OK, so, this is an old thread, but it is very nice and I feel I can use it as "presentation", as I have just discovered this community and begun writing reviews! :-)
First things first, my first ever visited WHS should have been one between Venice, Rome or Florence, or even Assisi, since I am pretty sure that I went to the nearest one to me, Leonardo's Last Supper in Milan, only on a later date, principally because of the infinite restauration works that ended only in 1999, after more than 20 years! I remember that in my childhood the Cenacolo
was indeed more legendary than actually experienced, something that exists, but is very remote. But well, now I am more than making up for this, since at the end of this month I am going to visit it again, with as little advance as never before, taking advantage of the decreased number of tourists (especially American and Asian ones)! In any case, I surely saw the church (Santa Maria delle Grazie) as a very little kid.
But the true first conscious WHS visit for the sake of it was neither of these, and instead took place no less than in... Røros
, in Norway! And it was a very big disappointment. It went like this.
It was my real first independent and self-organized trip, right after the high school diploma, in August 2005. I was 18 and went to Norway, an early fascination of mine, with an old friend. We went for a very classical tour: arriving at Oslo by airplane, than Bergen by train (both were a repeat for me, having been there with my parents as a kid), something around the Sognefjord (a cruise and the Flåmsbane, but not the Nærøyfjord), and finally to Trondheim (maybe surprisingly, my northernmost point up to date). And then, with a couple of days left still to go back to Oslo and then Italy, the eureka moment came looking through the guidebook: hey, there's this place which is listed as a "world heritage" by UNESCO, just like Bergen's Brygge we saw, so it must be worth a visit, isn't it? I managed to convince my friend to do a stop-over there, as it was easily reachable by train. Unfortunately, we were totally clueless about what deserved such international attention in the small village, and on a budget as only teenagers at the end of a trip in Norway can be, and so we didn't bother to visit the museum (my friend surely wasn't keen on it) and just wandered around trying to understand the place (which was nice, by the way). I remember some interesting encounters at the hostel where we stayed and the "delicacies" we tried at the local Milano pizzeria
. The next day we were off to the capital again.
I admit, I would have at least visited the museum, but felt bogged down by the absence of interest of my travel companion. However, the lessons had already been learnt: there's no worse blind man than the one that doesn't want to see, & never give up exploring even if the appearances are not enticing at first! Ah, such is the power of WHSs ;-)