Tivoli, Italy

As per usual, my overambitious self may have overestimated my abilities and decided why stop at 20 hours of travel time and stay in Florence for a night? No, I of course had to decide to hope on a train to Rome, switch stations there, and take another train to Tivoli. Needless to say, I had an alarm set every 2 minutes so I wouldn’t sleep through my stop! In the end though, it was worth it to get all the travelling out in one day and start the next day at my destination, worry free. Albeit, my Airbnb host thought it was hilarious how early I went to sleep the first night!

I decided to take it easy in Tivoli and really just give myself a chance to settle in and get adjusted to the time change as well as the life style change (still trying to teach myself to not like run from place to place… apparently I’m still in finals and getting ready to leave mode). I’ve been working hard to get my eating habits in line with those of the Italians – no lunch until 2 or 3 and dinner isn’t until 9. Not to mention that lunch is the big meal and dinner is the small meal. The language barrier was a lot at the beginning, which again is my own fault for going to a less touristy place. Almost no one spoke English in Tivoli and all the signs and menus were in Italian. Lucky for me, I find Italian to be kind of similar to Spanish and I could recognize a lot of the ingredients on the menu. Even without always knowing what I’ve been ordering, the food so far has been amazing! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat a pizza again at home the same. My first pizza I ordered (with only Italian names and no ingredients) lucked out to be a prosciutto, salami, and mushroom pizza that was absolutely divine. For dinner I had a mushroom ravioli and some delicious Italian wine, which by a translation error I ended up ordering half a litre instead of a glass! Oh well I just stayed and read my book there for the evening. No complaints over here!

My first morning there I went to Villa d’Este. Typical me, I did decide to go to Tivoli just to see this one place which seems to be a recurring theme when I go to smaller towns. The estate has painted rooms upon rooms and collections of art, but what I really went for was the garden. Built in the mid 1500s, the gardens are an iconic piece of Renaissance architecture and are often referred to as giardini delle meraviglie, meaning the wonder gardens. Overlooking the countryside are hundreds of fountains, fish ponds, and paths to stroll through. I spent my morning wandering through and absorbing the beauty of it all. The rest of my time in Tivoli I just explored the town, through the windy (and hilly) side streets, admiring the buildlings. Everything was so old and absolutely precious which I guess makes sense since the whole city is a UNESCO site. I always find it a tad comical how old decaying buildings can somehow still be so beautiful. The locals probably thought I was some crazy tourist admiring the crumbling buildings. Oh well, I am a tad odd so I guess they wouldn’t be that wrong in their assumption. I’m just another Asian tourist with her camera and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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