Scarlett of Petitesuitcase is sharing her top 5 places to visit on the Amalfi Coast!
By Mary Grace Shelly
The routines we follow in our everyday lives have a silent way of becoming comfortably concrete. We get too busy, too tired, or too distracted to place importance on the little things in life that keep our minds awake and our souls inspired. I found myself feeling this way during my junior year of college, and spending a semester traveling Europe changed my life more than I could possibly have imagined. The possibilities endless, but here are just a few of the ways that traveling Europe opens your eyes to the world around you.
"It is a humbling experience to connect with people who live in places and cultures that seem so far outside the realm of your personal world."
There is something special about the people you meet when you travel. It is a humbling experience to connect with people who live in places and cultures that seem so far outside the realm of your personal world. I conversed with people with whom I shared no common language, and I observed people whose normal lifestyle was foreign to mine in every way.
The sweet woman who sold me handmade bracelets that I brought home to my sister, the compassionate man that helped me find my way when I was lost; these people broke down the barriers between us and made me remember that even with all the bad things happening in the world, there is still overwhelming goodness in humanity.
The food in Europe is another truly integral part of the entire experience. The smells and tastes are as much a part of exploration as the sights are. Trying new flavors and cuisine from places all over the world makes the experience of travel so authentic and enriching. Simply put, good food is just good for the soul.
"Not only observing, but living the lifestyles and traditions of other people is so important, both for learning about the world and learning about yourself."
Immersing yourself in different cultures is the most important part of having an authentic and eye opening experience abroad. Luckily, meeting people and trying new things (like amazing food), are two really great ways to do this.
Not only observing, but living the lifestyles and traditions of other people is so important, both for learning about the world and learning about yourself. It brings new perspectives and broadened understandings, and it helps you reflect on your own life to make positive changes in your ideas, your lifestyle, and your happiness.
Traveling starts out as an exploration of what is outside your comfort zone. It is getting on a plane, going to a new place, trying new things, learning new languages, and seeing new sights.
"But somewhere along the way, when our eyes are opened to the beauty in the world, travel becomes a journey of self-reflection, an experience that allows us to see clearly through the fog that builds up in our everyday lives and come to better understandings about who we are, what we love, and how we want to live. "
Has travel changed you? Let us know below!
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Meet Mary Grace
Mary Grace Shelly is a Graphic Designer and Associate Brand Coordinator at Travel Italian Style. She is lucky enough to be in school studying different aspects of one of the things she loves most: creativity. Her other favorite things include, but are not limited to, her pug, Pinterest, the beach, Christmas music, and taking way too many pictures of her food.
After spending a semester studying abroad in London, and using every spare weekend to travel throughout Europe, Mary Grace’s passion for seeing the world and learning new cultures has integrated itself into her everyday life. She is so excited to be involved with a company like Travel Italian Style that gives others the chance to have a life-changing adventure just like she did.
By Giorgio Nardini
A little history for you: largest city and capital of Emilia-Romagna, the 1-million population town has been a melting pot of cultures since the Etruscans and Celts and is home to the oldest university in the world that dates back to 1088.
Bologna is a lively and very livable city. You can easily move around by walking or by bike. I visited Bologna last year for just one day. I hopped on a train from Rome in the morning and got back in the evening; a tiring adventure, but well worth it!
If you ask any Italian what's the first thing that comes to mind when you say "Bologna", they will say "Tortellini".
These rings stuffed with meat and sometimes cheese, are usually served in a broth of beef or chicken. I personally prefer them dry like the ones in the picture.
Other than tortellini, a must-eat local food is mortadella. It’s a sort of huge sausage made of pork (and pork fat, the white circles you see in the picture here) and spiced up with black pepper and pistachios. It’s a classic in every Italian region though: a “panino” with mortadella was my daily lunch during university because it’s cheap and delicious. In Bologna, it’s accompanied with tigelle. See those round slice of breads? Those are tigelle, usually served warm. And yes, everything else is good on a tigella: cheese, salami or ham.
Aside from the DELICIOUS food, there are also some great cultural attractions in Bologna.
Portici are these elegant archways that line a large part of the city's streets. There are more than 23 miles of portici in the old town only. If you count the outskirt's portici, it's 36 miles!
Between the XII and XIII century, the total number of towers reached 100. Nowadays only 24 survived. Two towers of Bologna are ones of the landmarks of the city: the tallest one is called Torre degli Asinelli, while the shorter one is the Garisenda.
“As when one sees the tower called Garisenda from underneath its leaning side, and then a cloud passes over and it seems to lean the more, thus did Antaeus seem to my fixed gaze as I watched him bend…”
-Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy, Inferno, XXXI, 136-140
Surrounded by historic and administrative buildings, Piazza Maggiore is the main square of Bologna. This majestic Medieval wonder dates back to 1200s and it was one of the first piazza built after the Roman Empire’s downfall. It is spectacular at night.
Bologna is a destination you don't want to miss out on.
Want to visit some other awesome places in Italy? Check out some of Travel Italian Style's tours!
Giorgio Velardita Nardiniand was born and raised outside Rome! He is joining the TIS team as International Public Relations and Branding Advisor. As a passionate amateur photographer, traveling is the thing he loves the most can’t live a day without thinking about his next destination. When not researching for TIS, Giorgio shares his photos and advice on his very own blog wanderlustdaily.com/en which is written in both in Italian and in English. His goal is to inspire people to travel more. While he loves Italy his dream is to live somewhere in the USA (every since his first visit in 2009 when he was 18 & fell in love with the American culture (and burgers). Oh yes: he is also a foodie. Say “pasta” and “pizza” and Giorgio is your friend.