My First Italy Travel Experience

Written by cimbaitaly October 25, 2023

Having your parents visit you during your study abroad is an interesting experience. As a student, it’s highly recommended not to rent a motor vehicle during your stay in Europe. After navigating the winding roads and high speeds on narrow mountain roads in places like Bassano Del Grappa and Padova, I can attest to this. Now if you’re planning to stay the night or haven’t considered it, I’d suggest looking into an Airbnb on the mountains near Bassano. It was, by far, the best stay of this trip. Our host treated us to some local specialties and explained some of the “piatto tipico,” the local dishes we should try during our stay.

He also directed us to the “mercato” in Bassano Del Grappa, just past the old historic wooden bridge. The CIMBA staff always recommend a quick pit stop. In the “mercato,” you’ll find a lot of local Italians buying fresh produce, grabbing food from one of the food trucks, or shopping for clothes. If you happen to be there on a Saturday morning, make sure to pick up a kilo of grapes – you won’t regret it!

To make the most of our trip, after spending a few hours exploring and enjoying the snacks in the “mercato,” my family headed to Padova. Except there’s so much to do in Padova, but don’t worry if you can’t complete everything on your itinerary in just one day. Also, here’s a small travel tip: if you’re visiting on a Sunday, parking is free, so don’t pay for it like I did.

Back to our trip, I highly recommend visiting the anatomical theater if you’re interested in the history of the second oldest university in the world. And, if you’re familiar with the father of heliocentrism, you’ll be surprised to learn he taught within its walls. Now if you’re a food lover, be sure to try out a coffee shop near the anatomical theater. Just ask the staff when purchasing a tour ticket, and they’ll point you in the right direction. My personal favorite was their tiramisu, but I have a sweet tooth. If sweets are not your thing the insalata de mare was a fantastic choice as well.

After exploring Padova, we decided to head back to Crespano Del Grappa before getting caught in the festa dell’uva traffic junction. Most people, after a long day of walking and touring a city, might have skipped out because of exhaustion, but if you come across an Italian festival, it’s an experience of a lifetime! You’ll find food, drinks, music, and people from all walks of life, chanting and celebrating together, whether they’re English or Italian. Also, if you’re concerned that your Italian isn’t up to par for attending the festival, many people will be able to help you. Just remember to ask that one important question: “Parla Inglese?”

Loidel Diaz

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