How much would you like to visit your favorite place in the world? During my senior year, my parents came in with amazing news for me. They had told me I was going to a trip to Italy with them. The plan was not initially with me going on the trip, but my little sister was, since she could not assist on the trip, I was the lucky brother that had this opportunity. Most of my concerns were school, but this trip would definitely pay off the hard work keeping up with school. One of the places I wanted to visit the most on the whole world and many other activities came along the way. Travelling is something everyone should do in their lives, know about different cultures and change the daily routine in the daily life.
The most boring part, as always, is taking off from Panama to Italy; since we had to pack up the luggage and being on a plane for 14 hours. The flight was from Panama to New Jersey and a connection flight from New Jersey to Italy. The experience on plane was fine, though I’ve never liked planes, since it’s a small place and I like open-large spaces, I am a hyperactive. I had to have myself put on a seat for 14 hours watching movies, which it was not good because my parents had to deal with this and myself. Finally arriving at Italy I could already feel the excitement and smell of a new place to discover and learn.
Arriving to Milan, the country was nothing like I expected. Milan brought disappointment from me since it was nothing like I expected. The hotel was O.K. though, they had to save a lot of energy and we had the worst experience staying on a “4” stars hotel. The most exciting part of being in Milan was the food, every meal had something delicious to eat and try different dishes. I went to the Ophthalmology Milan Congress 2012 with my dad which was really fun since you could see the innovations on technology about the eye, how to cure more eye diseases, how to prevent diseases and treat some diseases with no cure. Apart from the Medicine Congress, the city of Milan did not surprise me; I think this was the only place that couldn’t fill in with my expectative from Italy. Many Italians would ask for our opinion on Milan, and they have told us that most tourists and even Italians themselves do not consider of Milan as one of their cities since it does not picture the way Italy is; as the antique, rustic-old looking place Italy is, with thousands of years of history within Italy.
From Milan we took one of the fastest ferry trains in the world, reaching up to speeds of 320 km/h to reach to the Monza National Park, where the Italian F1 Grand Prix will be taking place. Being there has been one of the most exciting events I’ve had on my whole life, the cars, the people, the passion, all united for one same reason; people that enjoy of the fastest cars in the world, all the drivers competing to be the best at the tracks. Being there as the race starts and listening to the engines roaring, the cars driving so fast your ears hurt, and waiting for your driver to be on the 1st place was a unique experience for me.
Unfortunately, my favorite driver had an engine failure and couldn’t race properly and finished the race on last position, though he’s been the world champion for 4 times in a row now, so I’m not upset about it. Luckily, the Mexican driver Sergio Perez did have an amazing race, winning the second place, at the Monza Gran Prix, and my mother was excited about it since she is Mexican, my mother who doesn’t enjoys Formula 1 at all, was the most excited on this race. Been there I noticed the big difference from watching Formula 1 back at home and being on the race, not knowing where your driver could be, hoping he’s fine and waiting for him to race even faster than the others, it was a lot of stress during the race.
Finishing the rush from all of these events going on, we arrived to Rome, which I loved since the second I stepped out of the train. Rome was all and even more I expected from Italy, it has brought me the experience of being, knowing, and learning from one of my favorite places in the world, The Coliseum. The hotel from Rome was no different from the one on Milan, though I didn’t matter since I was excited just of waking up and be ready for the places I would be able to visit on Rome. Our first stop clearly had to be the Coliseum and just standing there and being there I could imagine, smell and feel the action, the heat of battle, the show, the excitement of the biggest spectacles of whole time. I sincerely would have liked to live on that era and be live at the Coliseum, at every event that they had.
As well, being there at Rome, had brought me to my best culinary experience, the taste of fresh, authentic Italian pasta is just amazing; the Italian cuisine is my favorite. My parents, by the other hand, they did not like almost anything they ordered at any restaurant, they just hated the idea of eating pasta or pizza all the time, they wanted to order something fattening like a hamburger. One of the days in Rome we decided to come across through the Chinese avenue, and stopped by a Chinese restaurant escape from the routine of eating Italian food all the time. For my parents, the Chinese restaurant was the best of the whole Italy trip; though I must admit it was good, but not as good as the Italian food at almost any restaurant we came across.
The Trevi Fountain was also a really interesting place to visit, the architecture and size of the sculpture was just amazing. The Pantheon, the temple of the gods of the Ancient Rome was an interesting piece of history, it’s one of the classic buildings on Italy. As well from the most touristic places on Rome, we had the chance to visit the Capitoline Museum and the Piazza del Campidoglio, built by the greatest living artist in his lifetime and one of the greatest artists of all time, Michelangelo, which was the creator of the master piece on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel.
As the Rome tourism ends, we arrive to the Vatican, which territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. The Vatican City is sovereign city-state, therefore, I was visiting the smallest country in the world. Unfortunately we could only visit one place at the Vatican City, the St. Peter’s Basilica. The art pieces at St. Peter’s Basilica were simply amazing, every painting was made of small pieces of mosaic tiles, making this hard to believe, since the painting seemed so perfect and real; the paintings didn’t seem to be possible to be that perfect.
As we move further into the St. Peter’s Basilica we arrive to the Sistine Chapel, which is the most Holy experience I’ve ever had, I could feel the connection instantly as I was at the Sistine Chapel; having the opportunity to observe as well, the master piece of Michelangelo above me painted at the whole rooftop of the Chapel was extraordinary. Such a pity having to leave this place so fast, though it was totally worth it, we had to mobilize quickly because there was a large amount of people wanting to get in as well and you couldn’t stay there for more than half an hour.
“Undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man” words by Luigi Barzini at The New York Times, he was speaking about the City of Water, Venice. Sincerely, Venice has been the most beautiful city I have seen, every building, was a delight for my eyes, I wouldn’t mind walking the whole city if I had to, since every street had its own beauty to observe. There was a tall observatory in which you took an elevator, about 30 floors above the ground, gave us the opportunity to observe the whole city of Venice from the top, I felt like I was on an underground city full of water where buildings were coming from the above of the city, it was majestic. My father had a cousin living there at Venice which gave us a really good tour on the whole city and took us to the best restaurants of Venice, it’s not a surprise that my parents didn’t like the Italian food as much as the Chinese restaurant from Rome.
For my fortune, my uncle had the habit of collecting old cheese and good national wines; so we had a delightful dinner at their place with antipasto, good cheese and wine. My aunt as well took us to visit one of her favorite places of her childhood which was a really underground unknown place for tourists, which was even better than I imagined; I never thought that a fish that I didn’t like at all, could be so good. Definitely this was not my favorite place of Italy, but it is by far a place that I would like to comeback whenever I have the chance.
The places I had the chance to visit within 15 days on Italy were just not enough. I will have to come back to Italy to visit more and learn more from their culture because I can’t leave this chapters at Italy by not seen. The greatest pieces of art, the history of thousands of years all united on one place makes Italy one of the top 1 places to visit on my list which I would like to share with anyone and convince them on having this experience. Life is short to see the whole world, and I am grateful I had the chance to visit this place in my life, do not miss the chance of having this opportunity if you can have it. Have a chance for yourself, visit and discover your favorite place in the world, it’s never too late!