My First Trip to Italy

Written by Brad

When Donna and I first started discussing the possibility of my joining her in Italy, I was excited, but skeptical that it would really happen. Italy had always been a dream destination. And now I sit here with memories that will last a lifetime, still trying wrap my head around the fact that I really was there.

Amazing. Incredible. Awesome. Magical.

The last few days I’ve used all these words, and more, to answer questions about my first trip to Italy, but all of these responses fail to convey how truly spectacular the trip was. Each day was a feast for the senses. Sight, sound, taste and smell were constantly stimulated; the wonderful aroma of fresh bread from a bakery beneath our window in Venice, the sound of church bells ringing while sitting on a rooftop in Florence, the everlasting vision of the stunningly beautiful Sistine Chapel, and all the delectable flavors that stimulated my palate with each meal, no matter where we were.

I will never forget walking out of the train station in Venice, the Grand Canal beckoning immediately. To think that when I was first planning my trip, Venice wasn’t on the itinerary. Thanks to Alitalia cancelling my initial flight, I added days upon rebooking another flight and Venice was subsequently included. Venice is truly breathtaking and unique, and despite the difficulty trying to navigate the hundreds of canals and bridges, each moment was phenomenal. Never exclude Venice from your travel plans!

Equally mind-blowing was when Donna and I first walked the few blocks from our hotel in Rome to the Markets of Trajan ruins in ancient Rome. I’m not ashamed to admit I had tears in my eyes, not believing I was actually standing where I was. It wasn’t the last time I had that lump in my throat, so moved by the history I was viewing.

Friends and family have asked what was best about the trip…what was my favorite? I honestly can’t name one thing. How do you choose just one when everything was astonishing? Trevi Fountain, Bellinis at Harry’s Bar, the best pizza in the world at Emma’s Pizzeria (literally), church bells echoing in Florence, enjoying spaghetti alle vongole while dining in Piazza Novona, a gondola ride in Venice, the moon rising over the Coliseum, and just walking the streets everywhere soaking up the culture. So many tremendous memories. More than I can possibly list and impossible to choose one favorite.

Trevi Fountain

I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to thank Donna for making this dream come true. Not only was she the driving force behind the trip, but she was also the best tour guide, translator and travel companion imaginable. Grazie Donna.

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