My Love for Italy

May 1, 2020

Many who know me know that I have always had a passion for Italy. The food, the culture, the language, the architecture, the music, everything. I like to believe that my mom nurtured this love of mine since I was a little girl. No, she is not Italian, that’s the crazy part! However, she did always listen to Eros Ramazzotti. I remember hearing his songs every morning while I was still in bed, loving the melodies but not understanding anything of what he said! Push comes to shove, he was singing in Italian.

Now, look, I’ll be honest, I can’t say I grew my love for Italy then and there. It took me years to realize it. Like most girls, my initial dream was to fly to Paris and see the Eiffel tower. I mean, hey, I went to school in New York where they always spoke about the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower’s history. So as you can guess, when people asked me “what is your dream destination”, I would answer with “Paris.”

As I grew up, however, I realized a trait of mine was to not follow the mainstream. That mainstream was indeed saying that my dream destination was Paris. However, that answer never held depth to it. Therefore, I was looking for a country that actually caught my eye (& my heart). So I looked to France’s neighbor: Italy. I realized that I wasn’t just interested in the attractions of Italy but I was attracted to every single aspect of it. I felt infatuation for France but true love for Italy.

When it clicked.

At this point of realization, I began loosely researching on Italy. All I did was search up “Italy” on my Pinterest search bar. Now, if you’re familiar with Pinterest, you know all my “for you” pins were of Italy. Sometimes, I wouldn’t even believe it was Italy because I never knew those places existed! I saw how beautiful and desirable Italy is and so I made a dedicated Pinterest board of it aside from my Travel board.

Now, I knew that if this was becoming a passion for me, I had to start preparing. So, I started with learning the language on my own. I started practicing on the Duolingo app and then I started listening to Italian songs. (You don’t see this but I just took a long pause because that is how impacted I was when I discovered Italian music).

It all started when I went to bed and I had spoken previously to my mom about this new found love that I felt for the Italian language. I remember feeling so inspired that I gave Italian music a try. I simply searched up “Italian music’ on Spotify and gave it a whirl. The first song I remember that played was “Grande Amore” by Il Volo and there I was balling my eyes out in bed. I was so taken aback by how beautiful those songs were and how convinced I was that I should pursue learning Italian as a third language.

If I wasn’t already convinced, then came a song by the infamous Eros Ramazzotti. There I was, being transported back to my childhood, back to mornings in Miami. I was so excited to get up and tell my mom that I discovered Eros Ramazzotti was singing Italian this whole time! When I did, she simply said “yeah I know.” Despite that, I was still so mind boggled with the fact that I was introduced to the Italian language at such a young age and here I am at 17 years old finally pursuing it!

Just when I thought the signs weren’t any clearer, they introduced Italian classes in my senior year at high school! At first I was assigned to AP Spanish on my schedule which I wasn’t too fond of. However, one day during Trigonometry class, one of my classmates was showing his schedule and low and behold, he had Italian class fourth period. Long story short, I made sure they changed my language class to Italian with Mrs. Conti.

The two semesters I spent learning Italian in high school really made my senior year special. Most importantly, it made my determination, to travel to Italy, even stronger. When I graduated high school in 2017, I already knew that the rest of the year was going to be difficult for me to travel let alone plan a trip to a dream destination. That’s why 2018 became my year of planning and 2019 the year my dream came true.

Stay tuned for the next story on how the planning started. I plan to make this a super long series on how I managed to plan my trip to Italy all on my own and actually sharing details about my itinerary as well.