I just got back from Italy a couple of days ago. Wowza, that was a crazy trip! Rob and I were in Italy for 12 days and got to visit Milan, Rome, Florence and Cinque Terre. I’m so excited to tell you about it. Go and grab a cup of tea and then come back and get settled in to read all about my weird trip that was almost ruined by food poisoning.
I was in Italy to attend the Italian Fix workshop with Justina Blakeney of The Jungalow blog. The Jungalow is a bohemian interior design blog and the workshop was a 2.5 day conference on branding and marketing your creative business. I begged Rob to let me register for the workshop and we decided to make a vacation out of it and extend the trip so we could visit some other parts of Italy. This was the first trip outside North America for both of us and little Chloe got to be spoiled by her grandparents for the 12 days we were gone.
We flew to Milan with a 4 hour layover in London and finally arrived in Italy 15 hours later at 9pm. Then we had to make our way to the Airbnb we were staying at and had to take the train, the subway and then bus to get there. Finally at midnight we were able to crash at the apartment.
The next morning we woke up and had a delicious cup of cappuccino and a croissant at a little café and headed out to explore. We made our way to the Duomo, the 5th largest gothic cathedral in Europe and unfortunately along the way I developed some kind of food poisoning or stomach flu from lunch. We had to head back to our room because I was too sick to be gallivanting all over town. I spent the rest of the day between the bed and the toilet wishing for my own death. So tragic.
The next morning we headed down to Rome. It’s a 3 hour train ride from Milan to Rome on one of the fast trains. The train was nice but when you have the stomach flu it’s a pretty miserable experience. We arrived at our Airbnb in Rome and I napped for a couple of hours while Rob explored the city. Our place was in an awesome location right between the Colosseum and the Vatican. Rome is so amazing. Every time you turn a corner there is something incredible to be seen. You will be walking down the street and then, boom! There’s the Colosseum. Boom! There’s the Pantheon. Boom! Some amazing ancient ruins. I managed to go for a short walk with Rob around town that evening but I was still incredibly sick.
The next day I slept in until 3pm white Rob got to explore around town and go on a fancy guided tour of the Vatican. This was my 3rd day of being able to eat nothing but saltines and still getting sick from them. I tried to force myself to eat but I still had a very upset tummy and nothing went down well. Rob forced me to walk over to the Colosseum and go inside. I’m embarrassed to say that I cried inside the Colosseum because I was so weak and sick and I just wanted to go back to the room and go to sleep and I was sad that my trip, which I had been excited about for months and spent thousands of dollars on was getting ruined. Rob also forced me to check out the Vatican area. I am really glad he made me get out and go sightseeing even though I was so sick. Who knows if we will ever be able to go back to Italy and I would have been so mad if I had spent our entire time in Rome cooped up in bed.
The next morning we traveled to Florence where we would spend about 24 hours. I was still sick but we ventured out to the museum where “David” lives and went on a guided tour. Florence was my second favorite city after Rome. There are museums and galleries everywhere. There are beautiful statues all along the streets. It’s amazing. Florence is gorgeous.
After Florence it was time to move on to Cinque Terre where we would spend 4 nights while I attended my workshop. After a snafu with the train (we missed our train along with about 20 other American tourists and had to make a couple of detours) we arrived in beautiful Riomaggiore. I’m going to discuss the workshop in a post next week so I will save all the details about it for then. Cinque Terre is on the West coast of Italy. It is actually made up of five (cinque) towns (terre) Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. We stayed in Riomaggiore which ended up being my favorite of the five towns.
On the days that I was in my workshop Rob explored the five towns and made a day trip over to Pisa to check out that famous crooked tower (yep, it’s still leaning) By this time I was finally starting to feel better. I hadn’t eaten anything but saltines and a few bites of pizza and pasta for the previous 5 days. It was definitely the most sick I have ever been in my entire life. I’m not sure what I did to deserve that bad karma but I really do not wish that kind of sickness upon anyone. The last thing you want to do when you have the stomach flu is be running all over Italy on planes, trains and automobiles and sleeping in strangers Airbnb’s with shared bathrooms. I was very homesick and missing my little girl but I am very glad that I got to travel to a different part of the world.
After Cinque Terre we travelled back up to Milan for one last night and I was finally well enough to check out the Duomo square that we had to urgently flee the first time on account of my stomach and see some of the sights around it. It was then time to fly home and 13 hours later I was passed out in my comfy bed in our little house on the farm. It was a very memorable trip and I have to say that I have a new-found gratitude for North America. There’s nothing like a little international travel to make you appreciate your own world!
Italy is such an amazing place. If you have never been I hope you get the chance to go one day. The food, the people, the history, there are no words to describe it!
Stay tuned for next week when I share all the fun stuff we did at the workshop with Justina Blakeney.
Have a fab weekend!