Hi there, it’s Freya!
As my first blog for this new Fruitful English feature, I thought I would talk a little about my trip to Italy over the summer.
When I am not working on Fruitful, I work at a school in Portsmouth, England. The beauty of working in a school means that you are lucky enough to have the 6 weeks of summer holidays, free to do whatever you please. Also lucky, my best friend had just finished an internship so she was free to enjoy a small vacation with me! As she lives in Belgium and I live in England, we decided to fly to Milan, Italy and meet there. Neither of us had been before but heard that is was amazing. We had also heard that you only needed a few days there so we decided to spend 4 days in Milan and then 4 days along the coast in a place called Cinque Terre.
Have any of you ever seen the film ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ ? In the first part of the film, Julia Roberts travels to Italy and learns the phrase ‘dolce far neinte’ which means ‘the sweetness of doing nothing’. This is the perfect description of our trip to Italy. I haven’t felt so relaxed in such a long time. Milan was amazing. Cinque Terre was amazing. It was all amazing.
Milan was very quiet when we were there. It was about 32’C, so a lot of locals had closed their businesses and left for the beach. It meant it was easy to walk around without feeling like you were drowning in a sea of people – like London does! We visited the cathedral, saw Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, and ate everything in sight. My favourite part was on a tour we took around the city. Whilst most of the stops were expected, the final one was definitely a surprise. Outside the stock exchange in Milan is a large sculpture of….a middle finger! No one on our tour had heard of it but it was certainly different. The whole tour group found is very funny.
Usually on trips, I feel like I have to plan every detail to make the most out of it. However, this time, we took things day by day: we wandered around, ate ice-cream, and just enjoyed being away from the hustle and bustle of every day life at home. The sweetness of nothing!
This absolutely didn’t change when we went to Cinque Terre. Directly translated, ‘cinque terre’ means ‘five lands’. It is a string of five beautiful towns along the Italian coastline. We stayed in one called Riomaggiore but there were frequent trains to travel between them all. Our first day, my friend and I got up early and spent the whole day exploring all of the five towns. Each was slightly different but all equally charming. Still, all we did was wander and eat. We lay on the beach, swam in the sea and ate some more…. The sweetness of nothing!
Now it is September and I am back at work, I am really glad I took some time out in the summer for myself. It definitely made me feel fresh faced and ready to tackle the everyday challenges work has to offer!
However, Italy taught me it is still okay to take time out for yourself! So, as I write this I am eating a big bowl of ice-cream and am singing (badly) along to Taylor Swift. No regrets!
I live and work in the UK and have a degree in English Language and Literature. When I am not on Fruitful, I work as a teaching assistant at a school. I am passionate about the environment and love to travel and read.