Wednesday, July 9, 2008

When you're here, you're family

They told me that when I got here I’d be taken care of. They kept saying “when you’re hear you’re family.” I came to Italy to see my friends Brad and Silvia. I had no idea it’d be like this.

Out of any place I’ve been in the world, I have never been to a place that is this difficult to communicate with people. It seems that nobody speaks English here. All signs and directions have not a word of English. It makes sense of course because this is Italy and they speak Italian but if I’d be here alone, this would be a whole different experience. But instead, I’m family and am being well taken care of.

Door to door it was about 30 hours of traveling. Longest distance I’ve ever traveled. I don’t sleep on airplanes so it was a long couple of day. I was pretty stinky and tired by the time I got to Milan, but as soon as I arrived, Brad and Silvia picked me up at the airport and took me back to Silvia’s parents place and since then have had to do nothing but eat amazing food, meet incredible people and see one of the most beautiful places in the world. When you’re here you really are family.

Only a few hours after landing, I found myself at Silvia’s aunt and uncle’s place hanging out with a bunch of her family stuffing myself with literally the best Italian food I’ve ever had. Aside from my translators Brad (who is pretty much fluent by now) and Silvia, not a word of English was spoke. After falling over from being disproportionately top-heavy a few times, her uncle took Brad and I on a walk through the picturesque little Italian town they live in. Showing us where all the family works where they grow all their fruits and vegetables. A beautiful little town with one little café, an old church and a few really, really old houses.

I’ve been here for three days and each day, I am finding myself exponentially liking Italy more and more. It feels like everything I’ve seen in movies and TV shows. Yesterday we explored the beautiful city of Milan. We visited some old castles and churches that have seen more years than anything I‘ve ever seen. The feeling of walking up to a massive building built with such care and precision with the most intricate of details, awe-inspires as much as standing on top of mountain or sailing a massive ocean. The scale and time that it took to build all these buildings and cities is so difficult to conceptualize for me. To stand and look at something built in 1300 really boggles my mind a bit.

The second day I was here Brad took me to Venice in their little smart car. I’ve heard it was a beautiful city and a place that people should see when they come to Italy, but I had no idea I’d find it as magical as I did. I was a bit under the impression of it just being a massive tourist town, where you’d have to elbow through all the people with camera’s trying to get their Venice “postcard shot”. This was only partly true. What I found was a city that actually still functions. People live there, grocery stores, barber’s, café’s and anything people would need in any other city. The big difference in Venice and most other cities that I’ve seen anyways, is that instead of tall sky-scrapers you have 4-5 story old buildings painted in all types of pastel colors, you have streets of water instead of pavements and you have boats instead of cars.
What is it about water that fascinates people? People are always flocking to rivers, dams, waterfalls, ocean beaches and jetties. Maybe it’s just that humans have always had such a great respect for water because it one of the most unpredictable and difficult medians we’re forced to work with. Maybe because it’s something we need, but have never found that perfect balance of being able to exist peacefully for any long periods of time. I think that Venice has attempted to find that perfect balance as there is a feeling of something so beautiful and harmonious that radiates from it’s flowing streets of water and echo’s throughout it’s old colorful buildings. They say Venice is slowing sinking. One day it will be gone. An unfortunate reality to one of the most beautiful cities in the world. My only recommendation is to do yourself a favor and visit Venice before it’s too late. You won’t be disappointed.

This post is linked with two different album, the Milan and Verona Album and the Venice album

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