Forsa Italia!

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March 25th 2013
Published: April 13th 2013
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Milan DuomoMilan DuomoMilan Duomo

On a rainy day
Forsa Italia!! Being a huge football fan, my impressions of Italy has always been of their famous football players, and their solid rock defence, especially in the successful quest for World Cup success in 2006. Big names like Pablo Madini, Alexandro Nesta and Gianluci Buffon come to mind. Fast forward a few years later and mixed experiences will shape my impressions when asked about this much-raved country as a tourist destination. Honestly, going into Italy after unforgettable times in Switzerland is always a challenge for the former to live up to expectations!

We were looking forward to Italy for a few reasons. One is the highly rated trip to Venice. Another will be to see iconic monuments such as the Leaning Tower and the Colosseum. And of course, to also try their world-famous Gelato. Okay, this was more like what Steph was looking out for ALL the time! Our route down Italy goes from Milan to Venice, then Florence (with Pisa as a day trip) and finally to Rome.


Our first stop in Italy and unfortunately the worst experience we’ve had during our whole trip. Initial impressions of high-end shopping and ‘Atas’ (In Singaporean slang: high class)

Inside the Duomo
people walking the streets were immediately dashed by our encounter at the metro station. There was at least one local stationed at each self-ticketing counter at the station, pretending to help tourists where their real intentions were to take any change from the machine or cheat tourists of their money. Expecting that, I insisted on buying the tickets ourselves. But before I could retrieve the 1 Euro change from the machine, the local standing by my counter flicked the flap and dropped the coin on the ground, which was then immediately picked up by her accomplice. Very quick and well-practiced trick I must say. Thankfully, Steph’s sharp eyes noticed that and we got back our change.

2nd Incident happened at the square in front of the impressive Duomo. While we were taking some candid shots, a local came over and grabbed Steph’s wrist, putting some seeds on her hand to attract a pigeon over. Within a second, one flew over and began pecking on her hand, with that guy calling for me to take photos of it. Well, not that I needed hear Steph’s shrieks to know that she was uncomfortable with it, I told the guy to back

Lighting it up
off and we both quickly left the scene, to shouts of ‘money!’ from the local, for the feed of the pigeon. This trick probably worked for some, as quite a few tourists willingly did that (perhaps not knowing that they had to pay for it) but we aren’t in for any of this!

The rain throughout the day probably made it worse. But we did something to cheer us up, and that is to have our first of many Gelato in Italy! Yeah, ice cream in the cold. Haha. And we made our first microwave-cooked pasta for dinner at the hostel, which in our opinion was also the most appalling one we’ve stayed in. But worse = most unforgettable experience in a different sense right! For that, we are thankful (but no more 2nd time please!) for all that happened and started looking forward to the next day’s visit to Venice.

Additional photos below
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14th April 2013

A short but exciting blog...nearly scammed twice. Only 4 pics...but 4 beauties! Sounds as if you'll have fun in Italy.

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