Everyone told me that it’s impossible to spend four months abroad in Europe and not visit Italy. The country never appealed to me before, but while my mom was planning her ten-day trip over to visit me, the idea struck her to do a tour of Italy. I didn’t have any plans already in place to visit, so we agreed, and during my spring break we started for Rome.
The first thing that struck me about Rome was the density of people. The streets were packed with people speaking a slew of languages, wearing clothes from all different cultures. The second thing to strike me was how old some parts of it was. Our hotel was right across from the Vatican, and we started our first day in Italy with viewing the Sistine Chapel. To witness this masterpiece by Michelangelo from the early 1500s, a masterpiece I thought I’d only ever seen in movies, was absolutely breathtaking. But to then come upon the Colosseum, a infamous building that is nearly two thousand years old, was mind-blowing. How could this be here, when I’ve only ever seen it in history textbooks? We weaved down alleys to find our first Italian meal, and found it under the glow of lanterns and the sunset. I knew from that meal on that pizza and pasta would never be the same ever again.