Musings at Italy

Wrapping up Italy posts with some random pics & musings! That’s the wing of the flight and view of the earth from Milan to London and the next is Florence Duomo from the terrace of Uffizi Gallery!!!
As weird as it may sound, Italy totally reminded me of my own country, Incredible India and I felt home!!! Especially if you’ve been to Delhi or Mumbai or Chennai in India, you’ll relate to this post very well. Making peace with inherent chaos and humidity and a slight off-timekeeping and graffiti - again very, very similar to India!


To begin with, the pic below was clicked very close to Rome Tiburtina bus station… The scene with street side vendors and hawkers - that’s so similar to Mumbai, Delhi or Chennai!!! It was after roaming about all over Rome, and reaching the bus station and settling in the bus, did I feel my face, which was covered in a layer of dust stuck on my sweat!!!! If you’re from Chennai or Mumbai, and has taken the local train or auto, you know what I’m talking about!!! This was in the month of August.
In the outskirts of Rome – those posters stuck everywhere, a bit broken pavements, written graffiti everywhere including walls & shutters!!! When I returned back home and showed my guy these pics and asked him to guess to location, he looked at me totally weirded out! But once I revealed that it is NOT India, but Italy, his expression - priceless!!! If you don’t understand this scenario, it's time to book your flight tickets to India, if you’ve been to Italy and to Italy if you’ve been to India.


In the outskirts of Rome – those posters stuck everywhere, a bit broken pavements, written graffiti everywhere including walls & shutters!!! When I returned back home and showed my guy these pics and asked him to guess to location, he looked at me totally weird! But once I revealed that it's NOT India, but Italy, his expression - priceless!!!
The railway route from Pisa to Milan was just incredible. Especially from Pisa to Genoa, the route was just along the sea and the views were incredible. A platform of a railway station enroute - the grass grown railway tracks, the multi storied buildings beside them very similar to several regions in the extensive railway network of India. 
More from that train journey from Pisa to Milan – several fields including one with a scare crow, those trucks and hay stacks in one of those fields, stunning greenery of countryside. How unbelievably similar is it to India???!!!!! Been to Italy already? Book your flight to India with the Indian national airline, AirIndia online booking and experience what I experienced!!!


Here are some of my observations about Italy for a short visit!

Locals prefer the Italian names and not anglicized names and also get a bit offended – Roma, not Rome; Firenze, not Florence.
Always reach a bit early to bus stations. Exact spot where your bus will board is not fixed and last minute can make you frenzy!!!
Time keeping is not hard and fast like UK or Germany! It’s a bit more relaxed like India! It’s sometimes a blessing. It was for me at Vatican Museums entrance.
Public free wifi is only for 45 mins or 1 hr, not unlimited! Felt that in Milan Airport, Milan & Firenze Town etc.
Vegetarian food is not a problem at all!!! I’m not sure of Vegan though. Felt that both in Firenze and Milan!
Tap water is NOT drinkable! Certain fountains are and they’re mentioned so….
General public in tourist spots and hotels and eateries manage a decent English, but bus drivers don’t! Google Translate to rescue!!!
1 day unlimited public transport pass is available in Rome, Florence and Milan. I don’t know of other cities.
Have some cash and change. See those hawkers and street side shops? They don’t accept card! Many a times also those small kiosks that sell water and snacks too don’t accept cards.
Most cities including Rome, Florence, Milan etc have 2 airports - main airport for major airlines within the city and one out of the city with about an hour travel for the budget airlines. When planning be careful to check which airport you’re dealing with, and include the time taken in travel to/fro city centre!

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

26 comments:

  1. That was a great post. Really enjoyed it. Thank you.

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  2. That's funny how you compare what you saw in Rome to your home in India, who would have thought it! I think most people think Italy is exactly what you see in the films/postcards, but of course there are some places that are in need of updating. Still a beautiful country and glad you had a good time!

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  3. Definitely a striking similarity to India, specially after looking at all those pictures you clicked. Though there might be a lot of similarities, still every city has its own unique identity. Am so glad I would be getting a chance to do a Eurotrip really soon, and see all these cities for myself.

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  4. I remember thinking a lot of the things you said when I was in Italy. The city could use some sprucing up. The trains there are amazing though and get you to point A to point B just like that! I didn't go to the museums because they just aren't my thing but love seeing it from another persons perspective!

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  5. I have been to both Rome, Mumbai and Delhi so can understand your comparisons, especially around the area of the bus station in Rome. I was going to take the bus between Milan and Pisa but you may have persuaded me to take the train for the views. It's interesting they prefer to use the Italian names for the city, I had no idea Florence was Firenze, some more useful information you've taught me before I go.

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  6. It seems like you got a good view of the cities and didn't stick inside the city centers. The center of Rome is always so much different than the outskirts, but it's good because it shows you what the place can really be like without tourists. A good experience

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  7. Good tips about having cash for the street vendors. And the warning about the drinking water. The views by train are wonderful!

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  8. Such an interesting take on how India and Italy are alike. You're perspective is a breath of fresh air from the usual things we see/ read :)

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  9. Italy is very beautiful country. I have been to most of the places you mentioned here: Roma, Firenze, Genova, Pisa, Milan, and want to see more of this charming country.

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  10. It's more difficult to pronounce the names of the places when we use their local language's equivalent though. I think it would be forgivable for tourists to use the English form since it's more familiar. Are there plenty of money changers/currency exchange centers around?

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  11. I hadn't thought about the similarities before, but I'll take your word for it. Rome and Florence are both incredible cities, did you make it to some of the other Italian cities too?

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  12. There is a lot of similarity between India and Italy especially in the outskirts. I would love to explore both countries and see the similarities myself.

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  13. Wow, looks like you had an incredible time in Italy! This makes me want to go back there again and explore all the places I missed out!

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  14. Good to see that vegetarians have options. I always hear that it gets difficult for many Indians in Europe. he he

    Don't care about himidity but slight off-timekeeping? Yes, I'll take that!

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  15. Wow a detailed and passionate description of beautiful places. Enjoyed reading it!

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  16. I can see what you mean, when you compare Italy to India. I noticed those scarecrows and haystacks and tractors too :)

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  17. Thanks for sharing this post, really a very nice information you have shared.
    Same Day Agra Tour by Car

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  18. Great topic and thoughts on the blog. For a moment while i scroll down i felt this pics are from India. looks somewhat similar but Italy is a place i wanted to explore and experience for its culture and its diverse landscapes.

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  19. This is so refreshing! Seldom do I see random shots of random spots in famous touristy countries like Italy and Rome. How interesting also that the photos you shared also look like some places here in the Philippines. If I didn't read your post and just looked at the pictures, I would guess that you visited my own country! :) Now I'm more interested to visit both India and Italy coz I have a feeling that I would feel right at home.

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  20. I like the fact you compared it with India. I do that all the time when I travel, I find similarities between countries - it is interesting especially when they are from different continents. I recently been to Italy to Cinque Terre, Rome, Florence and Venice and I loved every single one of the places. I agree with the names, Italians like to pronounce them in Italian rather than English. Hope to find the similarities when I visit India.

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  21. I couldn't believe my eyes upon seeing that scene at the outskirt of Rome. I scrutinized it carefully for it might misuploaded for ite a common scene in our place during our market day, not until I read your statement about it. We call it that kind of outdoor business as "peryante" (ambulant vendor).

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  22. A very interesting read. I feel like I have had a lot of similar thoughts about Italy, especially in places like the outskirts of Rome. Generally, I'm actually not a huge fan of Rome, even though I love all of the architecture, history, and the food. The city is just too crowded and the infrastructure is really feeling the burden.

    However, you're totally right about the train rides in Italy (Pisa to Milan especially). They're absolutely gorgeous!

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  23. I also want to experience the train rides. Thank you for sharing the joy. Nice photos.

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  24. wow what a nice trip! I love that you show the normally unseen aspects of Rome, Milan etc. and not only the touristic highlights :) I like the picture of the Trainstation, it captures very well the atmosphere... I have been to Florence, Pisa, Milan.. but I never took the train to those destinations; the way you describe the way from Pisa to Genua seems awesome, I wanna do it :)

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  25. I love Italy and visit different places from time to time. I find your pictures adorable and tips useful for planning future visits. Thanks for sharing.

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  26. I don;t find it strange at all that certain parts of the city reminded you of home! I find myself encountering this when I travel abroad as well. I had no idea Rome had such a thriving market! cool post

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