My cousin Matt (who had traveled with me) and I stayed with one of our cousins Micol near Varese, Italy. We’d never met her before, but I’m glad I got to stay with her. I admire that she was kind-hearted and outspoken.
Varese, Italy bordered Switzerland, was equipped with lakes and mountains and had a rich variety of culture and food. I go to line dance with Micol and her friends, eat pizza from a local pizzeria, get gelato and cappuccinos, walk through the local markets, and marvel at Lake Varese’s beauty.
In Milan, I mostly took in the upscaled fashion scene with wide eyes. Though I did buy tickets to go inside the Milan Cathedral, I ended up spending half the day waiting in line. I still had a fun time exploring the crypt, rooftops, and inside, but I wished I’d been able to see more of Milan.
Next, I took a train to find ourselves in the beautiful, yet the congested city of Rome. A city of monumental history and architecture. I went on a walking tour where I got to see the Spanish steps, Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum. The next day, I checked out the Vatican City and its museum.
But don’t be mistaken. There were con artists, overpriced food, rampant theft on the trams and metros, and unbearable heat. Still, I had the best time in Rome and truly enjoyed everything I got to see and do.
Another Side of Rome
Walking to the bus shuttle to Rome’s airport at 4 am experience wasn’t the best idea. I took a taxi from the Airbnb since public transportation didn’t start running until 5:30 am. Since the taxi had dropped me off on the opposite side of where I needed to be, I walked through rows of homeless people that lined every free space of the Roma Termini Train station.
Across the street, the glow of everlasting parties shone in stark contrast to the beaten-down people sleeping soundly, packed like sardines without enough space between them. Just before I made it to the bus station, I came across two guys dragging another guy. Quickly, I rushed to the bus station where I realized the guy being dragged was being mugged in the wee hours of the morning.