Took a quick train ride to Pisa! Basically the only thing to do there.. at least we got a beautiful day for it

I LOVE ROMA! Had another amazing weekend with my Cultural Introduction class traveling to the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, Saint Peters Basilica, Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, and so much more. Rome is a much bigger city than Florence so it was hard to try to squeeze everything in three days. 

Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

Terry Pratchett

 My very last stop was Paris! We went on another walking tour and Champs Elysee, Arc            du Triumph, Notre Dame, and the Louvre. It was like out of a movie seeing the Eiffel Tower light up at night.

The last day we went to Versailles and went though the palace. It was gorgeous and super cool to recognize everything from the movie Marie Antoinette.

I was so sad when we had to jump on the bus one last time for our final leg of the trip back to Florence. Huge thank you to Bus2Alps for giving me the most memorable ten days of my life.  

 My third stop was Amsterdam! Amsterdam was unlike anything I have ever seen in my life. It was a beautiful city with laws extremely different from America.

We went on a walking tour our first day and went though the Red Light District, Anne Frank House, and got to see all the canals. The Anne Frank House was my favorite part; I couldn’t get over the fact I was standing the same house that the family had to hide out in.

Amsterdam was like a different planet, it was hard to walk down the street and avoid eye contact with the half naked women in bright red boxes waving down men. I loved the city, but probably wouldn’t recommend it as a family vacation. 

My next stop was Berlin. We did not spend much time there but we still got to see a good amount of what the city had to offer. 

We went on a walking tour of Berlin where we got to see Brandenberg Gate, The Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, The Reichstag, Mitte Town, and Museums Island.

We also stopped at Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, which is the picture of the blocks of concrete. I did not understand the representation of this but our tour guide explained that it is a large grid of 2,711 concrete pillars that are all different heights. When you are walking through you can’t see around you or know what’s going to be around each corner, this was to try to give the feelings that the Jews may have felt during the holocaust.

Praha (Prague) was by far my favorite stop on my journey through Europe. I did not know a lot about Prague, except that it was a beautiful city in the Czech Republic but it was more than I could have ever imagined.

Our first day we went on a walking tour of the city where we saw and explored the Old Town, New Town, and the Jewish Quarter. 

The next day, we went across the river to Mala Strana and we got to go to Petrin Hill, Prague Castle, and the John Lennon Wall. From the Castle we had amazing views of the city, and of course the John Lennon wall was my favorite part. 

The core of mans’ spirit comes from new experiences.

Christopher McCandless 

For those who don’t know me, I have a minor obsession with the grocery store Mariano’s in Palatine. Nothing will ever compare, but this is a close second. This is the Mercado Centrale in the middle of Florence, and they have some of the freshest produce I have ever tasted. Grocery shopping was overwhelming at first, but we quickly learned how to shop like Italians. 

For my first trip of the month, my class and I went to Tuscany for a wine tasting and a tour of the vineyards! Had some amazing views, pasta, cheeses, and of course wine. It was a little rainy, but it cleared up by the time we got there and had some amazing views. 

Last night I had one of the best meals I’ve ever had! I could not believe that it was all prepared by the students of the culinary school of FUA. 

The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

Christopher McCandless

This story is too wild not to share with my blog followers.

A girl from one of my classes and I got paired at random in a hostel in Milan, we got to talking and we found out that we both went to Bonnaroo this year. For those who know me, you know that this instantly made us friends. We found out that we both went to the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros concert so I informed her that it was my favorite show and I was very close to the stage with my infamous neon orange flower. She paused for a second and explained to me that she was right next to a girl with a neon orange flower and actually had a picture of it. It seemed too bizarre to be true, but sure enough there I am with my whole Bonnaroo ‘13 crew and of course our favorite flower. I had taken the same picture of Alex Ebert in the crowd and that was what she was taking the picture of as well…Exepct I had gotten in the way. The last picture is the one she has hanging in her room, still can’t believe of all places this girl from Washington D.C. has a picture of me and we meet in Italy to talk about it.

Small world ey? 

This weekend I had a field trip to Pienza! Pienza is a tiny town in Siena that over looks a gorgeous valley. We went into the Palazzo Piccolomini which includes the castle that the Pope lived in. The buildings in the Palazzo remain untouched so they have not changed anything about it since the 1460’s. 

I love my days when I don’t have class because I get to enjoy the gorgeous views on my walks

I love my days when I don’t have class because I get to enjoy the gorgeous views on my walks