The Italian phrase ‘La dolce vita’ literally translates as ‘the sweet life’ and emphasises the wonderful simplicity of being and enjoying life’s small pleasures. It was these small pleasures I enjoyed throughout my time in India, relishing waking up to the sunrise and having the day as an endless list of possibilities. I wanted to carry this love of freedom and possibility with me as I travelled to Italy on a last minute standby flight from Goa airport.
Visiting a friend abroad and seeing the country from their perspective is one of the best ways to experience a new city. Sometimes, even just strolling the streets with someone by your side can make a place feel like home. Often coined as ‘Venice’s little sister’ Padua offers just as much Italian charm, without the heavy tourism and large crowds. With an abundance of art and culture, Padua is an architectural surprise for lovers of Romanesque and Byzantine design. Padua also hosts the oldest botanical garden in the world which we happily strolled around with bellies full of pizza, nursing Italian wine hangovers.
Throughout my time, I came to realise that whilst Italy is full of indulgences, the emphasis on simple pleasure is something closely shared with India, and something that can easily be applied in everyday life. Shout out to my best friend, who enabled me to visit and eat my weight in carbs.