Radiating Sunshine: I've Fallen In Love With Italy

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I've Fallen In Love With Italy

So, this past week I spent a few days in Bolzano, Italy and I'm pretty sure Italy is one of my favorite places. One thing I loved about Bolzano was it's rich history. Bolzano is a city in Northern Italy and has both Italian and German speakers present! The city is kind of a mixed area in the sense that on one street you would see the Austrian flag waving or find a little german themed restaurant and then the next block down the Italian flag would be waving and there are pizzerias everywhere. 

It was kind of cool observing how two different cultures can come and work together. Even the majority of the city's residents spoke German and Italian. Another really interesting thing about Bolzano is the presence of Fascist monuments. I originally thought that the city would have torn them all down, but the city recognizes the past and continues to educate others on it. 

Oh and the city was covered in little gelato stands, so I basically was in heaven. I think my favorite flavor I tried there was caffe, but I am slowly realizing that every flavor of gelato I have encountered has been delicious.

Bolzano is kind of in a valley with mountains surrounding it! So, on the first day we took a cable car up to one of the mountains and relaxed in a valley as we took in the amazing views. It was so relaxing to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the solitude of mountain meadow. I love the city but, I definitely am a country girl. 

One of my favorite parts of the trip to Bolzano was the wine tasting at the local Cantina. All the wines we tried came from local farm's grapes and I loved them all. I think my favorite was the pinot bianco and the two red wines (santa maddalena classico and lagrein greiser) tied for second! We also finished off the tasting with vinalia moscato and that was out of this world!

I think the wine tasting was so perfect because it was a lot of work to get there! I decided to stray from the group in order to take advantage of an incredible buy one get one t-shirt deal in one of the local Italian stores. I knew the basic direction of the winery and I had a map so, I was pretty confident in how to get there. Well, after 30 minutes of walking and asking people along the way who could only pointed me in directions of wine shops I decided to give up and walk back to the hotel.

I kept praying that I would just find someone I knew but, the majority of people I did know were at the winery so, the odds were definitely against me. But, as soon as I rounded a corner I saw the director of my program and he and two other chaperones ended up helping me find the winery and stayed to taste the wines. The wine tasting itself cost five euros and for the amount of wine we tasted, it was definitely a deal in my book!

When I did finally arrive at the winery (only a minute late), my friend Noelle looks up at me and was like "Alex, after all of our turns down different streets I was almost positive you weren't gonna make it." And for awhile, I was almost positive I wasn't gonna make it too. But, God always has a plan and with a few prayers to Him, I knew I would be safe regardless of what happened.

We stayed at Stadt Hotel Cittá and it was beautiful! It honestly might be one of my favorite hotels I've ever stayed in. The breakfast was delicious. The offered soft boiled eggs, croissants, the best watermelon, different cheeses, meats, salmon, and mimosas!

The hotel also offered wifi (which, if you've read some of my past posts has been pretty hard to come by) and free water (which, is also really hard to come by). Oh and don't even get my started on the slippers! They gave us the cutest slippers and combine that with the air conditioning in the hotel room and I'm a very happy camper.

Oh and did I mention they had bidets in the bathroom? Yeah, I didn't really use it properly but, it was a great foot washer... and definitely beat sticking my leg in the shower!

I definitely loved the trip to Bolzano. I don't know if it was because of the wine and the great pasta dishes or it was because of the beautiful city and hotel but, it honestly couldn't get much better than that! I'm so glad I got to see Italy and if I ever have a chance to come back to Europe, I'm definitely gonna explore Italy further.

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