The summer I was eight, my mom, her best friend, and my grandmother went on an extended tour of Italy. I was supposed to travel with them, but going through a new wave of seeing evil in my traveling to Europe, my father intervened against my going abroad, and I spent part of the summer staying with him in rural Illinois. I’ve been enchanted with the idea of Italy ever since, and as many times as I’ve been to Como, Lago Maggiore, and Amalfi in the past few years, I’ve had few chances to see the cities. Being far more interested in architecture and museums than in cocktails and lounging, I was unhappy with the extent of my travels and decided that it was time I began to actually see the rest of Italy.
I consequently traveled to Venice two Septembers ago and then, last July, did what I vowed to do when I was eight: prove that I was an adult by going to Rome with my best friend.
I started writing this post a few days after getting back from our trip, but last summer proved to be a transitional time in my life. I met my now-boyfriend in June, spent much of July – and indeed a big part of the trip – hoping that I would get to see him again, and the days after I got back from Rome were dedicated to building up the courage to ask him out for coffee. I did. We connected in a way I didn't believe was actually possible, and I barely managed to think of anything but him for weeks (months?) afterwards. Written blog posts were quickly forgotten, and here I am a year later.
Thanks to this, I now connect Rome with the excitement of that time. It was a wonderful time. It was my first trip to the Italian capital but it was also my first time away with a friend and my first independently financed holiday.
Rory and I took advantage of being able to do whatever we wanted, blissfully away from all of our academic obligations and our families for a few days. We spent our mornings listening to a curious mix of Taylor Swift and Hozier as we breakfasted and did our makeup and then making our way to the center.
We visited museums and villas every day and spent hours getting lost amongst gorgeous sculptures and murals and taking countless aesthetic photos. We shopped and we spent a ridiculous amount of time and money at Babington's Tea Room. We were there in the middle of a heat wave and so the tea room and villas were our saviors in the middle of the 40° days.
We took so many photos on the trip that I have over a thousand pictures on my laptop and have more favorites than I can possibly share. I've included a few here, but you can see more in my trip tag on tumblr, here.
All in all, our time in Rome was perfect. Traveling with my best friend is one of my favorite things, and I can't wait to explore the rest of Italy with her in the coming years.