Ok all, I promised some pretty fun stuff. First up, Milan was absolutely beautiful. The outdoor area in front of all of the shopping area was awe inspiring. The Duomo cathedral was gorgeous and the architecture boasted in this area is something I will remember for years to come. In this area, make sure you recognize that the guys with their pigeons aren’t out there just for fun. They have the birds come up and eat out of your hand and expect a tip in return. It’s not much, but again, I wasn’t prepared for random strangers wanting money for putting a bird on your hand. We were young and dumb 😉 Then we progressed into the shopping area and we certainly landed into the land of WOW. I can tell you 100% I am not the shopper. I’ve despised going to stores & shopping my entire life, but this area was gorgeous and I didn’t mind it at all. As we walked into the stores and began to see $1,000 pairs of shoes and $500 shirts, my mind was blown. As I was only 20 at the time, coming from a farm outside of small town where you wore cowboy boots and Levis. This was certainly not what I had expected. It was beautiful, but I can tell you I didn’t want to touch anything in fear of having to pay for it.
And then there was Pompeii… I can guarantee I will go back! The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD that dropped 4 to 6 m of ash (12 to 18 feet of ash) onto the city killing around 1500 people. It will give you chills to walk through the city. The area is absolutely beautiful, and even the structures still standing left a bit of romance in the air.
You could see the homes, the heating stoves, the large baths where orgies would take place. This was all extremely interesting to walk though, but what really was interesting were the casts made from the spaces where the bodies laid when the explosion happened. They used plaster to fill in the voids in the ash layers that once held human bodies. This allowed one to see the exact position the person was in when he or she died. It’s a terrible thing to know what happened, but it’s amazing to see how well it was preserved. I’d recommend spending at least a half a day to walk around and take it all in.
Lake Como, Italy
Lastly, I’d love to show you a little of Lake Como. I certainly understand why George Clooney has a place along the lake. Here we stayed in a 5 Star hotel that actually resembled a 5 Star hotel, but heck if I can remember back far enough to tell you which one it was. Any which way, the area is gorgeous, the people are friendly, and wow, wow, and wow. I would move there in a heartbeat and live as a happy woman. The mountains were perfect for hiking and of course we had to partake. What I can tell you is that we decided to ride the gondola up the mountain.
It was a beautiful ride on the way up. We were let off at the top and walked around seeing the city from every direction. Well, then we decided that instead of taking the gondola back down, that we would hike it. We saw the sign that said 3 with an arrow. We assumed the 3 meant KM or maybe even miles, and we were WRONG. The 3 meant “HOURS”. I was in a skirt and flip flops. The hike down was awesome. We encountered an old stone building that was in ruins which was very cool to walk around. As we continued to follow the trail through the trees, we began to hear the ding ding ding of a bell. Since we were not familiar with this area or what animals (or humans for that matter-aka the back roads in rural Tennessee) could possibly be in this area, we had no idea what we would encounter. Well, as we continued down the path, the dinging we heard belonged to cows. The cows had bells so the owners could locate them in the woods. I understand the concept, but the area the cows were in was a bit odd. Who knew? As we began to realize this was becoming so much longer than 3 miles, we realized this was 3 hours… seriously? 3 hours? What is wrong with you people putting a sign out there like that. ha. Then you put cows out in the woods? Really? I think it was a way to scare the Americans out of the woods 😉 Needless to say by the time I hit the bottom of the mountain, my feet were bloody and so not cute. lol. Let’s just say it was tennis shoes the remaining part of the trip.
Once again, the food was over the top. The pasta… I ate it for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and another snack. It was ever so worth it. There are so many other little tidbits, but I want you to go and experience them for yourself. I highly recommend Lake Como, Tuscany, and Florence, and Pompeii. I think you should plan your trip for history or romance. Both routes are amazing, but it helps to understand your purpose of your trip to make the planning purpose much easier!
Alright all, if you are out there traveling, enjoy the heck out of it!