onward and upward in italia!
Usually, being young&fabulous comes as second nature. But sometimes, it’s hard to be young&fabulous. Especially when you’re in a foreign country. By yourself.
Let me start at the beginning: due to some “clerical oversight” (and by “clerical oversight,” I mean some absent-mindedness on our parts), my traveling companion, TGS ended up on a later flight from Zurich to Rome and I had to start my Italian adventure alone. Since I’m an extremely independent person and enjoy spending time in my own company, or as they say, “alone,” I decided to venture forth bravely.
I had about five hours to explore Rome alone and faced many ups and downs:
Up: I am in my favorite place on earth. No time to kill; let the games begin! I set out to explore the city. (And, according to the billboards promoting the new movie, “The Smurfs,” the Italian translation is “I Puffi,” which I find adorable).
Down: ALONE, within the first hour, I get lost in a boiling hot underground bus station, trying to find the train station. As I try to ask directions in broken Italian, I receive bemused and amused looks from the men who worked there. Then, when it becomes obvious that language barrier is rapidly expanding, I get a bit overwhelmed. I’m on the verge of tears, frazzled, and over-heated, and the man who works there asks if I am having a “panic.” Some things are universally understood.
Up: I hop in a cab, head to the Gianicolo, a park on a hill overlooking most of Rome. On the way, I manage to have a somewhat comprehendible conversation with the driver. I then explore the park, smiling at nothing in particular and taking pictures of strangers.
Down: Strangers catch me taking a picture of them passionately (and publicly) making out. I’m afraid that they are going to come after me.
Up: TGS finally arrives and together, we take on the city. The next day we walk through the major sights, seeing gardens, museums, and ruins, totaling about 6 or 7 miles!
Down: The curmudgeonly old receptionist at the hotel tells me I ask too many questions and then scolds us for using the free wireless internet because young people spend too much time on technology.
Up: TGS manages to find one of my favorite restaurants hidden behind the Trevi Fountain!
Up: Cappucino, panino, pizza, pasta, eggplant parmigiana.
Up: Basil gelato, honey gelato, white fig gelato, hazelnut and meringue gelato (made with all natural ingredients, preservative free, “artisanal,” delightfully pretentious and outrageously delicious at San Crispino).
Onward and upward, I always say! So after my brief “panic,” I realized that the “ups” of being young&fabulous in Italy definitely outnumber the “downs.” And yes, being y&f is sometimes second-nature or like a second language, but it’s even more rewarding and more delicious than its American counterpart.