Venice, Bologna, and Florence
So! I have been a little lazy about blogging, so I'm gonna try to tell you about different cities I've been to an the best parts of each:)
Venice was our first stop in Italy. It is locsted on the north east coast of italy. We got off the train at 8:30 in the morning and right when we walked out of the station- we see a beautiful canal with it's unique, aqua blue, Venetian color- I was so excited! Started by walking around the city taking pictures of everything, grabbing "un cappucino portare via, per favore" (one cappucino to go, please) and off we go. So, when we were there it was the weekend before the big Carnavale- where everyone wears beautiful masks, people dress up and row gondolas/other boats on the canal- it's one big party. It was the weekend before, so it wasn't super crazy, but they had a few events going on such as the boat parade, vendors selling masks, and as the day went on, more and more people started filling the streets and started wearing masks. It was a fun time. Venice had some beautiful buildings- old churches, balconies with laundry hanging out the window, all kinds of crazy colors on walls- i found my favorite wall there, which I might share with you. In front of the basilica (church) they had a foutain flowing with red wine! I thought it was either blood, wine, or punch- it was definitely wine, so I had myself a glass, served by older ladies in country costumes- it was so cool. It was a gorgeous city- and I'm planning on going back just once more before I head home. Oh and it's definitely a city for lovers- i found locked lips on every bridge.
Bologna and surrounding cities was also a great experience- located in central, north Europe. Bologna was a big city with a lot to see- but even 5 hours of exploring it isn't enough- I visited the university in the city- mainly their art department which had sculptures in the hallways! Adventuring around the building I found different classrooms with art projects going on, drawing lessons, and paint eveywhere- and you know was I was thinking- I want to go to art school! Ah it was so beautiful and I felt like this is a part of me and I can't not do it. Afterwards, we grabbed bologna's best gelato- which is more like the worlds best gelato, I kid you not. I got coffee and dark chocolate flavors- even though pistachio is my favorite, I try to try something different each time. It was SO GOOD!
We also spent some time in Parma/Reggio Emilia with my family (this is where Parmesan cheese comes from) and checked out a few nearby towns. Beautiful countryside.
Now for Florence- this is such a nice city! This town is located about 100 miles or so south of Bologna and is absolutely beautiful- we arrived on a nice sunny day, a tad warmer than up north. Our host, which we met in Amsterdam kindly hosted us and took us around town- we visited an outdoor market and an indoor market where people sold fresh produce, spices, wines, meats, all good things you can think of. It was great! One highlight of this city is that it holds Michaelangelo's David! The real thing! It is so huge, I snuck some pictures of it with my camera- it was really awesome. Another awesome thing here was that we went to Santa Croce church, where Michaelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli were buried. Also, there, were artworks such as Donatello's Aninciation and Cimabue's Crucifixtion.
It was so crazy to actually be able to see these in front of your face!
Other things we did in this city were eating Gelato and going to a Mexican restaurant for the first time since Ive been home! It was called Tiajuana and ha great Mexican food and happy hour margaritas. We went out with a group of 8 and had a great time- the people we Hung out most of our time here were other Americans who were studying architecture abroad, they were all from Kent state and super sweet and Steve, our Canadian travel buddy met up with us as well- it's nice every now and then to hang out with other English speakers and have Mexican. Overall Florence was a great city!
And just to let everyone know- my official return date is now March 30th!
Love and miss you all, and see you on just over a month!