Take It Slow, Take It In
Written by Caroline October 23, 2017
When I decided to study abroad, I could not help but think about all the countries I would explore during my time in Italy. I would be in Europe for three months, so why not try to see as many places as I possibly could, right?
Well, I quickly realized my mindset was all wrong. Feeling overwhelmed by making travel plans to far too many places, my wise older brother advised me to not focus on the number of places I will visit, but rather on the quality of my visits. With a new mindset, my travel crew and I decided on our mantra for the semester: take it slow, take it in. We’ve carried this phrase with us on all our trips so far, and I could not be more glad.
As mentioned in one of my previous posts, our first weekend of travel was spent in beautiful Verona, Italy. Since Verona is relatively close to Paderno del Grappa, we pondered spending one day in Verona and another day in another nearby city, such as Venice. But, we reminded ourselves of our commitment to our travel and decided to stay in Verona the entire weekend. It was such a fun, restful, and rejuvenating weekend! We had plenty of time to explore the city, learn our way around, and people watch (I’m not kidding—we must have sat on the steps of the Piazza delle Erbe watching cute couples walk by for hours, gelato in hand). We all commented over and over again on how grateful we were for the time to fall in love with the city instead of get just a teaser.
This past weekend was our first long travel weekend. While we at first wanted to hit Rome and Florence, we decided to spend all four days in Florence. Again, we were so glad we did! Florence is full of amazing food, fun shops, and beautiful sights. To only see it for a few hours would have left us feeling cheated of the full Florentine experience, and for a bunch of first-timers, that would have been a shame. Our jaws dropped at the beautiful paintings in the Uffizi, our legs were worn out from walking through each hidden trail in the Boboli Gardens, and we took way too many photos of the gilded ceilings in the Pitti Palace. We ate some of our very best meals in Italy so far (Gusta Pizza is AMAZING!) and had great luck in the leather markets. Could all of this have been done in just two days? Of course not.
To future Cimbians, I encourage you to think about this mantra before trying to visit more cities than you’ll be able to remember. Your experience will be much more fulfilling if you take it slow, and take it in.
Ciao from PDG,
CIMBA Café Hack: To my dismay, granola does not appear to exist in Italy, and I have a hard time eating yogurt without that extra crunch. But, I have found a replacement! CIMBA offers three different types of cereal every morning. One of the cereals is a grain-based cereal with some nuts and raisins. Add a bit of that into your yogurt cup for a little taste of home.