The internet in Tuscany isn’t entirely reliable, but I am in the middle of a valley, so it’s amazing Wi-Fi is even present.
I’ve been staying in Pienza this past week. It has truly been amazing. We still have the rest of the day and tomorrow, but it is quickly coming to an end and I am sad. But there is still so much to look forward to.
The last two weeks have been full of exploring, eating, and great conversation. The trip started in Venice. As I mentioned in my last post, Venice was very difficult to navigate. Part of that was also because I was so sleep deprived and missing my friends, those curvy streets felt much more overwhelming. Venice really is great, a totally different experience of Italy.
My parents arriving, was the best. Seeing them come out of the airport and being with them in person, was so special. It felt surreal for a moment, but once that wore off, it was so nice to be able to catch up in person. My Italian skills have also been helpful to us and I'm surprised by myself, I'm better than I thought I was. I guess when you are put in situations when you need to speak it, I can do it. It's a great feeling.
After Venice, we went to Cinque Terre. It was beautiful and wonderful. However, it rained almost the entire time we were there. I don’t mean it rained, I mean poured. So that was a downer, but it created much family time in a lot of cafes and restaurants, playing cards, and talking.
I got to go to Florence again and Dad saw The David for the first time. It was just as amazing the second time as it was the first. I have no doubt that it is one of the greatest works of art in the world. I will never get tired of seeing it.
We were so lucky because Scotti (our family friend) came down for the weekend from Switzerland. It was so nice to see her and catch up. She and Julie have been friends for 16 years. It also made me even more excited for my trip to Switzerland, as I will be staying with her. It will make my trip that much better!
In Pienza we are staying at the Agriturismo Cretaiole. Go look it up. www.cretaiole.it. And you will see how amazing of a place we are staying in. Not only is it a gorgeous location but the activities we have been doing all week are incredible. They have ranged from hikes, cooking classes, a watercolor class, wine tastings, and olive oil tastings. Not to mention that the other people staying here are so cool! They are mainly all couples, from the United States, Australia, and Japan. I’ve had such a delightful time getting to know all of them. It's one of those situations where I feel, these people were supposed to meet each other on this weekend, for a reason.
It’s funny how quickly you become attached to experiences. I haven’t even been here a week yet and I’m sad to say goodbye to this place and these people. But it makes you appreciate the present moment more.
We have a really cute, nice apartment and I have my own bedroom, which I haven’t had since January; it's so nice. I’m enjoying it now, because for the next three weeks I will have many roommates in all of my hostels.
Dad and Julie have had a wonderful time, as have I. We have a few more wonderful days together and then they are going back home. And I will go on Part III of the adventure, the big trip!
It’s still strange to think the semester in Rome is over. I know I have greatly been changed by that experience, however I also already feel another change from this one. And I have a feeling that the next phase may be the most life changing for me.
I’m nervous and excited. I can’t predict what’s going to happen. Apparently neither can the volcano (hopefully it won’t bother my travel.) But I’ve realized you never know where travel will take you and you don’t know how it will change yo, but that's the best part about it. I'm so thrilled I've had all of these opportunities.
People told me that I would come back feeling like a different person and I had no idea what they meant. Since I haven’t returned yet, I’m still not quite sure, but I’m suspecting that it will feel different. In a good way; for the better.
Overall, this time in Tuscany has been reenergizing, in more ways than one. It’s been a good place to gain perspective on my life and the world around me. I guess I had to get to the countryside to maybe see the big picture clearer. But it's all coming into focus now. I like to think I’ve learned some life philosophies while being here – a lot from the other people present actually.