A trip down memory lane and beyond - Italy

(Image courtesy of Unsplash)

26th February 2021

By Grace Bishop

Typically, as the daffodils begin to bloom and Spring slowly emerges, the impulse to book a summer holiday becomes difficult to ignore. This annual routine offers a small escape to paradise away from that 9-5 working week.

The masses begin to work on their ‘beach body’ and pamper in abundance. Endless nail, tanning, hair and eyebrow appointments crowd the diaries to capture those candid Insta photos by the pool, which are usually used for many months to follow with captions like ‘take me back’. The meticulous planning of bikinis and dinner outfits are essential. Although every year I force almost everything I own into a suitcase on the off chance I might need it. You never know… you might need a jacket in 40 degree temperatures, right?

Just need a good Netflix show for the plane journey, a pre-holiday drink at the airport and you’re all set for a week of sun! After wasting hours and hours in airport security - because your dad insists on arriving 4 hours before needed - you slowly edge closer and closer to the front of the line. Night flights will always be the most exhilarating time to travel (the only time I will ever choose to sacrifice my sleep). A prosecco to start the week off it a vital! A little bubbly at 4am never hurt anyone?

Now you are ‘officially’ on holiday the diet immediately goes out the window - with every excuse while reaching for carbs being ‘I’m on holiday - diet starts when were back’. After months of dieting, a little indulgence has surely been earned. And breath. As you board the flight and the sun begins to rise… the hard work is done and its now a waiting game for paradise. Once the plane lands, the hot air hits you immediately and it’s time to show off your new sunglasses.

Wandering through the cobbled and ancient streets of Rome, surrounded by an abundance of Italian cafes selling fragrant fresh coffee, reviving your travel exhaustion. During the day, Rome remains a tourist attraction, drawing individuals in to absorb the vast religious and historic culture. Classic buildings such as the Colosseum and Vatican City evoke desires to understand faith and offer respect. When the sun sets, Rome is transformed into an enchanting twilight and vibrant location. Families crowd around tiny tables outside little restaurants and the lit up fountains attract younger children to play. Fresh oregano and basil accumulate in the air. A cold glass of wine is a must! Dominos may be delicious… but they’ve got nothing on fresh Italian pizza!

Once Rome has been explored, a change of scene to Naples adds to the adventure. Encompassed in traditional Italian furnishings and religious artworks, Sorento heightens the culture with all the perks of being at the coast. We’ve got to work on our tan anyway! Hundreds of market stalls selling hand painted clay pots and fake designer tend to entice shopaholics. This is the time of the holiday where you have to buy souvenirs for friends and family at home. As the heat intensifies, a trip to the beach is an essential to cool off. Soak up some sunshine with a book on the sand.

It wouldn’t be a summer holiday without a trip to the beach, right? After walking down about a million steps to get to the beach, your feet finally touch the sand - its boiling - flip flops were a good choice after all. The annual ritual of fighting for a sun lounger is probably the only stress you’ll have during your holiday. The unspoken rule - if your towel is on the chair, then it’s yours. However, you can guarantee someone will take them while you’re not looking. Survival of the fittest - may the best person win. The twinkling sun on the clear ocean makes the water appear more inviting. The perfect opportunity for the ‘walking into the sea’ Instagram photo.

With a book in one hand and a glass of bubbly in the other - what more could you want for your week of relaxation?

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First published in 1965, InQuire is the University of Kent student newspaper.

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