I had the pleasure of tagging along with my hubby to Italy last month (Rome and Venice), and it was by many counts a continuation of my infatuation with walking as a means of exploring European cities.
Walking around Rome and Venice was an empowering experience because I was using maps and online research (thanks, iPhone!) to navigate a foreign city on my own while Marc was working. Quite honestly, part of the fun of wandering around those cities is getting lost. Suffice it to say I had a lot of fun :)
Below are a few of my favorite things about Rome and Venice!
1. The fact that the ruins are mixed into the city in a way that you can just happen upon them. You can walk around a corner, look up, and see the Colosseum staring back at you. Where else can you do that?!?
2. The red wine.
3. The pasta. And the pizza.
4. Using the phrase "When in Rome" when I was actually in Rome. This generally happened as an excuse for drinking all the wine and eating all the pasta.
5. Sidewalk dining and drinking.
6. Making jokes with the word "ruin" in them (“My afternoon was ruined!”) when telling Marc about my day. I’m sure this did not get old when coupled with the other Rome puns already mentioned.
1. The striking juxtaposition of city and water. One minute, we were getting lost on winding, narrow, old streets. The next, we were at the water’s edge, overlooking a canal or the sea.
2. The romance. You can’t help but feel romantic sipping wine on a gondola ride through the canals. Even if, as in our case, you are sipping that wine at 9am.
3. Aperitivos with a view. There are so many options for an afternoon cocktail overlooking the water, and they are pretty much all great.
4. Bridges. Obviously there is a very real function to the Venetian bridges given the canals winding through the city, but they are so fun to look at and hang out on. We sat on a bridge after dinner one night and sipped wine. Because we could.
5. Remembering to look up. Part of the beauty of an ancient city like Venice is the old architecture, but it’s pretty easy to be focus on how to navigate the streets and bridges at eye level. If you look up every once in awhile, you can find some views that make you remember that “la vita e bella”.