Introduction: To own spontaneity is to posses something great. Impulsion & inner crave, the words of drive and adventure. Italy for me was a practice of this quality I am becoming equipped with. So yes, I went to Italy last week. Actually, I arrived only Wednesday night, and I have learned much on this trip abroad. I learned the things one can’t while on home territory. Things teachers can’t explain properly in classrooms. Things not written about in textbooks (as if we even read them anymore anyway). No, Italy taught me more than my first time to Europe did. There were too many ups and downs on this trip that it allowed me to realize how draining the realness of life and experience can be due to picturesque tourism plastered on postcards and Pinterest posts, hiding the actual behind blindfolds. Because the best parts of this trip were not the ones in front of the Colosseum or along side the Duomo di firenze, but behind the blind views upon the paths not beaten so down upon by foreign steps.
We, as in me and Rachel (my best friend ~ I’ve mentioned her a few times over the years), left New York in the evening to arrive in Rome the next morning. Before and during arrival we experienced, lets just say, complications. Whether it was from passport issues, money, or miscommunication, we still- somehow- managed to get to our friend Sadie (who goes to school in Rome and is the reason we were able to spend our first official college spring break on a different continent). After much confusion and hustling and squeezing we rushed to the Fiumicino Train Station to catch our train to Naples.
~This trip happened in sections. Each day, practically, was a new site and feel. Each city in Italy is so different from the last. It seems as if each one is its own country itself. So I will be breaking these posts up city by city~
Stop 1: Naples. Let me just get some things clear about Naples. When you look at your phone to check the weather make sure you are looking at Naples, Italy not Florida. There are beautiful places in Naples and then there is the authentic, true Naples and this is where I was. Not to hint in any way that authentic Naples isn’t beautiful, it is just not tourist beautiful if that is a clearer way to phrase that. Research a city well before visiting. Booking a BnB very close to the station isn’t always the best decision. However, the pizza will always be good.
When first examining the streets of Naples I did not know what to expect. What I saw could or could not have been the right image. Truly each choice sounds promising. If you asked me right now: what was it about Naples that clung to you? I would respond: the misunderstanding. I came to Italy expecting the image. Every country has an image, and when we bring up the country Italy I think everyone has a pretty scene pop up in their minds. Tourist minds I mean, I can’t imagine what an Italian thinks of their own country. It is kind of like America for me. Tourists think New York! California! Disney World! blah blah fat ignorant blah blah. I can’t think of my country that way, just like those Italians.
But, returning back to Italy, life isn’t all cobblestone streets lined with aging brick and ancient stone, wine tours in Tuscany (we did attempt to do that by the way. Another note: plan ahead), or even romantic walks along the riverside in Florence. Naples reminded me of that. Naples was closest to home. It hit hard, and that is what everyday life is like. It was full of heightened emotions and unanswered questions. We said we went to Naples for the pizza, but for me this is only partly true. Naples was an overarching symbol of what this trip represented, and that is freedom. It does not look it perhaps, but Naples was independent and wild. It had a homey feel during the day (siesta was the most prominent here. We barely made lunch), but also the I-am-on-my-own-feel which, for it being the first city of the trip, opened up my eyes to everything Italy had to offer. I don’t know if I would have discovered this if I started at a different point in my journey.
So thank you Naples. Someday I will return and discover a new corner within you, but for now I’ll settle with what I have taken away from my short period of time there.
Next Stop: Pompeii
Featuring: Erica, Olivia, Sadie & Rach (left to right)