I hope you are all safe, happy, and healthy.
Italy has been more than I could have ever imagined so far! I’ve been lucky enough to visit some beautiful places, so I thought I’d make a little list of my favorite three places I’ve visited so far!
- Manarola in Cinque Terre:
My absolute favorite place I have visited is Manarola in Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is made up of five villages built right into the hillside; Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. I was only lucky enough to visit Manarola for one day, but I wish I could have seen the other towns or spent at least a week just exploring Manarola. Many people would recognize Manarola by the image of the colorful houses built into the hillside overlooking the water. I had seen the pictures and thought I was prepared for what the town would look like, but I was completely blown away. There is a beautiful walk down into the heart of the town where you are encompassed by colorful shops and locals strolling about. Once you walk all the way down, there is a clear view of the endless sea. I stopped at a restaurant overlooking the sea and got out of my comfort zone with what I ordered. I tried linguini pasta with muscles and crawfish. I surprisingly loved it! (If you know me, you know I’m not very adventurous when it comes to food). After this amazing meal, I hiked up to the viewpoint that overlooks the houses. I could have spent hours just taking in the scenery, but I wanted to keep exploring. I continued to hike and found a hidden grotto on the other side of the hiking trail. Most people were too preoccupied with the houses to notice the secret swimming spot. (Understandably so!) But I’m so glad I did. It was the best ending to my perfect visit to Manarola.
My second favorite place in Italy so far has been the place I am lucky enough to spend most of my time, Rome. Rome is filled with everything a person could ever need. Most days after my internship, I just let myself wander around to see what I can find. I certainly hit up the main tourist attractions like the Pantheon, St. Peter’s Basilica, The Spanish Steps, The Trevi Fountain, etc. I have also had a lot of fun exploring the seven hills of Rome. Aventine hill, with its secret keyhole to the city, has been my favorite so far. However, I also love finding lesser-known places. Rome is filled with hidden alleys that have some of the best food and shopping a person could dream of. I found a pastry shop selling massive pastries for just one euro each. It wasn’t even advertised as a shop. It was one of those secret hole-in-the-wall places. I will definitely be going back there. I also love just talking to locals and hearing and learning from their points of view. It is so much fun to make connections like that. I can’t wait to see what else I can find.
I will update you soon with more of my adventures!
Ciao for now!
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My name is Andrianna Jacobs, but everyone calls me Andy. I am from Rochester, MN and I was a pole vaulter and Captian for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Women's Track and Field Team. I am passionate about making people smile, helping make a difference in the world, and understanding new cultures. I'm excited to be in Rome and ready to make the most of all my opportunities!