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Travel has always been one of my passions.

But now, at the end of my first (of many, hopefully) Italian trips, I feel a little overwhelmed.

Too much beauty: in art, in nature, in people.

This here is my third attempt at blogging from my phone, this time on the train from Rome to Milan. Love that my phone lets me not only click pictures and edit them, but also make collages– all from a train doing 240 km an hour.

I’d been to various parts of Asia so far, and loved it— but my first European trip has left me breathless and craving for more. Here are a few clicks from the Rome Museum ( which do only moderate justice to the sheer grace and grandeur of everything I saw)

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Have you ever felt overwhelmed by any country you’ve been to?

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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73 Comments

  • Just a bit about me – I’m a published author/writer, amateur economist, former accountant, organic farmer, etc… I do lots of things – have lots of interests.

    I’ve been around the world (circumnavigated) a couple of times, and I consider Rome to be my favorite city in the world. Sidney, AUS was very clean, but not very interesting. Rio was very dirty, and had some nice sights, but was not very engaging to me. Singapore was fun, but it was hard for me to find fun things to do. (Maybe I was there at the wrong time of year, and you can only watch them feed chicken to the crocs so many times before it becomes boring.) I found Japan and Hong Kong to be amazing places. But Rome… incomparable!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. If you feel like you need a “short story/vignette fix”, go back there and hit the “writing” header, then page back through the short-shorts I’ve posted there. If you’d like to email me, I’d be happy to discuss whatever. (FYI – I’m not on Facebook, I don’t “twit’, etc.) So “Ta” for now. ;-D

  • Just got back from Italy myself. It was hot as hell and loaded with tourists, but the art and architecture was astonishing! Definitely will be using it as inspiration for my writing.

  • Thank you for following my blog! These pictures are truly inspirational! Italy is on my bucket list and I hope to visit once before I die, but you make me feel as though I need to visit it more than once! Look forward to more great writing from you!

    • If I may… if you plan to visit Italy, I’d suggest you study up on the history of the place. Go way back to the city/State period – which is when a lot of the famous art was created. You’ll also want to delve into the Roman Empire, which is when a lot more of it was created. Then look at the availability of things that might interest you. For example – IIRC Napoli/Naples is famous for making cameos. It’s a fascinating place!

  • Lovely photos, it’s amazing how technology has advanced in the last few years and that you were able to blog and make photo collages on your phone. Very efficient πŸ™‚ European countries in general are overwhelming, so much history to take in mainly. I went for a month-long stint back in 2012 but I’m aching to go back there and explore it all when I have sufficient funds and time to do so.

    Thank you for following my blog btw, I love your idea of “writing every day” for your blog. It’s something I would like to do too, but I think it may be a little ambitious, considering what spare time I have haha. I aim to do 2 posts a week, we’ll see how that goes πŸ™‚

  • joannern says:

    Hi there! Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I was only able to visit Sicily on a work trip and it was beautiful. However, one destination that did overwhelm me was Norway. I went there on another work trip and traveled to Lovund, a tiny island. The scenery left me dumbfounded and it was almost like I was in a dream. Even now, as I recall the trip, I can’t believe it was real. I am glad I took a journal with me though, and was able to jot down my feelings and process the journey.

  • Nona says:

    Enjoy Italy

  • Nicola Young says:

    I love Italy. It’s such a beautiful country and every region you go to is so different, with it’s own culture, food and even language in some places. Rome is my favourite city and I’ve been three times now. It’s not only the amazing architecture that leaves you stunned, it’s the feeling of the ancient past being so close that you can touch it and almost feel it too.

  • Barbara says:

    Hi,
    I know how you feel. I spent a month in Italy on a painting holiday. A week of which I spent in Florence. The mind just can’t take in the reality of actually being in the presence of so many art works that one has admired in books all one’s life. I was particularly affected by ‘David’ – I can’t identify the emotion but it was overwhelming.
    One day I’ll put it in a story.
    Barbara

  • Wow, such gorgeousness! I would be overwhelmed, as well. Enjoy your travels! πŸ™‚ ~Karen~

  • Anita says:

    Truly beautiful πŸ™‚ Great pics.

  • uniqusatya says:

    ofcourse πŸ˜‰

  • I so want to visit Italy. Art, History, culture, people and food is from another world. Great pictures.

  • Paul J. Stam says:

    Yes, I know what you mean. There is something inspiring about the beauty found in mankind and in the things man can create. But now, in my twilight years, I’m content with the beauty in nature although I still try to create beauty with my sculpture, but it isn’t anything compared to what the Italian masters have done.
    I want to thank you for liking the excerpt “Murder Sets Sail – Chapter 1” on writingiam.workpress.com.
    Were you able to write something everyday during your travels in Italy?
    Thanks again and Blessings and Aloha – pjs.

  • Europe is so beautiful! I feel like I was overwhelmed in Barcelona because one there are so many people and two the architecture and art are all breathtaking and everywhere.

  • Europe has the power to overwhelmed people with it’s beauty. My father had traveled to France, Germany but not Italy. I was fascinated only by seeing his photos taken in those countries. Now your photos are burning me with e desire to come to Italy πŸ™‚

  • First, what a blessing to be overwhelmed by beauty! I’ve always wanted to visit Rio to hopefully be overwhelmed by the love of dance and music there. I felt overwhelmed by the sense of history when I went to England. Coming form a country that’s only a little over two hundred years old, it’s something else to walk in a country that’s thousands of years old.

  • datmama4 says:

    Italy is one of those places I hope to visit someday. Your photos are gorgeous! The only “big” traveling I’ve done was to Turkey, and I was able to visit the ruins at Ephesus two years in a row. The architecture was so beautiful, and I felt as if I had to touch everything I passed. My favorite? The library there, of course.

  • Elise Fallson says:

    Absolutely beautiful pictures. Can you believe I’m part Italian, I live not too far from Italy, but still have never been there! I really need to fix that.

  • I was fortunate enough to visit Venice, Rome and Florence, in my late twenties. As well as Paris (which is one of my favourite places…)
    The beauty is amazing!
    I always say that another trip is LONG overdue…

  • menons129 says:

    Beautiful pictures captured by your phone!

  • For some reason I never really fancied Italy until I had to go with work back in the ’90s. The place was lovely, but what really impressed me was the people, they were so welcoming and helpful. I’m glad you had a good time and I love the pictures πŸ™‚

  • Nisha says:

    Your pictures brought back the memories. I visited Italy in 1999. πŸ™‚ And nice attempt to blog.

  • akaushiva says:

    When in Rome, click photos and blog!! Beauty inspires…lovely!

  • Savio says:

    beautiful pictures

  • Loved it πŸ™‚ & impressive “comment text” πŸ™‚ my bucket list has Rome & Italy travel πŸ™‚ keep reading & sharing. good wishes

  • Najm Nisa says:

    Everything about Rome is WOW ! No wonder you are getting overwhelmed.. I think I would like to try blogging from a phone too πŸ™‚

  • Damyanti says:

    Thanks to each and every one of you for the splendid comments. I’m now back home, but don’t have my regular internet– so visiting back will come a bit late. But it will come– I need to see what you all have been up to in my online absence πŸ™‚

  • Wow, what wonderful photos – the culture there is amazing! I have yet to blog from a mobile device but good to know it can be done πŸ™‚

  • Beautiful pictures, Damyanti. Enjoy your trip, have fun and be safe. β€œβ€¦all from a train doing 240 km an hour.” And, it went aaaaall the waaaay around the world.

  • Italy knocks me out too, but in the nicest possible way. I never calmer than when in Venice (away from the crowds). Love the shot of the bearded figure on horseback seen from beneath.

  • Agree. Though I wish Indians knew how to preserve their heritage structures better. Ajanta -Ellora are so breathtaking.

  • Hobbie DeHoy says:

    Yes. Italy… Rome… and especially the Vatican. They practically have artwork piled up in the corners at the Vatican, at least that was my feeling at the time. If you’ve ever read George Eliot’s novel Middlemarch, you can read about Dorothea on her honeymoon in Rome. Evidently Rome has been overwhelming visitors (real and fictional) for a long, long time!

  • margretdj says:

    I love the pictures. Rome is in my list of desire dreams. I hope I can visit Rome in two years. I live in Germany for 4 years and it was awesome. The castles, mountains, food, and the people was amazing. Enjoy your trip!

  • ALEXISTAN says:

    Where was your header photo taken? The one with the seascape, steamer and the… are they hydrangeas? Looks like perfection, itself. I enjoy visiting your blog. Things are always very nice and fresh, here.

    • Damyanti says:

      In Hakone, Japan– somewhere near the bay, beside the famous Cedar Avenue between Moto-Hakone and Hakone-machi. That was a bright sunset evening.

  • Susan Scott says:

    Overwhelmed by beauty … lovely words Damyanti thank you and your photos do justice. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes …

  • twosipp says:

    Italy is an overwhelming experience, when you think of all the art that has been lost, and what was there originally you can’t help but be in awe.

  • I have made three trips to Cambodia. What overwhelms me there is the poverty/crush/filth of the cities, and the contrasting sweet and respectful nature of the people I spend time with.

  • emmawicker says:

    I am 33 and I have never been anywhere save Ireland – I was born there but moved to England when I was nine. I would love to travel and I know that traveling will be a big part of my future. Once my children are old enough I plan to visit as many countries as possible. The first is America, I would love to walk the Appalachian Trail – it’s a dream if mine. So, I have never been overwhelmed by the beauty of another country first hand but the pictures I have seen have taken my breath away so much that I want to be there. I want to stand in the midst of hundreds of thousands of trees or at the top of a mountain or in sea so clear that you can see your toes. I can’t wait to immerse myself in the culture of another country.

  • atempleton says:

    Lovely photos, particularly the one of the Forum (with the tall columns).

  • jeanryan1 says:

    I felt the same way when I was in Florence. I didn’t know when, or how, to break away from the wonders–like the statue of David, which made me tremble. I especially love your photos of the Forum; you really get an idea of the majesty of these ruins. Italians, living among them, cannot apprehend our amazement. And yes, it is easy to become overwhelmed–the Uffizi, the Bargello, the Accademia. You have to pace yourself.

  • macjam47 says:

    What beautiful photos, and so nice of you to share your vacay with us this way. Have a marvelous trip.

  • jnitro519 says:

    Wow Ms. D! I love the pictures.. Happy that u made me reminisce some of them.. Just been to rome recently and it was amazing. Every corner kinda made me pause to linger and savor the moment more. In the streets, people and food pushed my tired feet to walk an extra mile more, to navigate and appreciate the beauty of italy. Im not an expert in photography, but my cam nd my phone cant stop clicking. Really, it was a great experience and would love to go back. Not only to rome, but to all the places ive been to, local and abroad. The beauty of God given nature nd talents overwhelmed me nd my entire being. Thanks for sharing the photos, ms. D! πŸ™‚

  • Overwhelming pics, indeed. Have a fun trip:)

  • Julia Lund says:

    I have always wanted to visit Italy, and you have only strengthened that desire. For me, with my limited travel experience, I have been spellbound by France since my very first visit when I was seventeeen. From the architecture and galleries of Paris to the beauty of Brittany, it is hard to imagine anywhere more beautiful. That being said, my breath is constantly taken away by the the UK, and should I never get to travel anywhere else, I could not be disappointed.
    Enjoy the rest of your trip.

  • Andrew says:

    I have envy.

  • davidprosser says:

    Stunning artwork. Prague took my breath away in the old quarter and the fantastic castle just across the river.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  • I love Italy! I did Fiorenze, Venice, Siena, and Rome when I went there. Would go back in a second.

  • Madhu says:

    I know the feeling. Doesn’t change much even when you return many, many times πŸ™‚ Have fun.

  • Asian Cindy says:

    and that’s why I wouldn’t mind marrying an Italian… we’d visit his hometown during Xmas

  • Dan Antion says:

    Great photos and I am truly impressed at your ability to assemble a nice page from your phone on a train. I’m sitting at a table with a laptop and my pictures aren’t lined-up.

    Enjoy your trip and thanks for sharing it with us.

    • Damyanti says:

      I used a Collage App to assemble the pics and sign them— and then let the WordPress App do its thing. It took a while, cos the internet wasn’t as fast as the train, and the pics are big.

  • Great photos of amazing pieces of art.
    I’ve not been to Italy, but I found the British Isles to be stunning. So many amazing buildings and castles.

  • PK Hrezo says:

    Beautiful pics!
    I love Italy. So much art and culture. Florence is my fave city. I was lucky to spend most of my 20s traveling the world. It’s a wonderful place so ful of interesting people.
    Thanks for sharing your journey. πŸ™‚

  • R. J. Nello says:

    Paris and London are close seconds, but if I’m honest I have to say Rome is my “favorite” city in the world. Words and photos never do it justice. There is no substitute for seeing it in person.

    I’ve always kinda felt it is “three” cities rolled into one – history, religion, and designer shopping!

  • Lon says:

    Yes. Paris. Lots of subjects to “click” at πŸ™‚

  • My daughter is going to Italy next month. She wants to see all the beauty.

    I love seeing what ancient hands creates in the name of god and culture. I also love the amazing natural beauty of places like Kenya.

  • ChristineR says:

    I’m looking forward to Rome. I think I will be overwhelmed by the sheer age of things around me. Here I count myself lucky when I see anything older than the 1850s.

  • We’ve not been to Rome. We visited Venice and Verona a few years ago, and I think an extended camper trip to Italy may be on the cards one day, cash willing.

  • Italy is lovely, I agree. I’m very lucky – my husband’s aunt lives in Galluzzo just outside Florence… I know I married him for a reason!

  • James Lyons says:

    Wow you have accomplished the goal–I am overwhelmed!

  • Job says:

    I enjoyed this article very much. I recall feeling overwhelmed in the Louvre in Paris a few years ago, there was just so much great art on offer and I wanted to see it all at once, but I couldn’t. Eventually, I realised that it’s good to miss things, it gives you an excuse to return.

  • Those photos are just phenominal! The sheer quality and scale of European artwork never fails to amaze me. You are so lucky to have been able to see them in person, and I am a tad jealous!

  • Kate Loveton says:

    Thanks for sharing the beauty – lovely photos!

  • Beautiful stuff! I dunno, every time I leave the country I seem to be overwhelmed. I think it’s more about having an open heart and open eyes than any particular place. Gyeongju in South Korea blew my mind pretty hard, as did Otaru in Hokkaido, the palace in Bangkok, the glaciers in Norway, the far north of Queensland, the fields of Schleswig-Holstein, the eucalypt forests of guangdong (what are they doing there?!), the lava flows of hawaii, the fortresses in Czech republic, and pretty much any number of other places and things. The British Museum I kind of think it would be cool to camp there for a week…

    If I had to say go one place only, I would probably say Prague. It’s kind of rad. We ended up in an underground (literally in a cave beneath the city) shisha bar with hot mead.

    Hurray for travelling! Love your photos, and can’t wait to go there myself πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  • Europe is beautiful in so many different ways – Venice, Florence, Rome, Sienna, San Marino, Paris, London…. Fabulous places and more still to visit! Italy though will always have a special place in my heart. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

  • In Florence I was tired from walking. I went into a church and sat down for a rest on a tomb. I looked; it read Michelangelo. Across was the tomb of Galileo. Next was the tomb of the composer Rossini. Outside was a statue of Dante. This was all by accident that I came across this. That wouldn’t/couldn’t happen in my home town!!

  • Rome is fantastic πŸ™‚

  • Sounds like you’re having a wonderful trip.
    Italy does it for me too. Florence and Sienna left me speechless.

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