Yesterday we returned home after 10 great days in Italy. I continue to reflect on our time there and the many things I learned.
1) For some reason, my husband & I manage to make vacations hard work. Although this is the first vacation we’ve taken in over a dozen years that wasn’t race related in some way, we still managed to get home totally exhausted. We aren’t the type of people who can easily sit and relax but the pace we kept on this trip was really tough.
2) This was my third time to Italy, but on this trip I fell in love with the country. It is so rich in history with treasures everywhere to discover. All I had to do was open my eyes and see them.
3) I had always thought of the Roman Forum as an arena – a place of competition. I was totally surprised to discover that the Forum was actually the ancient city marketplace where business was transacted, including the courts.
4) I mentioned in an earlier post that driving in Italy borders on the insane. That’s still true, but there is also another side. Trying to park is even worse.
We abandoned our plan to stay in Naples for a couple of days because parking was virtually impossible. Our 2 days became only 2 hours. In that time, we searched without success for a place to park – even for a short while.
In North America, we associate a car with freedom of movement – go where you want, when you want to go. In Italy, I considered having a car a huge source of stress. When we finally returned it to the rental company, I felt a great sense of relief.
5) Italy is a place of countless churches and magnificent basilicas. What I learned however, was that basilicas were not originally churches but public buildings in the ancient forums usually for courts. It is actually an architectural structure that was later adopted by the church and eventually the design became synonymous with religious buildings.
6) the trip home always seems to feel long … really long. When the vacation is over, I just want to be home. The crowded airports, bad food, cramped airplane seating and endless waiting wears me down.
It’s great to travel and experience new places, but it is also really nice to be back home again.