I haven’t written on here since my trip to Italy so I figured I’d update everyone. I got back from Italy on the 10th and am now back to reality. Italy was absolutely amazing. My friend Christina and I stayed with a family friend of hers in Vicenza (they were American also.) Vicenza is a city in Northern Italy so it was very easy to visit Venice and Verona, the train was only 5 euro each way! We were met at the Venice airport by the family we were staying with and they were so incredibly welcoming and nice! We immediately went back to their house which is about a 45 minute drive from Venice to eat lunch which was delicious. Then they showed us around a part of Vicenza and I was able to see the military base that they work at (which is why they live in Vicenza). It was the coolest thing; it was like a like mini America. I am happy to say I was able to buy peanut butter and jelly at the grocery store on base! It’s funny the things that you miss while you’re away. The next day Christina and I joined Tina and Tia (the mother and daughter) in going to Venice. I cannot even describe how beautiful Venice is. The moment I stepped out the train station I fell in love. The colors of the buildings are so vibrant and we lucked out by having a gorgeous day. Here’s a picture to show what I am talking about:
After Tina and Tia left, Christina and I found a decent and clean hostel and stayed the night! The next day we were able to meet up with one of Christina’s friends that is studying abroad in Lille because she happened to be in Venice with her friends, too. We just walked around, went more sightseeing, and shopped of course! Venice was so much fun, I would go back in a heart beat.
The next day we visited Verona to see the Arena and Juliet’s balcony. The Arena was amazing, it is sort of a smaller version of the Colosseum in Rome, but unfortunately it was under construction so it wasn’t as pretty as usual. Juliet’s balcony was actually pretty cool, lots of people there but it was fun to see.
The next two days we decided to stay in Vicenza and see the downtown there. We visited the Teatro Olipimco which was made by Palladio and is one of the view Renaissance theaters still remaining. It was beautiful inside and the original set it actually still there! So awesome!
Also while I was there, we were able to bake for the soldiers on the base that had just returned from 9 months in Afghanistan. It was so much fun and very rewarding knowing it was something small the soldiers would enjoy and definitely deserve!
Finally we took a day trip on our last full day there to the beautiful Tuscany. I can now check off my bucket list of living out my “Under the Tuscan Sun” dream. If you haven’t seen that movie with Diane Lane I highly recommend it. Tuscany was just as beautiful as in that movie. Both towns we visited were built on top of hills to keep out enemies so the views were breathtaking. You can see just green for miles and miles (or kilometers here I guess). Toscana in Italian and Toscane in French was incredible
Overall, my trip to Italy was more than I expected and such a great time! I couldn’t have asked for a better Italian experience. But now it is crazy to think about how I only have two months left in France. I have so much I want to do but I’m starting to realize I don’t even have the time…(or the money 🙁 haha) It is very expensive to travel in Europe but I’m starting to do more research and finding better deals. But I do have a trip planned for Toulouse to visit my exchange sister that I hosted when I was in high school, a trip to Paris to meet up with my friend who is in England, a trip to Norway to visit my family, and a trip to southern France to visit the Mediterranean Sea! I’m counting down to all of those things!