Updated: Dec 1, 2021
Today I arrived in Rome. And while all roads may lead to Rome, they are not all easy roads. In fact, many of the roads in Italy are tight, windy, crisscross, cobblestone roads with impatient drivers waiving their hand at you in the most Italian of ways.
For this trip I rented a 6-meter camper van that I drove one way from Frankfurt, Germany to Rome, Italy. The roads I drove in Germany and Austria were manageable, and luckily, they were the start of my trip as I was learning to drive a manual transmission. As soon as I got into Italy, it was as if the roads narrowed and the drivers lost patience. I’m not sure that I would recommend driving a large van in Italy, however, I had an incredible experience and feel I was able to see so much of northern Italy in the 15-days drive.
My first stop in Italy was Aquardens, just outside of Verona. This is the most incredible sauna and the place I first experienced an aufguss. The aufguss is a ritual where the sauna master pours water mixed with essential oils on the hot coals and moves the steam around by dancing with the towels to music curated by the performer. At Aquardens they have an aufguss ritual every hour with different aufgussmeisters, each with unique music and style. I loved this place so much I made a point to return after visiting Venice.
Venice is a place like no other, a city built on the water after the fall of the roman empire as the Venetian people sought to seek shelter from barbarian invasions on the tiny islands off the northeast coast of Italy. Venice is unique not only as the floating city, but also for its food, art, and architecture. It is truly a site to see, and somewhat indescribable for me. Just truly breathtaking. And the home to my favorite restaurant in the world, Vittoria dal 1938.
After Venice my road trip took me to Lago di Garda, Bergamo, Milan, Turin, Genoa, La Spezia, Pisa, Florence, Montepulciano, Perugia, Pienza, Bagni San Filippo, Citta della Pieve, Orvieto, Saturnia, Albinia, Lago di Bracciano, and then the final stop Rome, where I dropped off the camper van and got a place in the middle of the city to explore for a few days.
Throughout my time in here, I have loved everything I have consumed from cappuccinos with croissants, shared bottles of wine, pasta, street pizza, fish prepared in a variety of ways, afternoon gelato, etc. I have made many friends along the way who I have enjoyed food, wine, and walks with. I have loved every minute of my time in Italy, however it has been decadent and I am glad that I have planned a three week vegan yoga teacher training to follow up this Italian experience. I hope y’all enjoy this photo dump...