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Italian Spring 2011: A Trip That I Will Never Forget

A 10-day trip around Italy with my trusty toy cameras. Capturing the sights and colours as spring blossoms into life.

It was a much-awaited trip. Inside I had a mixed feeling of excitement and nervousness. I simply flashed a smile when one of my friends asked me why I chose to bring a toy camera instead of a digital one to capture the sights and colours while traveling in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. In the end, she was impressed and amazed at the images that were produced.

I was (and still am) awed by the architecture of the buildings in and around cities such as Milan, Pisa, Rome, and Florence. Amidst the modern hotels and shopping malls were intricately designed historical monuments which stand strong and proud. From churches and cathedrals to museums and restaurants, nothing could stand in my way and make me question why I decided to visit this magnificent country.

Whilst in Milan, one of my friends (who is an avid FC Internazionale fan), suggested that we visit the San Siro or Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Again, I was humbled and in awe at being able to visit such a historic structure and landmark in Italy. We also managed to have a look at a flea market along the way, which showcased a vast array of almost everything, from bags and shirts to cuts of meats and fresh artichokes!

Although recognized as its own city state, The Vatican was a definite stop for my friends and I while we were in Rome. Rich history and mystery surrounds the Vatican walls. It certainly made me feel like I was Professor Robert Langdon in the movie “Angels and Demons”! Another attraction in Rome was of course, the Colosseum. Home to many epic battles, it certainly amazes me that this structure still stands today after being exposed to so many natural elements and disasters amongst others.

We also managed to have a look at the Ponte Vecchio along the Arno River in Florence. Literally thousands of padlocks “decorated” the surrounding area, which is said to symbolize the eternal love between a couple. As usual, the sights were awesome despite the rather massive crowd.

The leaning tower of Pisa was next on the list. It was kind of funny to see others taking photos of themselves and their friends while trying to “support” the leaning tower. (Oh, you know what I’m talking about!) Words could not describe how I felt standing so close to such a historic icon in terms of architectural wonders.

Fast forward to a few days later and I was in for a treat when I arrived in Sicily. The greenery, the lush hills, and the flowers which were just starting to bloom made me fall in love with the place. It clearly showcased that spring was in the air. Growing up in a very urban and fast-paced community has allowed me to appreciate and understand more about such foreign places which always seem so calm and relaxing. And of course, the food there was amazing as well! Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to take photos of the food and that simply tells you how good it really was!

Further up north in Venice, gondolas and speedboats eagerly await locals and tourists alike. The sights brought back memories and scenes from the movie “The Tourist”, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. And for the first time in my life, I was actually in a place where cars and motorbikes didn’t seem to exist! It felt different but definitely made me enjoy the place a whole lot better.

This trip had significant meaning as my aunt passed away whilst I was in Italy. Sadly, her dream to visit Italy was not fulfilled and this article is dedicated to her. A big thank you to my wonderful parents as well for the financial support to make this trip possible.

I hope to re-visit Italy soon. There were some places that I didn’t manage to visit, but I’m sure those places will be on the next itinerary. But ’til then, I bid Italy “grazie mille”; for all the wonderful hospitality, food, and friendliness. Ciao!

written by hairil

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