The minute I stepped off the train the warm Italian sun welcomed me, seeping through my skin to warm my bones. France had been cold and windy so weather wise this was a nice change of pace. As any American tourist bro would do I immediately set off in search of pizza, which was obviously easy to find.I struck out on my first two attempts, I was just so tired so I settled for whatever was close. Pizza is done by weight here, there’s a big pan of pizza you define how big of a piece you want they cut it off, weigh it and price it based off that. Now initially I was like wow that’s a dumb system but ya know it really grew on me. I would just hop from pizzeria to pizzeria (11 in three days) and get small slices so I could try a wide array of pizza.also tons of great pasta. I have a lot of working out to do when I get back ,dear lawd.
Romans are cool they just do their thing and let you be part of it,I dig it. I also got mistaken for Italian non stop, being racially ambiguous in Europe is quite fun.You got the feeling that romans were so proud of their city, that they were excited for others to see it. Of course as it goes with any awesome place on earth it was inundated with tourists, which made seeing ancient Rome very difficult and you really have to pay attention to the time you go to popular places. Usually a good rule of thumb to know if you’re in a touristy area is to obviously look for souvenirs shops but they never ended. The area I was staying in had ten on every block. Only good part about tourists is I siphoned so much knowledge off following tour groups around. I ventured to some parks on the outskirts of the city center and they were beautiful.The best surprise about Rome though was all the incredible busking, I saw so many talented musicians. I’m not a big fan of the idea of busking but Rome has certainly changed my mind about it, it can be done tastefully.Rome is so much more than it’s history, it’s a living breathing entity with so much culture here in the present. I took zero metro buses which was I will admit lots of walking but totally worth it. Be careful walking though because in Rome they have what I call “Good Luck” intersections. No lights, no real system in place it’s just play roulette with your life no big deal. Just have to hope cars stop for you or else you just don’t get to cross that street, dope.Aside from the tourists I loved Rome, I learned so much, grew as a person and left inspired. Now unfortunately I have to move on from Rome to Venice.
Okay Venice, well hmm, uhh let’s start with positive things. It’s beautiful, it’s the perfect day trip and uh lots of gelato. Now on to the not so positive stuff. The streets are so incredibly annoying to navigate, you literally have to have a map in hand referencing it on every single street. The tiny little streets are flooded with tourists and every idea you have 40 other people have already had it and beat you there. The locals seem to just completely ignore us tourists like pestering ghosts they try to pretend don’t exist. In such a small place it’s literally impossible not to impede on their lives. The vendors couldn’t care less about Venice or the tourists they are sharks out to get their money, which I guess I understand but Jesus at least fake it. When a single guy like me sits down they begrudgingly take my order and shove me out the door. Now if a table of four older white women come in holy shit, grab the accordion,put on this Italian chef hat and our Italy aprons,oh momma Mia let’s lay it on thick.Lots of it felt like a caricature of Italian culture, just so over the top, force feeding that “genuine Italian culture” down tourists throats. Bottom line is three days is entirely too much to go there as a tourist. Do a day trip, take some pics of the waterways, take a gondola( if you’re rich because it’s 80 euros for 20 mins) drink some wine, eat some food and move on with your life. The food was also all mediocre and overpriced. I hate to be negative but I hate being dishonest even more. After three days I was running off that island. In closing I’d like to say this, the best pizza I have ever had was in Italy but I still like pizza in America better overall. Sue me.
P.s I heard a woman give her dog commands in English and in Italian, I then thought “ that dog is more bilingual than I am”.