ITALY 2017

September 12, 2017


Hello everyone and welcome back! 

One of the things on my goals list for 2017 was to go some place I've never been before. So for 2017, I had the pleasure of traveling to Italy with my best friends. We made the decision around March and booked the tickets in April for August 9th. Even though I booked my flight and got my confirmation ticket in my email, it still didn't feel real. Summer was going by and I was counting the days until it was time to pack. Finally August 9th was here and while I was on my way to the airport it STILL didn't hit me that I was going to Europe for the first time! 

Boarding the plane was nerve racking for me because I had a huge flight scare/panic when I was coming back from Puerto Rico in early January, 2017. To make a long story short, after we were already in the air for an hour, the pilot came on the loud speaker and said he has to turn back to Puerto Rico and make an emergency landing, he said they were having technically difficulties and he feared we weren't going to make it to New York. Everyone on board was panicking and we started seeing smoke from the window. Finally we landed back in Puerto Rico and the firefighters were already there waiting for us. They put us in a hotel and we took another flight the next day. Getting on this flight to Italy was longer than any other flight I've ever been on & the plane was bigger than any plane I've been on in the past. The plane ride was smooth thank god, and we landed at our first stop, Germany! We stood there for a few hours, ate, relaxed, and went on the next flight to Italy. 

Finally we landed in Italy and I couldn't believe it. It was such an exciting feeling. First stop was Tuscany. Our first historic monument to see was the Leaning Tower of Pisa and having to maneuver around a country you've never been before, while speaking little to no Italian isnt easy but we had some nice people who spoke english to help us and also Google translate to the rescue. The next thing we saw was the stunning David statue by Michelangelo. The photo I took does not do it justice! Not only is it amazingly tall, it's an amazing piece of art. I'm not the artsy-fartsy type but I do LOVE history and this is an historic piece of art and very stunning to look at. After seeing the David statue we climbed up the famous Duomo in Florence. It was 463 steps, according to our tour guide but my legs beg to differ, it felt like 1,000 steps lol If your claustrophobic, I do not recommend you do this.  Its very steep and It's a very tight space. Theres little to no air coming through because there is barely any windows and when you do come across one, its like the size of an iPad mini. However, once we got to the top the view was amazing! It was so worth it!

After a few days in Tuscany, we took a fast train to Rome for our next destination. I was most excited to go to Rome and see the colosseum. I've always been obsessed with Roman gladiator movies. Visiting the colosseum was unbelievable, being able to walk inside something so historic, walking the same ground so many people have walked on before me, truly words couldn't describe. The architecture was absolutely breathtaking! I just wanted to yell "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED???

And our final destination was Milan, where we got to relax and enjoy our last few days in Italy. We booked the best hotel for last, it was so cool, it had this futuristic Zenon Girl of the 21st Center vibe lol We went out to dinner and roamed the streets of Milan. My favorite part was relaxing in the pool at the hotel. There is just so many details I would love to share but this blog post would be 5 pages long. I posted a vlog of my trip to Italy on my youtube channel (LINK DOWN BELOW) it's only part 1, part 2 will be posted up soon! 


TIPS FOR TRAVELING TO ITALY:

1. Pay attention to your belongings! (Pickpocketing is very popular in Italy, even the ATMs warn you. My friends and I were almost pick pocketed TWICE but we caught them in time) Sometimes it be the innocent looking people you would never think would try to pickpocket you, so don't be fooled!

2. If you take the Trenitalia trains that look like the LIRR, don't bother buying a ticket because the conductors barely ever check them, if you want, buy one small ticket (thats cheaper) than stay on the train until your stop approaches. 

3. Take cash out the local ATMs (they're cheaper than going to a Money Exchange place)

4. If you take the Metro trains which are underground like NYC MTA trains and if you want to save some money you can hop it because some stations are deserted. 

5. If you take the local busses, don't bother buying a ticket as well because EVERYONE just hops the bus (we kept buying bus tickets and we notice everyone was just getting on the bus, no one was scanning any tickets so we stop buying them)

6. If you're looking to book hotels with breakfast included, save your money because the breakfast is TRASH. Every hotel we went to, we booked with breakfast included and the breakfast is basically deserts and cappuccinos, if you're into that than fine but I was really missing some bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches from NYC)

7. Wear comfortable shoes when site seeing, even if you're wearing the shoes for the first time and you THINK they're going to be comfortable, pack flip flops just in case, because my friends and I had blisters like there was no tomorrow!)

8. If you're planning to go out to a night club or bar, make sure you get the number for a cab because transportation stops working after midnight and they close down all the entrances/exits so don't get stranded in the train station and also the cabs are limited at night, you only see a few that are working for the prostitutes) 

9. If you're with a group of friends going for a night out, make sure someone in the group stays sober, you don't want end up being auctioned off like the movie Taken!

10. The lines to see famous monuments are extremely long and if you don't mind standing in the heat then do your thang but what we did was book a tour guide, usually they'll be standing around trying to pick up customers. They'll be a little bit more than the general priced tickets but its so worth it because you get to skip the line, learn more about the history and some tour guides show you things that the regular entry won't show the public. 

11. Don't pay attention to the people trying to sell you things in the street, they first give it to you and tell you its free, then the minute you say thank you and try to walk away, they try to force you to give them a tip and when you try to be nice and give them a tip, they demand more money because the tip you gave them is not what they wanted. Therefore, whatever they gave you is not really "free".

Point is, going to a different country can be scary so try not to be naive and stay safe! Other than that it was a great experience. I hope to go again one day to visit Venice.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog post, don't forget to subscribe to my site to receive email notifications for when a new blog is up! Stay tuned for the next blog post!


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About me

Name: Alison Emmary
Nickname: Ally
Age: 24
Height: 5'2"
Ethnicity: Puerto Rican
Occupation: Flight Attendant
Home: Brooklyn, New York
Favorite Movies: White Chicks
Favorite Color: Olive Green



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