What comes to mind when you think of Italy? Is it the food, the sights, or perhaps the romantic Italian language? From learning about the history behind each building, to the incredible on-site chefs, Sarah shares her experience exploring Italy with Topdeck Travel:
Having never been to mainland Europe before, I was unsure what to expect, especially because I knew that the 8 days before me were filled with 35 strangers. I had never done a Topdeck Tour before, and being that I’m somewhat of a loner (I like my alone time), I was skeptical that I would enjoy being around that many people. I was looking forward to Italy so much, that in the weeks leading up to my trip, I became a sponge soaking in all the information online about this incredible destination.
We arrived in Rome, and wandered about by ourselves before the rest of the group showed up. We ended up having a wonderful day getting lost in Rome, even though there was a metro strike and we were running on about 2 hour of sleep.
The next day, we went on a 5 hour walking tour of Rome, starting at the Vatican, continuing on to the Piazza Navona, and had some free time for lunch or sunning in the square. After lunch, we continued on to the Pantheon, which is unbelievably breathtaking.
The wonderful thing about Italy isn’t just how great the food or gelato is, but the fact that you can walk around and touch 2,000 year old buildings. Walking around Rome, touching and seeing things with so much history behind them is almost impossible to describe.
My food experience with Topdeck was so amazing, it deserves it’s own category. They have a site team based in Rome that are both helpful, and talented cooks. After a really long day of walking around the city, we were all ready for a good meal, and boy did they ever deliver! The site has a Topdeck cook-out tent, and upon entering, we were greeted with bruschetta ready for us on the table.
Next was an unbelievable Risotto Primavera and Chicken smothered in Tomato and artichoke hearts. I’d never tasted anything like it, and must have helped myself to 3 pieces of chicken. The best course however, was dessert. I’ve never been a tiramisu fan, so when it came and I had already gorged myself on chicken, I thought to pass. Then I thought, “I’m in Italy!” If I was going to eat tiramisu anywhere, it would be here. Never before have I tasted something so decadent and just plain wonderful. It was rich, but not sweet. I’m not ashamed to say that I fell in love in Rome that night.
The Amazing thing about Italy is not the quality of the food, but rather the experience. There’s course after course of delicious options, and Italians truly make eating an event. You’re meant to savor your food, and are given lengthy breathing periods between courses.
One of my favorite experiences in Italy was in Florence involving a steak that you had to order by the Kilo. Florentine steaks are a very traditional experience, and being someone who doesn’t really like steak, I was concerned.
Upon the recommendation of our Trip Leader, we ordered a bottle of Chianti to go with it. Supposedly this is supposed to help break down the meat in your stomach. This could quite possibly have been one of the better meals I’ve ever had in my life. That’s the incredible thing about food in Italy; Italians have food so down pat, that they can make someone, who really doesn’t like steak that much, weak in the knees.
All in all, Italy was a wonderful experience, but more than that, I am a tour convert. It was so nice to have someone to do all the planning for you on vacation, and it really turned this trip into a true vacation. I made life long friends from all over the world, and will most certainly be traveling with Topdeck again in the near future!
Topdeck’s passion is providing unforgettable adventures across the globe for 18 to 30 somethings in Europe, Africa, Egypt, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the USA & Canada.
Looking for more information on travelling with Topdeck Travel? Give us a call at 1-877-967-5302 or get in touch with us online!