One of the greatest benefits of studying abroad in an entirely new continent is the opportunity to travel to countries I’ve always dreamed of. While I’ve had my fair share of seeing new cities and sights this semester, my favorite would have to be a trip I took earlier this month to Italy! My mother’s entire side of the family is from Italy so it was only fitting to finally be going back to my roots. However what made it even more special was the fact that my mother, sister, and brother flew over from the states to meet me for a 10 day adventure!
We started our journey in the iconic city of Venice and it was absolutely breathtaking! The pictures I had always seen on line didn’t do the city justice at all! Everywhere I looked there was another quaint house or tiny boat along a peaceful canal. I still can’t wrap my mind around how they basically built a city on top of water. Practically wise it just doesn’t make sense to me but I’m not complaining, I loved every second of being there!
Next we took the train from Venice to Florence which was hands down my favorite city! There is just so much history and beauty everywhere you look there! We did a crazy amount of walking all over this historic city and even climbed over 300 steps to the top of the Duomo! It definitely deserved a large serving of gelato afterwards. Speaking of gelato, I legitimately ate it every single day, sometimes even twice! I even had very intriguing flavors such as lavender- it was one of my favorites! While in Florence we also saw the iconic David, bartered in the leather district, and experienced the midnight events of the “White Night” holiday that was going on! Not to mention everywhere we ate in Florence was phenomenal! Italians really do know what they’re doing in the kitchen!
After five days in Florence we ventured over to Rome which was by far the most humbling of all the cities. To see such ancient ruins everywhere I looked is just mind blowing! It was crazy to think I walked through the ruins of where people lived over 2000 years ago. Or the fact that I walked the Coliseum levels of where thousands of audience members watched gladiators slay each other to death! All the episodes of Spartacus I had watched in the past instantly became so real while in that setting! We also had the pleasure of touring the Vatican and seeing the Sistine Chapel. After seeing so many pictures of the iconic artwork my whole life and studying it in art class, it just didn’t seem real that I was seeing it in person! It was definitely worth the three hour line to get in.
I had such a phenomenal time touring Italy with my family that I wish I hadn’t had to leave! Even writing about the experience, it doesn’t seem real that I had the opportunity to witness sites that I dreamed my whole life of seeing! It is opportunities like this that make studying abroad even more amazing and I’m grateful for the experience!
Junior, Marketing Major