To begin our travels, we landed in Rome. The flight took about 9 hours, but really felt like 3 after chugging white wine and passing out for majority of the time. Our classmates joined in, some drinking a bit too much to find the ride comfy. Others completely terrified of hovering over the ocean for so long they couldn’t sleep. Luckily, we made it… with all of our luggage too. We soon found that Rome is filled with an incredibly distinct smell of car exhaust and chain smokers. Italians have iron lungs. It is amazing and disgusting all at the same time. Roads are lined with cigarette buds, not exactly the magical image I had in mind.
What was magical was the Trevi Fountain. We visited the fountain twice, once as stop with our class and again after we visited the Vatican. Lizzie McGuire ran through my head and the thought of finding my Paolo seemed very unrealistic. This place was crowded with tourists. Zero Italians in sight, unless they were trying to sell me an overpriced selfie stick. The Trevi Fountain was the most interesting sculpture to me but the overcrowding took away some of the magic.
Next, we got a private tour of the Vatican City though some sweet connections (thnx Danielle:). 5 of us were able to enter through a back entrance, where the guards clearly were not amused by our loud mouths and American manners, which lead to the Vatican gardens and museum. This place gave me the chills.
Sites: Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Chiesa di Dio Misericordioso, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican Museums, Colosseum, Roman Forum, Rome Auditorium, Maxxi
Leaving Rome may have been the best decision we made this entire trip. Rome hated us. We were loud, drunk, destructive, and quite honestly, annoying as hell. Ciao, Rome!
Florence panini’s have my heart. I was pleasantly surprised at how much cleaner Florence was than Rome. There is a lot of hype about Florence being peoples fav city. I will agree, my tummy was happier here.
The restaurants in Florence were incredible. Not only were the panini’s better, the pizza was thicker and the coffee sweeter. Of course, we made the required stop at Gusta Pizza, home of the heart shaped crust. Despite trying to limit my gluten intake so that my stomach didn’t explode, I wanted the experience. Low and behold…. the pizza did not come out in a heart shape. I ate it anyways.
On our free day, Lisa, Carol, Joco, Danielle, and I headed into the suburbs to a little Italian families home for a cooking class. Walking up the stairs to this apartment was a bit terrifying… not sure if I was signing away my life or about to roll out of this place filled with a glutinous stomach. The latter happened. We made kale crostini, fresh pasta, and a traditional chicken dish that I am unable to spell/say correctly. Manuela, the cook/host, was incredible with us and truly made our trip to Florence. Manuela, we love you and so do our tummies!
The best view of the city was from the Duomo. The worst realization was how terribly out of shape I am. In the middle of Florence is the Duomo de Firenze. The entire city was built around this cathedral. It is striped green and white marble with incredible detail. The climb up was a nightmare for anyone with claustrophobia or fear of heights. My hands were sweating from the anxiety! But the view was beyond worth it.
Sites: Museum of Science, Ponte Vecchio Bridge, Palazzo Pitti, Santa Trinita bridge, Duomo, Modern Opera House
Florence stole our dignity, just like Rome. Shout out to the bartender at Uncle Jimmy’s Bar that gave us a stupid amount of free shots and let us annoying him for too long. Another shout out to the guy at the club that managed to knock out 1 of 5 security guards escorting him out. Cheers, Flo-Town!
Oh Genoa, our short time with you was well spent. Basically, we saw a few structures, visited the aquarium, saw baby seals, and then got our tour guide drunk in the hotel lobby. Lisa may be concussed. Evan may be the worst human we know. Not sure how Cam and Zach x2 are still living. The rest of us are doing all right for now. We survived. No one has thrown up on the bus yet. I would say were in good shape.
Sites: Palazzo Spinola, San Lorenzo, Divergo Station, Aquarium
Italia, we love you. Thanks for the memz. ❤ (p.s. this trip is incredibly educational and informative despite the heavy drinking that goes on at night)