One of my favorite travel destinations for historic sites is Italy. The country is plastered with historic building and ruins from every time period since the antiquity. I love wandering through its cities and admire remnants of Ancient Rome or the Italian renaissance.
On the ferry, I encountered two other backpackers around my age, one from Sweden and one from Japan. We had interesting exchanges about our home countries and travel experiences over dinner on deck, sharing our travel provisions.
A Catholic priest, a Vatican assistant and a German backpacker are sitting on a train... Sounds like the beginning of a (potentially inappropriate) joke. But it actually happened.
People like to think in stereotypes. And the only way to confirm or dismiss them is for you to meet people. One of my most striking impressions of Italians (especially in Venice and in Rome) during my visits was... how friendly and helpful people turned out to be.
Due to the early starts of fall, my first day of exploration in Rome was mostly grey and drizzly, but I was still fascinated. Rome feels like an open-air museum and has so many different styles of architecture to offer. You can just walk down a street and suddenly be faced with ancient Roman ruins or an old renaissance building.
After Venice, I headed south to the eternal city of Rome. What stuck with me most during this visit were the interactions I had with other travelers.
Heading into Venice with a train is kind of fascinating in itself. There is nothing but water around you for miles, but you can see the lagoon city growing in the distance. And once you actually step out of the train station, it is like your stepped back in time and into a different world.
My train route to Venice involved a train change in Milan and in theory, there would have been enough time to get to the connecting train. But, as you know, life (and travel) does not always go as planned.