My Italian Adventure
Next Last Map Index Exit
CHAPTER 1 LOCATION: Home SUBJECT: And so it begins...

Buon giorno! Join me on an exploration of Italy, as seen through the eyes of a first-time international traveler.

I'm Elizabeth, and I want to share with you what it was like to travel solo for a month, with little preparation or agenda.

Since the trip was completed in November of 1999, some things have changed (like the monetary unit, then the Lira, now the Euro), but I believe enough remains to make this account relevant to anyone contemplating a similar visit.

The first thing I want to state emphatically is, if you've been thinking about going, GO. I waited until my early thirties for an opportunity to fulfill my wanderlust, hoping to find a kindred spirit to travel with me. It didn't happen, and I didn't go.

When my relationship of seven years ended abruptly, the pain was excruciating. Consumed by hurt, I had a thought which saved me: It would be stupid to die with money in the bank. I asked myself what I most wanted to do, and my heart answered: Italy.

I got on the internet, and I bought a non-refundable ticket to Rome. In 21 days I would be on a plane.

Understand, I was a person who just didn't do things like this. I was a person who looked three dozen times before even considering leaping. Someone who had to have plans and lists and three suitcases for a three day trip to visit mom in the same state.

But with little time to make it all happen, I got down to work...

Next: Whirlwind Preparations

My first night in Italy, getting settled in at the Pensione Ottaviano near the Vatican in Rome.

Essential Words & Phrases for the First Time Traveler to Italy:

Buon giorno (good morning)
Ciao (hello & bye)
Per favore (please)
Grazie (thank you)
Mi scusi (excuse me)
Mi dispiace (I'm sorry)
Prego (you're welcome)
Parla l'inglese?
(do you speak English?)
Molto bene (very good)
Dove (where)
il Gabinetto (the toilet)

Next Last Map Index Exit

all contents © copyright 2002-2005 all rights reserved
no images or text may be used without prior written permission