It’s been a few years now since I decided to learn italian. Why? Not for a particular reason actually. I just love languages and I intend on learning the most possible. Italian was a curious circumstance in my life. Back in college a couple of friends went into italian lessons. I couldn’t afford them at that time, so I remain calm although sometimes feeling apart when they decided to speak in italian between them…rough? Maybe. Don’t really care now. After a few years, in 2007, my time came. I was working part-time on a good simple job I loved, allowing me plenty of time for other things. Small salary but big rewards of life. So language was gonna be the one activity for me finally! I searched for french courses since I wanted it for long time now, but there was none fitting my schedule. After thinking a while, I decided to ask about italian courses, even though I had some non-pleasant memories regarding italian, however, those memories were not as important as my life now. I wanted to embrace it anyways. So I enrolled!
Funny thing, lessons started and during 18 months I went regularly twice a week. It became a lot friendlier to me than I would have thought, more and more every time. The new experience with that language was totally washing away the previous one. After 18 months went by, I was already there, speaking, understanding and loving a new entire culture. I felt ready to fly away straight to Italy! But not yet. Soon enough I would cross that bridge onto my dreams.
One week ago, I was finally able to get in real touch with that culture I had learn back in the past. I was extremely curious about it. There were several attempts of going and for different reasons, it wasn’t about my time. So I just waited, calmly and yet a bit anxiously deep inside. One week ago I departed to Italy. Not believing myself even on the airplane, I was already thinking on how it would be. You know when you have a great expectation on something and it can be a risky thing to do? We all have felt that about something. At least I had, so I knew that kind of feeling. Well, I thought of this on my way there. Too many years waiting for Italy and I just did not want to feel THAT. I just wanted to be happy about it, enjoy it, sense it, taste it. No prejudice or pre-conceived ideas. So I did! Right before landing I made up my mind, ready to discover this mysterious but magical place that was about to show me amazing untold things to my ear, eyes, nose, palate and skin.
First destination: Venice
Simply a unique place on Earth. Nothing like I have seen before. I might even say there’s no place similar to Venice. And so many reasons for this!
A water town is already a different view of life anyways. The pace of living, the daily activity, the economic activity for the locals, the food, the tourism of course. The walking was a particular thing to do around. So easy and lovely, and so full of stairs and small enchanting bridges. Just not ideal for carrying strollers! A life on an island can definitely be something particular, probably something not everyone could do perhaps.
And what about gondolas? Such beautiful things! Gondoliers all being loyal to their uniform, their stripped shirt and cute blue-laced hat. I never heard them singing though, probably just a movie thing! Still enchanting all of it. It was so easy to get lost and happy.
So many reasons to me to be fulfilled: gelatti, boats, water life and any kind of pasta. I am starting to discover inside a secret me that Italy might be my real place!
Second destination: Rome
I need to sigh first…
How can I explain the way I felt there? There were several reasons for a great roman experience. Definitely the place itself, the entire history around just popping out in every corner, the food once again, the friendliness of people on the street (nothing like in Spain since I’ve been living there for more than 2 years now…it’s just different), but also a main reason was a warming family who welcomed us into their city and home. A neapolitan family making their way and life through Rome for many years now and happening to be parents of good friends I met recently in Barcelona: Katrina (from TourAbsurd) and Dario (from SecondWheel), who kindly opened their home to us. Such special people that felt like family right away. From the very 1st moment I felt good enough to just wear my pajamas for dinner time!
I was able to experience 2 amazing things here, besides the usual of course. First, we got into our senses by getting delighted with a food tour by Eating Italy Food Tours, which was quite exceptional. An entire journey through our tastebuds among the most unusual and somehow common things I have never tried before. Saying this, I will certainly NOT gonna tell you what exactly we had on the tasting Why? Because everyone should go and try it themselves! Totally worth the surprise so please, do!
Second, it was time for some listening and watching. Incredible stories of history! By Walks of Italy. But even more amazed I was about having in front of my eyes all that they told us, trying to imagine and accomplishing it on every ruin that had a story to be told. Another worth taking tour around this particular spot. Every corner in Rome has something hidden, something to be discovered, something to be tried and to be curious about. It just never ends…the way history never ends I suppose. Simply beautiful! Not sure if Rome is a place where I could live, but if it was over my entire experience, I would definitely do! Anyways, it is a place where we should go back indeed.
And I can’t even mention entirely the extreme pleasure I felt about finally putting my italian into practice! A bit rusty at the start and then feeling all the words and phrases coming to my head slowly. If you love languages and have learned one or more, you can definitely understand the unexplainable joy of speaking and getting understood.
So yes, Italy was a lot from what I expected in the end and way ahead. It was a delightful experience that only gave me thirst for more. It gave me a knowledge that I have never felt or sensed in any other place. Italy gave me happiness through many different things. This way I can happily say that my preconceived ideas can sleep now peacefully over the pleasure of having been satisfied all the way and beyond!
Have you felt the intense beautiful learning that can be get through languages?
Special thankful mention to my always travel partner, making magic photography on the road: Federico Rojas – FRVbrandesign