Buongiorno~~ Hello everyone! I’m back again today to blog about my recent family trip to Europe as promised. As we have visited many places, I’ll break the story into two parts again and today I’ll just focus on the experience of touring Italy. Bear in mind this will be another long long long post again as there’s just too much to talk about the beautiful Italy so hope you guys will enjoy it! 🙂
Let me start my story with the arrival of my family to London. I haven’t seen my family in person for about 9 months since arriving in UK last year and I was really excited when I finally get to meet them. 🙂 I pick them up from Heathrow Airport and we took the tube to go straight into Central London. After checking into the apartment in Euston that we booked through Airbnb, the family vacation starts officially! During the 2 days of stay in London, me and my brother became tour guides of the days and brought my family to all the iconic landmarks in London, such as the Buckingham Palace, London Eye, Big Ben, Harry Porter’s Platform 9 3/4 in King’s Cross station, Natural History Museum and many more. We also brought them to the famous Burger and Lobster restaurant for dinner and my parents keep compliment that it is finger licking good! 😛
On the third day of their arrival, we took a flight from London Stansted and reach Rome Ciampino Airport. I’ve always heard about the long history of the great Roman Empire and also the Roman Catholic churches and was really excited when I actually get to step into Rome. 🙂 There are still many architectures, buildings and fountains that are still well maintained like in the glorious days of Rome and you can walk in the streets while imagining you are back to the old Roman days. We visited many famous tourist attractions in Rome again, such as the Spanish Steps in Piazza di Spagna (which is under renovation), Fountains in Piazza Navona, the amazing Trevi Fountain and of course the magnificent Colosseum and the surrounding Roman Forum. I was really amazed by the architecture of the Colloseum and couldn’t help imagine how great the Roman Empire must be to be able to have the resources to built such a masterpiece. 🙂 However, thinking of the brutality of the rulers of the Roman empire that find entertainment by watching the gladiators fighting with their lives in the arena just makes me feel sad and relieved that I’m not born in that era.
We then proceed to visit the Vatican city. As a Christian, I’ve always wanted to visit the holy city and being there in person is like a dream come true. 🙂 When we first arrived into the square of the city, we saw alot of people gathering in the middle and after asking around, they said that the Pope is going to come out and give blessings to the crowd on the day. We were so excited again and felt really lucky to be able to see the Pope in person and receive blessings from him. 🙂 After that, we proceed to visit the St Peter’s Basilica, which apparently is where Peter is crucified and buried and also the biggest church in the world. The interior of the church is really beautiful and we went all the way up to the Dome of the church and get a really good view of the city. We also visited the Vatican Museum. My mum was really excited as its her dream to visit the Sistine Chapel within the museum and her dream finally came true. The Sistine Chapel, which is decorated with beautiful drawings by Michelangelo is definitely a masterpiece and a must visit for art lovers. 🙂
After that, we set off to Naples. It is located at the southern part of Italy and has a really different feel compared to Romes. We tried the famous Neopolitan Pizzas at Pizzeria Di Matteo and it was really amazing! Definitely one of the best pizzas on earth 🙂 We then made a day trip to a few neighbouring places namely Positano on the Amalfi Coast, Sorento and the ancient city of Pompeii. Positano is really lovely and the view is just superb! 🙂 Sorrento is a beautiful town and is really famous for its limoncello (an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy) and music boxes. As my mum used to do business in the music box and jewellery box industry, she was really excited to be able to visit Sorento and again bought 2 music box for me and my brother. We also get to visit the ancient city of Pompeii which was buried under the volcanic ashes for thousands of years after the catastrophic eruption of the Mt Vesuvius in 79AD. Many parts and objects in the city are still well preserved after centuries because of the lack of air and moisture and thus enable us to have a detailed insight into the life to the city during the era.
Next, we continued our trip to Florence. Florence is another major city in Italy and is again absolutely beautiful. There’s so much to see in Florence and we walked so much during the short stay there to try and absorb everything that we see. We visited the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Galleria dell’Accademia, Piazza Della Signoria, Piazzale Michelangelo and many more! We found that our short 3 days stay in Florence is too short and we will definitely be back again. And oh, it’s also the EuroCup season when we’re at Italy where it’s the match of Italy vs Germany during our stay in Florence. So my dad brought me and my brother to a local bar to watch the live broadcast of the football match. It was really another amazing experience to be able to cheer together with the Italians and that match was definitely a great one although in the end Italy lost. 🙁 After that, we also managed to do a short trip to Pisa in between our stay and visited the amazing Leaning Tower of Pisa. Another bucket list checked! Let the pictures do the talking 😛
After Florence, we continued our trip to Venice. Although Venice is a very touristy island, it’s still one of my favourite city in Italy. It was really amazing to see how a city is built on water and still surviving after centuries. 🙂 Venice is definitely worth a visit as it’s really beautiful no matter during days or at night and I really loved the vibe of the city. We joined a free walking tour whereby the tour guide gave us an insight into the life and history of the city and how the people built the city on water and I’m again amazed by how smart people is since ancient times to be able to build this. 🙂 We also managed to go for a gondola ride which is really another wonderful experience to be able to see the city on waters. Bucket list checked again! 🙂
The last stop of our trip in Italy is Milan. We didn’t get to see much in the fashion city due to the tight schedule but the Milan Cathedral is definitely a must visit! The Cathedral is so grand and magnificent and I’m just in awe admiring the building. 🙂 The Milan Cathedral is also situated on a big square and there is alot of people sitting around feeding pigeons or sketching, which is really relaxing.
So this is the first part of my trip in Europe. Italy is a really beautiful country filled with passionate and friendly people and also full of history. It’s really amazing to be able to visit these places and then trying to imagine the glorious times these places once had thousand years ago. I’ve managed to tick so many items off my bucket list this time and it’s definitely awesome! The experience of visiting Rome and Vatican city is also a really special one especially to Christians as you get to rewalk the places that Jesus, Peter or other Bible characters actually walked before.
I guess I’ll end my post here so do stay tuned for the next part whereby I’ll be sharing the second part of vacation to Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Paris! 🙂
Love you guys and take care.