This past week was uber intense. I finished up my tour of Italy by visiting Cinque Terre (requested by everyone i know) and spent 3 days in Florence and Venice with my whole class and professors.
I was really excited to go to Cinque Terre. I just needed time away from Rome. Overall it was really nice but it could have been SO much better. So that was kind of a bummer. What made it not as great was the fact that it was cloudy and raining. I really just wanted to do all of the hikes but since it was POURING and Rizzo (she came with me yay!) and I didnt have any rain gear we just hopped the train and went town to town. Overall I dont think I had the normal experience that most people have with Cinque Terre. I think my hope were too high or something of that sort. It was very cute and fun but I know it could have been better. oh well.....
I had about half a day to get ready for my trip to Florence/Firenze and Venice/Venezia. I have heard a lot about these places so I was really excited. For those of you who love Florence, I am sorry. Rome is so much cooler. Florence is like a smaller Rome with less to see. I mean you have the Uffizzi Gallery with Boticelli and Michaelangelo and Da Vinci and you have the David statue which was really impressive (its gigantic!) but Rome just has SO much more. I guess I am just biased, plus it was raining like mad in Florence. Florence was cool though, I just love Rome better.
Onto Venice. Now this place I LOVED! I mean you have seen pictures and movies about this place but its so surreal. It's kinda like Disneyland. Venice has even less to see as far as touristy places (I guess I like those because Rome has SO many) but its just so beautiful. The water is disgusting but it just adds this really romantic feeling to the whole city. You are constantly getting lost and walking over TONS of bridges. Plus there are the masks.....oh the masks....This was a problem. I am a drama major. I love dressing up. LOVE IT. So you shove me in a city where every street has a mask shop with different types of masks. sparkles, feathers, pink, blue, red, cats, music notes, the different styles were amazing. I fell in love with so many masks...I ended up leaving with two. For myself. I figured that I will use them at camp or my kids will play with them. They can hang on my wall in the meantime. I just loved Venice and yes, I did ride in a gondola. It kinda happened by chance because I wasn't really planning on it but then when I walked around on our last day with the Pantheon girls (a group of girls in my program that live by the pantheon) they planned on going on a gondola. I figured why not. It was pretty cool. The gondola is a very romantic little trip. I wouldnt suggest going with five other girls you dont really know but still it was fun. On the little ride we got to see Marco Polo's house and Casanova's (Italy's playboy).
Overall this week was intense and ended with a wonderful Sunday at church and on via del corso singing hymns in italian (so pretty...)I was really glad to finally get to know the other people in my program and hang out with them and just kinda have a week off, even though all of our trips to museums and churches were lessons with Ricardo my Renaissance Art teacher. Ricardo is amazing by the way. He knows EVERYTHING. We asked him one time what he did know and he said "how not to buy books" that is how cute he is. I love Ricardo....soooo much. Greatest teacher I have EVER had, and that is saying a lot.
Those were my final Italian destinations. I still have a lot to see in Rome (in fact today I saw Saint Sebastians (the one who was shot with arrows) crypt). I love being back here. Time is short and I want to enjoy it as much as possible.