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Posts Tagged ‘Florence’

Now going by that title, is your imagination at work? When you spend ten days in Italy for an Arts and Humanities course, do not think just of endless hours spent in museum after museum, observing masterpiece after another. However, learning about the many artists, such as Michelangelo, Donatello, Bernini, and DaVinci, who created the works out of their imagination was brilliant, but there was much more to the trip. Cause in the end, artwork was not the only excitement that happened. When the professor went on his own way, we were free to explore for ourselves. This provided ample time to entertain ourselves which balanced out the ruthless hours of museum visits.

We explored in lands known as Vatican City, Rome, Florence, and Milan. Now, here comes the first question. Have you ever heard of the man named Bennie? No? Well that’s only his nickname. You should be more familiarized with Benedict or Your Holiness. Along with a few thousand people, I along with the rest of the Dublin crew was in an audience with Pope Benedict XVI. On Wednesdays for free admission (if you can get tickets), you can have the Pope come speak to the audience. He first started off with a long sermon in Italian, and then addressed each language, depending on who’s in the audience, in a welcoming speech. Most people in attendance were from either college groups or tour groups. Any group could add their name to a list of what would eventually lead being called off. When called off, that group would quickly be able to stand off and address themselves to the Pope. Some groups jumped up to wave, but others sang chants in their own languages … or just screamed like crazy lunatics. That sure gave an impression to the Pope. In the end, the Pope would bless each group with a hand stretched out towards them. I was hoping our group would be called off and I felt the adrenaline was pumping. Even though there are seven our group, we wanted to cheer the loudest and do “the wave”.

Apparently our professor was late in handing in our name.

So, I ended up being disappointed when we did not hear our name. However, the Pope blessed the audience as a whole. For that, I am thankful. I have been blessed. Woot!

The rest of our time in Rome consisted of visiting St. Peter’s Basilica and climbing to the top of its dome (designed by Michelangelo), visiting the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill, Pantheon, Spanish Steps and many (and I mean numerous amounts) museums. Let’s just say that everything is truly amazing to see. I could not explain all the sites in enough words. I am too enthused by what I saw.

And this girl was exhausted to no end.

But, I did spend my 21th birthday in Rome too!!! Now this birthday girl had one great time. That consisted of the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel (the basilica and pope was on a different day). Also, visiting the Castel Sant’Angelo and having some gelato (called gelati there) next to the outer walls of the Vatican city. The day was warm, beautiful, and excellent. To end the birthday off, we had another round of gelato, but we had it next to the Trevi fountain at night! The only thing I could ask for were to have my twin brother with me. But, please save me some cake brother.

Can you freeze cake to May?

…Excuse the passing thought. My family said they were going to save the celebration until May.

Now going from Rome to Florence, we had trouble with gypsies at the train station. Gypsies are everywhere in Rome and try to con you for money. Four gypsies pretended to be workers at the station by escorting us to our seats and helping us with our luggage. Through another passenger who noticed the people were not really workers for the train, he began yelling at them and said in Italian that they were going to notify the police (I knew this because he was saying Polizia). Nothing was taken from me, however another passenger possibly had something stolen from her. But, were not sure. Our professor Piotr (sounds like Peter) was pretty upset about the situation. He has never had this happen to him on any of his Italy trips. I was pretty upset too. When you find out that you were being “one upped” by someone else who was a gypsy…psssh, damn you gypsy.
The second city scheduled for our class, Florence, was amazing. This is the location of where the Cathedral di Santi Maria del Fiore rests, worlds 4th largest Cathedral. It is one of my favorite Cathedrals because as I walk down a street, you hit a corner and it just appears. To try and explain this better, the cathedral is so jam-packed to other buildings, I was not able to see it until I was literally right next to it. I turned around the corner and look up in awe! When exploring the insides of the structure the inside was very plain-looking, however, when you climb to the top of its dome, you get a fantastic view of the city. All roofs throughout the city have a reddish-orange color to them.
During our time in Florence, we saw Michelangelo’s David (the original is actually inside a museum), went to the National Museum that holds many famous works of art that is so cool to actually see in person, saw frescos and sculptures like Donatello’s David. Also, I was able to walk through the outside markets and haggled down the price of a soccer/ football jersey that was the official jersey of the Florence team.

When we were not with the professor, we walked around Florence at night. We met some random American’s studying abroad as well, but they were from schools in Italy. The Cathedral at night was pretty spooky, but at the same, an awesome piece of architecture. The guys and I decided that it would be pretty frightening to climb the Dome of the Cathedral at night, since at that time we were talking about ghost stories. But, ghosts were not the only thing lurking on the streets at night.

The hobo’s (people living on the streets) were taking hostage in the city as well. Two people of our group offered a hobo some pizza. But for some reason, outright refused. Fine, no food for you.

The last day in Italy consisted of going to Milan. World’s modeling and fashion capital from what I have heard. It was crazy fantastic. We spent only half a day there, but we were able to see Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” and I did not realize how large the painting is. We also visited the world’s third largest cathedral. Now, that was a site to see. There was a lot of pretty window shopping as well. I am not too into shopping, but the city has done a wonderful job in fashion.

What an awesome ten days!
Italy over and out!

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