Good Afternoon Briars Blog, I’m back! 🙂
7 days of Italian life later, I’m 4lbs heavier, and significantly poorer – but have made lots of incredible memories, and seen some amazing sights. We did make it to Verona, AND I managed to actually go on Juliet’s balcony – not just look at it from below! (We also managed to have a cheeky kiss on the balcony, which got a cheer from the crowd below…!) We did a huge amount of exploring, venturing over to Venice as well as Verona, and taking in both the North and South sides of Lake Garda. I hadn’t realised how much of a cyclist’s dream the lake is – they were everywhere! They set out in the early hours, and took off either up the mountain paths, or on the specially designed trail around the lake. It almost made me feel guilty about my constant snaccidents, and daily pizza eating habit.
On the first day, we thought we’d find our feet and go meandering about the places around our hotel. Within about an hour of leaving the hotel, we ended up in kayaks on the lake. The rental company advised us a strong wind was coming, and that it was probably sensible to head out now to avoid it…so we did, and it was incredible. I remember kayaking in Wales on a school trip, and finding the whole experience cold, wet and generally a bit miserable – so I wasn’t sure how well I’d take to it again, but predictably, it was a bit of an upgrade from my year 6 experience(!) We kayaked for nearly 2 hours, taking in our surroundings and the beautiful weather – then, as predicted, the wind came, and it got a bit too choppy for my skill set! The following day was all about Venice – Rich got to grips with the Italian way of driving fairly quickly (something I found mildly concerning) – and we made it there in one piece. We did all the touristy bits – a gondola ride, visiting Piazza San Marco, the Rialto Bridge, but also managed to take ourselves off the beaten track and into some of the older, quieter parts of Venice, which were equally as interesting and beautiful. We spent the rest of the week dividing our time between walks and boat trips, and just generally basking in the sunshine, taking in the spectacular sights of northern Italy – absolute bliss.
What I find so captivating about Italy, is the pace of life. They just do not seem to rush their lives. Rich and I have been lucky enough to visit three different parts of Italy, and they all seem to be in the same mindset. They take hours looking after you in a restaurant – not in a neglectful ‘have they forgotten about our table’ kind of way, but in a way that makes you appreciate each course, and actually have a conversation during your meal. It may just be my experience, but I’ve never been hurriedly overtaken while I’m wandering about, I’ve never been shoved into in a shop – life just seems to be at a more manageable pace. I feel like it’s a trait we’re in need of adopting in this country. Slowing life down, and making it more about living each day, rather than rushing from one part to the next. How many of you forget to find time to book in a dental check-up? How many of you get to the end of the day and feel too exhausted to start with the TePe brushes your Hygienist has told you about a hundred times? It’s not just you – I think we can all put our hands up for neglecting ourselves in the mad-rush life we all seem to lead. I’m voting we embrace the Italian mindset, and calm the pace – allow time for you. (I’m also up for fully embracing the diet…but the carbs just aren’t kind to me!)
Until next time, ciao everyone!
Amy xBack to blog
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