arena, we were on the lookout for Juliet's house. It is believed that she lived there and that balcony is where her and Romeo shared moments. Whether it's 100% true or not, I'm not sure. It was definitely really neat to see it and experience the history. We paid €4 to go through the house and see the balcony. If you touch Juliet's right breast, it's supposed to bring you fortune in love & fertility. While it was a pretty awkward picture to take, we had to do it because everyone was touching for good luck!
There was also this gate in the courtyard where you could leave a lock of you and someone you love. I decided, after debating for like fifteen minutes, that I would leave mine and my boyfriends names on the door. It can't hurt to leave our love in the place of what's been called the greatest romance of all time, can it? ;)
We also heard about this thing where you can write letters to Juliet and she actually responds to you. We are eagerly awaiting our letters from Juliet but it was definitely just a fun thing to do & free! :)
I recommend eating as much food as you can while in Italy. They are phenomenal cooks and the food is just so authentic and fresh. They love bread and pasta, of course, so it was nice to just enjoy their food for the weekend.
This was my first coffee in Italy and it was at the airport getting ready to go home. Even though it was the only one I had, it was one of the best ones I've ever had. So drink all the coffee you can while in Italy!
HOW GORGEOUS IS THIS?!?!?! I was so tired and was getting ready to pass out on the plane - but I remembered on the way I looked out the window and saw the Swiss Alps and thought - man I wish I had a window seat. So I told myself, when I leave (because I had a window seat) I'm going to take so many photos! It's really an out-of-body experience to see the Swiss Alps from the sky. It just reminded me how blessed I am to be where I'm at and sharing the experiences I get to share with people that I love. I wish for everyone to see the full beauty of this world - but if you aren't able to - maybe you can live vicariously through my photos! I'll take them just for you ;).
If I could do this trip over again... I would go see the Duomo and then I would head to Verona and then maybe Venice. It always happens....I'm never TOO impressed with the bigger cities because often times I feel like they've lost their essence - but the smaller cities always impress me and always have that culture that I'm looking for. Feel free to disagree! It's just what I've been experiencing and the places that I've seen.
If you have any questions about travel within Italy and what that's like or where we stayed while we were there - feel free to email me or drop me a question on here. I'm happy to answer any travel related questions you might have!
This past weekend we went over to Cork, Ireland and I will be working on that post next...