We have all shared, at least with the pillow, a series of destinations and places that we want to see before closing our eyes. Being able to meet them is a dream of those who come true.
In my case, I began to dream of Italy since I was young and I was leafing through, enraptured, a textbook called History of Art and Civilizations. It seems to me that they gave it in 8th grade. course. I liked the book so much that when it was time to exchange it for the next term (we hardly had new books in my day), I put it away and kept it without telling my mother.
I don’t know how many times I read it and reviewed it, looking in admiration at the paintings, sculptures and large buildings that recounted the greatness of ancient civilizations. I still imagine myself looking at the pyramids in Giza, I saw myself walking through the hanging gardens of a disappeared Babylon and admiring the frescoes in the Sistine chapel. There are people who are dazzled by modern buildings. It’s not my case. I like to see stones and the older the better. That’s why Italy, Greece and Egypt are on my bucket list.
For many years I put off the trip of my dreams. More important things related to daughters, family, and home took precedence. In those years of growing up alone, the expenses outweighed the tastes, but the desire was always there, waiting for the moment.
And it was given to me! I had to wait for the girls to graduate, the cards to be cleared, and the planets to align, but I got it! With an excellent friend, unrepentant traveler and expert in travel organization, we put together our tour of Italy.
The reality is that it was more than I had imagined, even for my feet. The Colosseum awaited us at night illuminated in all its splendor. Full of “wrinkles”, it stands majestically, unperturbed by the passing of time (almost two thousand years) and by the elements. You will have seen everything happen in 20 centuries of history.
It is difficult to walk two blocks in Rome and not come across a building that you have not seen before through photos or in movies. It is a work of art turned into a city. The mythical Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the hills where it all began, the architectural wonder of the Pantheon, leave you with a feeling of bewilderment. Centuries of history in a few quadrants, the wonder of human ingenuity that transcends time and millions of visitors every year.
The Vatican, its museums and the majesty of Saint Peter’s Square leave no one indifferent. The Sistine Chapel captivates you. Fortunately we had a guide who was explaining to us what we were seeing because it was too much to appreciate on one’s own. When will another Michelangelo be born to amaze the world?
Florence welcomed us with an epic hailstorm, but then allowed us to visit slowly under an overcast sky. Enough for us to appreciate its impressive “Duomo”, a masterpiece of Gothic art and the first Italian Renaissance. Marble defies time and engineering and the sculptures only need to speak. They explain Stendhal syndrome to you and you understand it perfectly. It is impossible to absorb so much beauty without feeling like your heart is going to jump out of your chest.
Venice does not disappoint and is much more than canals. A set of islands linked by bridges and full of wonders. The cathedral of San Marcos, the bell tower and a clock that has told the time for centuries with millimeter precision leave you wondering if civilization, as we know it today, has been regressing. Despite the “advances” of modernity, it seems that we are not capable of building a sidewalk, a wall, that lasts more than two years.
Passing through Pisa, on a yacht through Capri, and walking through the ruins of Pompeii, you stop to think that life can change in a minute. Thousands of people were working, walking, going about their daily lives when Vesuvius erupted, annihilating everything in its path in the year 79 AD. Even today they continue to dig under the ashes and continue to find vestiges of a great city that was frozen in time.
Pompeii made me think. Everything can end in a minute, even dreams.
If you read me today, I invite you to review your list of things to do, of dreams to fulfill and get on it. If you have the chance, don’t stop them. We all leave this land, some before others, but no one can take away what we have danced…or traveled.
What is the trip of your dreams?