For the past week, my family has been here in Italy!! They got here last Wednesday and are leaving today (Friday), so their visit was about 10 days in total. It’s been a whirlwind of a week and half, as we have travelled throughout Italy and all over Rome. It’s been an amazingly fun week, but an exhausting one, too.
It wasn’t until my family got here that I realized how excited I was for them to experience Italy. I of course am no expert on Italy, or Rome for that matter, but it was exciting knowing that they were kind of on “my turf,” that they were visiting the place I currently call home. I wanted them to experience everything possible, and as such, I have been on turbo-tour-guide mode all week. I have been making schedules, timing out visits, and making reservations this way and that. We made it to almost all the items I had on my list for them, but throughout the past 10 days I have been reminded that when it comes to schedules, my family doesn’t always exactly stay on track. It was tough to accept at first, but I had to learn (as I am learning everyday) to put my control-freak tendencies aside. Plus, when you travel, it’s typically when you deviate from the “schedule” that you make the best memories.
In the course of 10 days, my family visited Venice, Florence, Naples, Pompeii, and Rome. They were troopers, and I am proud of them. Traveling for an extended amount of time is no walk in the park; our bodies go into a continuous state of motion, and true rest can be hard to find. It was fun to see which cities each of my family members responded to; for example, my dad absolutely loved Venice, while my mom says she could go back and live in Florence for a month. Knowing my family, it was cool to see how each of their personalities were reflected by a particular city. I can safely say, though, that we had an amazing time in each city, and each city holds a unique memory for us. In Florence, we loved walking through leather shops, trying on bags, shoes, and jackets. In Venice, we learned to be at peace with the seas, surrendering all control we had over our transportation. And in Rome, well, we ate pasta. Lots of it.
As I’m writing this, my family is preparing to get on their plane in a few hours. It is bittersweet watching them pack, because I am going to miss having them here with me, but I know they are taking home some wonderful new memories (and lots of new Italian clothes). I will miss taking them on pizza and gelato tours throughout Rome, and I will miss watching them navigate public transportation (in Houston, where we’re from, public transportation is not a thing!). I will miss taking them to a new bakery each morning, and I will miss joking with my sister as we stood in line for museums and tours.
I am glad, though, that I got to show them the Rome that I experience on a day-to-day basis; they saw the Residence, visited Temple Rome’s campus, and climbed to my favorite lookout points in Villa Borghese. They got to see how I am making a life for myself in a new place and country. All in all, it’s been an amazing 10 days, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Since I go to college so far away from Texas, my time at home and with my family has become more limited, so I like to treasure every minute with them that I can. Having my family come to Italy was such a dream and a blessing, and our own little Roman holiday. I know this was a trip we will remember for a long time to come- and we have multiple selfies to prove it!