As much fun as I was having, eating my weight in gelato, pizza and pasta, I knew this couldn't go on forever, and my waistline agreed. I had a friend to see in Stuttgart and eventually a plane to catch in Amsterdam, which meant it was time to move on. That's the cool thing about Europe, the countries are so small and transportation's so great, you could really pop into a different country every day, two if you're feeling adventurous.
My second day in the city I was lucky enough to find a Couchsurfing host willing to put me up for a few days. I thought I'd buy my ticket to the Duomo early in the morning and since there was no visible line, decided to visit as well. Despite the short line it still took over an hour, with narrow hallways, steep staircases and eventually beautiful views, both inside and out. Despite the cool morning temperatures the inside was still warm, and we were sometimes squeezed shoulder to shoulder in the narrow stairways, I can't imagine what visiting mid-day in August would be like, terrible to say the least.
Often throughout college and also while teaching in South Korea I was presented with the question "If you could go anywhere where would you go?". My go-to answer for years was Italy, I don't know what the original appeal was but it was a country that continued to stay high on my list. That's why it surprised both family, friends and myself when it wasn't included in my itinerary for this trip. I decided that I didn't have enough time for Italy, a few days wasn't enough, how was I supposed to pick just one or two cities to visit? I really wanted a month (minimum) to devote to the country, travel north to south, eat my way through the cities, meet locals and maybe pick a place to stay put for a while. I thought it'd be a tease to only stop by for a few days, but then I changed my mind.