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The musings of an American in Italy

Masses of people crowd around the Pantheon as it stands in all its glory.

Mahima Siripurapu

Masses of people crowd around the Pantheon as it stands in all its glory.

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Abandoning Black Friday shopping is a sin. I sinned last Black Friday. I left the country and gave up my favorite holiday for something slightly more expensive: Italy. 3 airports, 15 hours, 1 week after a terrorist attack, all for a country whose consumerist trends do not dictate celebrating Black Friday. Regardless, everything was fine until I reached New York only to encounter a 6 hour delay that caused me to miss my connection to Milan via Turkey. Thank you Turkish airlines for wasting my time and money. I appreciate you. Despite the emotionally turbulent journey (partly due to the Nicholas Sparks novel I decided to take with me) we had managed to land in Milan safe and sound.

Milan was breathtaking. From the beautiful architecture that surrounded me to the impeccably stylish interiors of every building. The city was the true embodiment of style and class.

The Duomo Milano stands pale and white against the backdrop of the crisp, black winter night in Milan, Italy.

Mahima Siripurapu
The Duomo Milano stands pale and white against the backdrop of the crisp, black winter night in Milan, Italy.

As the night wound down, my need to be fed peaked. After annoying my father for food to a point of no return, we found this beautiful restaurant with pizza stacked up the shelves and a golden tree hanging from the ceiling.

Housed in a quaint restaurant in Milan, a golden tree hangs from the ceiling.

Mahima Siripurapu
Housed in a quaint restaurant in Milan, a golden tree hangs from the ceiling.

The next day was no short of phenomenal either. After rushing to the train station at 5 in the morning with the worst case of jet lag, we were off to Pisa. The home of the leaning tower quickly found a special place in my heart. The quiet town washed away my fear of missing out on the craze of post-Thanksgiving shopping, and instead allowed me to appreciate imperfection. After trekking across the small city to see the infamous attraction, I found myself awestruck. The lean of the tower, however, wasn’t what caught my attention, it was the magnitude, the scale at which this building was built, which left me breathless. I think it is important to understand that after this trip I wholly believe that aliens visited the earth and helped create magnificent structures.

One of the many canals that riddle the city of Pisa

Mahima Siripurapu
One of the many canals that riddle the city of Pisa.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Pisa, Italy.

Mahima Siripurapu
The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Pisa, Italy.

After Pisa came Rome. We took the most convenient form of transportation available: the train. The train in Italy is something I strongly feel America should model. It’s quiet, smooth, fast, and they even have people walking around with carts of food like in Harry Potter.Not only was the experience extremely economical, but also the ride was very enjoyable.

 

Eventually, we made it to Rome where I felt like a sardine stuffed into a can. It had the feel of any modern city except for the ancient backdrop it leaned against. My days in Rome were spent looking at the major tourist sites.

The Colosseum.

 

The Pantheon.

Masses of people crowd around the Pantheon as it stands in all its glory.

Mahima Siripurapu
Masses of people crowd around the Pantheon as it stands in all its glory.

We used the subway system or the metro to get around. The metro is infamous for clever pickpockets. We had a run in with one who attempted to steal both my dad’s passport and phone;luckily I noticed and started screaming.

 

As convenient as the metro was, another simple yet breathtaking way to get around the city was to walk. The street vendors selling food and clothes coupled with the insanely beautiful Roman backdrop made me wonder about this bustling metropolis during Classical Age.

Realto Bridge in Venice, Italy remains under construction as the morning sun rises.

Mahima Siripurapu
Realto Bridge in Venice, Italy remains under construction as the morning sun rises.

 

Eventually we had to leave Rome and head for Venice. Venice is beautiful except for the smell. The stagnant water creates a pungent scent. However, without scent, Venice is marvelous. Once again, I was awestruck by how humans had decided to build an entire city on water and how beautiful our creation had turned out to be.

Small boats lined the streets of the colorful island.

Mahima Siripurapu
Small boats lined the streets of the colorful island.

After a day walking the streets of venice, my family and I decided we would take a day trip out to the colorful island called Burano. As we walked through the crowded streets, vendors called out to us in their Italian accents, asking us to buy their exquisite lace doilies.

As the trip came to a close, I felt a new feeling settle over me: disappointment. Disappointment that I had to leave this beautiful country . Needless to say, at the end of this journey, I was no longer upset that I had missed Black Friday shopping.

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1 Comment

One Response to “The musings of an American in Italy”

  1. Yamini on November 17th, 2016 11:07 am

    Hi Mahima,

    You are a natural at travel writing! Your travelogue will inspire the reader enough to want to visit Italy!!!!

    [Reply]

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The musings of an American in Italy