Exotic Italy: Rome, Tuscany & Bologna

When Deepti Kshirsgar did a guest post for me about her love for Florentine sunsets, i honestly and smugly passed it off as naivety – sunsets happen every day, around the world, right?! Wrong! I was so wrong and she was so right.

My 2 week trip to Italy was conceived primarily due to ridiculously low air fare, so when i found a 28K INR return ticket Mumbai – Rome – Mumbai via Kuwait, i didn’t even blink and just booked it! Little did i know that it was about to change my entire perception about Italy and make me fall in love with it, as cliched as it may seem…

Having recovered from a very rough 2016, i was also looking forward to some fun solo travel after a long time.

My original plan was to cover Rome, Naples, Pompei, Capri and Florence, and possibly Pisa and Cinque Terre.

But I soon realized it was a crazy idea, and cut it down to just Rome, Florence (Tuscany), Bologna and San Marino – a whole country i found hiding inside Italy!! (more on that later).

Whenever i visit a new country, i’m always overzealous with energy and my strategy is to adapt to the new time zone and ‘push the day’, so my body gets naturally tired by night and resets the Circadian rhythm to the new time zone.

So without wasting ANY time, i went from the airport to the city center by train and got straight on to a ‘hop-on-hop-off’ bus without even checking in to my hostel!

Immigration was smooth, and my ‘buongiorno’ sounded so perfect to the officer that she though i was a native Italian speaker. Likewise with ordering my first espresso at the train station – it all came too naturally. That’s the beauty of Romance languages – when you speak one, the others are too easy to pick up!

For the first 2 nights, i had booked an ‘artsy’ hostel in Rome, to go with the theme of the land – it was definitely a great choice, since it was a very nice hostel with a great rooftop, friendly staff, clean rooms and fun company as with most hostels. I even got to practice some Portuguese with my fellow Brazilian roomie and Spanish with Colombians 🙂

As i update this post with the details from my trip, check out my daily vlogs from the 15-day trip.



Exotic Gringo (Kaushal Karkhanis)

Leading an experimental life as a digital nomad, I started traveling in 2007 while choosing to shuttle between Goa and Mumbai as 'home'. An epic life-changing trip to South America an year later gave birth to this blog, Exotic Gringo.