Wednesday, June 20, 2012

All Roads lead to Rome via a bit of Switzerland!

I recently took a trip of a lifetime (well almost.. until I take another one) This one was special because I’ve wanted to visit Rome. When I was mere eight years old, someone had gifted me a book with pictures of all these grand buildings and piazzas that looked like nothing I had ever seen in my small little town. Ever since then if there was one place I wanted to visit, it was Italy.

Then bonus of the trip happened when visa issues led me to make a stopover in Switzerland, I don’t exactly remember when I fell in love with those landscapes in my head. I hate to sound clich├ęd but perhaps it was when I saw DDLJ in Natraj Theater. I am now grown up and secure enough to admit the effect the movie had on me leading me to a point of getting hideous clothes stitched exactly as Kajol wore in the movie and daydream about chapels and cowbells.

It was an interesting mix of cities – Luzern, Rome and Florence. From the pristine, almost perfect quaint villages of Switzerland to the chaos of Italy. I would hate to admit that while this was supposed to be a very reflective trip the only reflection that took place in the ten days I was on it was of my own eyes in numerous glasses of wine.
The result of all that food and wine (and gelato of course) is something I am suffering now, but what I really and truly did in those ten days was indulge, with no shame.

Luzern took a little piece of my heart that now stays amid the swans and flowers. It is that place you know fairies live in. Spikey piers, wooden bridges, lakes with snow white swans and snowcapped mountains.

Pretty Luzern
Oh Perfection!
Fondue and local beer
After about three days however I was overloaded with perfection. That is my problem, I can’t handle perfection. It unnerves me to no end. I was actually looking for something wrong in God’s perfect place. How can the cows also look so perfect?! What did we do wrong to get dirty, undernourished cows?!

Thank God for Rome to get me back to reality. I was quite nervous about Italy. Hangover of The Godfather maybe and considering everyone told me to keep my passport safe, I clutched my bag close to me as soon as I landed. But what a welcome and warm stay this country gave me. I fell in love with everything Italian – no men though, threw just one coin into the Trevi fountain, leaving falling in love for the next visit!

Everywhere you look, something will amaze you!
Rome is one of those places that feels like home, once you allow her to lead you, she will. She will take you to nooks and corners to surprise you with so much grandeur; she will allow you to indulge all your senses at each moment. I remember sitting and eating gelato with strawberries the best I have ever eaten looking at the Trevi fountain at a distance, hearing music somewhere in the background and breathing in crisp air. That moment, just that one, I will never forget.

While Rome amazes you, Florence melts your heart. There was a point late at night I stood looking at the Ponte Vecchio and for a moment I believed that perhaps masters of Renaissance were actually standing next to me. It was a very ‘midnight in Paris’ moment where I felt somehow I will be transported back through centuries to this place where all the magic started.
Don't close your eyes
Florence in one word is – magical. And how one can just feel the magic and not lay a finger on it, I cannot pin point what touched me about Florence. It simply made me feel as if I was floating in a magical land that has the best pizza place in that part of the country!
Breathtaking Tuscan countryside
Florence = Amazing food!

While I am not sure I will go back to Switzerland, I know Italy is a country I will visit again and again and I am quite sure every time it will show me something different, something more to love and lots more to eat. 

Until then... Ciao!

All images copyright - idle tuesday afternoon thoughts


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