Ariel in Paris #12: Italy

Hey everyone! Welcome to what will probably be my second-to-last European travel/study abroad update post. I’m going back home next Friday, but for now, I’m still here in Europe for another week, and I’ve decided to continue these updates until the end of my stay. After this series is over, I’m still going to try to keep up my twice-a-week posting schedule, so you can look forward to a whole bunch of new bookish posts in your future.

For now, though, let’s talk about what I’ve been doing since my semester in Paris ended.


Saturday was my last day in Paris, and my last day in my host mom’s house. I spent most of the day packing up my room before my parents got there to pick me up, and then my parents, my roommate, my host mom, and I all sat in the living room for an hour talking. My parents don’t speak French and my host mom doesn’t speak much English, so I spent most of the hour acting as a translator.

Then we left and set out in a car on our way to Italy. Since then, we’ve visited Milan and Rome, and as I’m writing this blog post, we’re on our way to Venice (by the time you read this, we should already be there), where we’re going to do cheesy things like a gondola ride.

Venice is one of those cities, like Paris, that I’ve wanted to visit since I was a little girl, and now I’m finally getting to do it. I don’t know where this desire came from, but I do remember that I loved the setting when I read Cornelia Funke’s The Thief Lord, so maybe it has something to do with that.

If you guys also read my blog for the bookish content, then you know the feeling of wanting to visit the settings of books. In my case, most of the time, my favorite books are set in places that don’t really exist, since I read a lot of fantasy, but in this instance, I can actually go there.

But I’m sure you’re more interested in what I did before, not what I’m going to do later. So let me start with Milan, the first place we visited. We were only there for a day, but we got to do a little bit of window-shopping and take a little walk around Duomo di Milano.

After we were done there, we got into the car and headed toward Rome, which is where we were until this morning. We visited the Colosseum, the Roman forum, Palatine Hill, and Vatican City. It was a lot of walking, but it was also a lot of fun.

I wasn’t in awe of Rome in the same way that Athens awed me, but it was still crazy to see history hitting me in the face everywhere I turned. Our tour guide through the Roman forum and Palatine Hill mentioned that Rome’s third metro line has been under construction for over 20 years, and that the reason for that is that they keep finding relics buried under the city. Just that casual mention blew my mind.

That city is so full of history, and so old, it’s hard for me to fathom. And yet, at the same time, it’s modern. Seeing that juxtaposition here in Rome is just as weird as it was in Athens.


Okay! That’s my update for today! Thanks for reading, everyone. Let me know down in the comments what your favorite vacation you’ve ever been on was.

I’ll see you next time!

-Ariel

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