I can hardly believe that I spent my last week exploring Italy. My time there was so beautiful, so overwhelming, so wonderful–it feels like a dream. I already want to go back.
One of the main reasons I decided to study abroad through DIS was “travel weeks,” or the two weeks in October that are dedicated solely to travel. During one of these weeks, I will be visiting Amsterdam with my core class; however, the other week was open for independent travel plans. I chose to spend this week in Venice, Florence, and Rome with my friend Sarah.
We arrived in Venice on Saturday afternoon and spent the day exploring the island. Even though it was raining and a little chilly, we fell in love with the city. Venice just has a particular charm–it is so unlike any city I’ve ever visited. We loved wandering the zigzag streets and simply taking it in.
In Venice, we also enjoyed a day trip to the neighboring islands of Murano and Burano, a tour of Saint Mark’s Basilica, and a canal cruise on an iconic gondola boat. And, maybe best of all, we had so much good FOOD. One afternoon in Venice, we looked up “best gelato” and mapped our way across the island just for an afternoon snack. It was actually a great way to see more of the city, and the gelato was totally worth the extra couple of miles.
Our next destination was Florence. We woke up at 5am to catch a train from Venice, and even though it was way too early, the train ride gave us a gorgeous view of the Italian countryside.
Our hostel in Florence was right near the stunning Basilica of the Saint Mary Flower. It was pretty unreal to walk a few blocks and have this view every morning.
Florence is famous for its leather, and we had so much fun wandering the street market and looking at all the beautiful purses and jackets. I had never tried to haggle with a vendor before, but I tried in Florence, and ended up with a new leather purse for only twenty euro!!
The highlight of our time in Florence was a pizza and gelato making class. Though it was supposed to be a large group class, Sarah and I were the only people signed up for the earlier time slot, so we had a private lesson! This meant that we couldn’t mess up too much since our instructor was there to guide us through each step. And the result–amazing pizza! It also meant that we got extra servings of chocolate gelato.
On our last morning in Florence, we climbed the Piazalle Michelangelo for a panoramic view of the city–a good way to burn off the pizza from the night before and take in a gorgeous view!
Next, we made our way to Rome. We only had two days to explore the city, and there is so much to see. The first day, we spent a big chunk of our day at the Vatican. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that there was a dress code, and we couldn’t have our knees showing. We had to buy overpriced scarves right outside the Vatican and tie them around our waists–a very fashionable look. It was pretty amazing to have seen the Sistene Chapel, a sight I’ve heard about my whole life.
In an attempt to see as much as we possibly could, we booked a four-hour walking tour for our next day in Rome. We went ALL around the city and got to see most of the iconic sites–the Colosseum, Pantheon, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish steps, and so much more.
After an exhausting day of walking the city, it was so wonderful to sit down to our final dinner in Italy. I hated saying goodbye to all the pasta, but after a whirlwind of a week, it will be nice to settle back into routine in Copenhagen.