Though Italy is widely known as the home to many famous romantic places in the world, yet travelling in this country as a single guy didn’t do me any regret in the slightest; its aesthetic beauty, rich history, people’s relaxed way of living, well-known cuisine, and even its considered-by-many-as-sexy language are just all some of the things Italy has to offer, which greatly spiced up my 11 months there.
After many years of dreaming to study abroad, I finally had a chance. I was selected for a scholarship in the Erasmus Mundus Mobility for Asia Programme, and among 3 universities that I prioritized, the university of Padova accepted me. The programme sponsored me to spend 10 months in Padova and study as an exchange student there.
The experience was amazing in so many ways. It was the longest time I’ve been abroad, for almost a year. During the whole time, I met so many people, many of whom were also international, Erasmus students, and although most of them didn’t become my close friends, meeting such a diverse group of people really made my year. Besides, I got to live a European life. For sure it wasn’t totally European, as I am always a foreigner, yet I got total independence from my parents; that is, I could do whatever I wanted to do, like going out at 1 am in the morning and coming back at 5 am in the morning without my parents worried about me, and I was financially independent (I didn’t need any cents out of parents’ pockets), and I got to learn so many things. My world was only lifted to another new, wider level, with a much better understanding of the European societies, ones that I had barely known anything about. Plus, I got to do many of my first times. For the first times in my life, I travelled across countries alone, I got drunk J, I learned Italian, I went from places to places by trains, I joined the new-year countdown celebration at the flooded square in Venice, and I knew what it felt like to touch snow, just to name a few.
Plus, I got do a lot of travelling; for less than one year, I’ve been to more than 30 cities in almost 10 countries, and for sure, the country that I most visited during this time was Italy. Even though it’s a shame that I couldn’t manage a trip to any city in the South of Italy, I almost made it in all regions in the North of Italy, from Piemonte in the most west to Lazio in the most south of the Italian North. From these travelling experiences, I have so much to share with. I will go from city to city, describing and introducing what I found interesting and attractive about each one.
I was lucky enough to stay in Padova, the city of one of the oldest universities in the world, starting in 1222, and got the memorable pleasure of travelling once to Turin (the old capital of Italy), once to Milan (one of the high-profiled fashion capitals of the world), once to Verona (the one with the famous home of Juliet, the main leading character of one of the all-time favorite romances, Romeo and Juliet), once to Trento (the city among the alps of the UNESCO Dolomites), Florence (the city of Renaissance), once to Pisa (the one with the renowned leaning tower), once to the undeniably breathtaking Cinque Terre, once to the capital city of Italy, Rome, and almost 10 times to the famous floating city of Venice. Other cities that I’ve been to were as: Ferrara, Vicenza, Marostica, Bassano del Grappa, and Cittadella. I’m absolutely delighted I did this.