After completing mechanical engineering at McMaster University, Canada, four of my roommates and I went on a month long Euro-trip covering Switzerland, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands and Germany. Since we all wanted to have a real backpacking experience, we booked best possible hostels, apartments and rental cars to cover as much of Europe as we possibly could.
After relaxing on sunny beaches of Barcelona, Spain, we travelled through Italy. Besides enjoying delicious pizzas, pastas and countless plates of tiramisu, we drove across Italy and explored Rome, Pisa, Florence, Cinque Terre and Lake Como.
If you are fascinated by the history and ancient architectures, you have to visit Rome once in your lifetime. It seems like you can’t walk more than a few meters without coming across something of historical significance. Unless you know your history very well or have an informative audio guide or a guide book, we would recommend taking a guided tour. We took a guided walking tour that started from Roman Forum and took us through the Coliseum.
At the Roman Forum, each scattered stone remain has its unique story to share. Our guide showed us pictures of the current Coliseum and compared the remains with illustrations of what the architecture might have looked like in ancient times. From the illustrations, we can clearly visualize how majestic the Coliseum must have looked during the Roman era. No pictures or videos can describe the experience of actually walking through the hallways and witnessing the arena where the gladiators used to fight for their lives.
After exploring Rome, we drove to Cinque Terre to witness beautiful coastlines surrounded by green mountains and colourful homes on the slope of the hills. Although it is very easy to catch a train or a ferry to visit nearby villages, we decided to take a more adventurous route and hiked from one village to another. If you are foodie, you can stop by local restaurants along the way and enjoy delicious local food while admiring the beautiful view of green mountains, blue ocean and clear sky. Since the villages are not very far from each other you can simply walk to nearby villages using scenic mountain trails.