I have two more weeks here, studying abroad in Florence, Italy. I started my first trip off in Interlaken, Switzerland and ended my last trip at the Amafi Coast, Italy. The weekend of April 18, my parents and little brother came to visit me and my sister. They arrived that Friday, and stayed until the 27th. The first weekend they were here, we traveled to Venice and Rome.
We first went to Venice, which was awesome. I had already been there, so it was easier to navigate around the city and easier for me to show my parents everything there is to see. We stayed there all day Saturday and got back to Florence Saturday night.
Sunday was Easter Sunday! We went to the famous Duomo for mass that day and were able to watch the Scoppio del Carro. In Florence, Easter is celebrated with the Scoppio del Carro, a huge decorated wagon that is dragged through Florence until it reaches the Duomo. Before mass begins, the Archbishop sends a dove-shaped rocket from the altar all the way out the main door and into the cart, igniting the fireworks held in the cart. It was something different, yet really cool that Florence has had the tradition of doing.
The next day, we went to Rome! I have not been to Rome, but my parents have been - so it worked out in the opposite way it did for Venice. Rome was everything I thought it would be. There were so many historical sites surrounding the city that we were able to see including St. Peter's Basilica, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, Piazza Navona, and the Monument of Vittori Emanuele II. The entire day was great and it was really cool to see all the famous historical sites.
The next week was my birthday! So on April 22, my family took me out to a restaurant that sits on top of a hotel and overlooks the river and bridges in Florence. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect night with the amazing sunset over the river.
The next weekend, we were able to go to Amafi of the Amafi Coast. We left after classes on Thursday and got there really late that night. We stayed at a really nice hotel that had a balcony view of the ocean and main city area.
The next day, we went into the city and wandered around seeing all the scenery and little shops along the road. After a couple of hours, we went to an amazing seafood restaurant near our hotel. The day was awesome, but dinner was even better. Saturday was filled with rain and so we left a little early to go back to Florence, where thankfully it wasn't raining as much. That night, my sister and I took my parents and brother to Piazzale Michelangelo to see the sunset. We couldn't have picked a better night. The sky was clear, there were Italians singing songs, and we had the most amazing view of Florence. We had a great last night together and after we said our goodbyes, my family left the following morning.
The next week, I only had two days of classes because Italy's International Workers' Day was on Thursday - which means students don't have classes either. Me and all my roommates decided to travel together on our last weekend to go back to the Amafi Coast! When I went with my parents, we went to Amafi of Amafi Coast. This time, me and my roommates traveled with Bus2Alps and went to Capri, Positano, and Pompeii.
The first day, we visited Capri. Capri was beautiful; unfortunately, it was raining the first half of the day. However, we got to Capri and the first thing we did was take a boat tour around the island. We got to see how beautiful the entire island was, and where the famous Blue Grotto was located. After the tour, we went up to the top level of the island where there was another breathtaking, screen-saver view. The pictures of some of these places aren't even close actually seeing it for yourself.
After seeing all the great scenery, we left to go back to our hostel in Sorrento. The next day, we woke up to pouring rain and a ferry ride to Positano. When we got to Positano, I recognized right away that famous Amafi Coast picture. It was awesome to see everything and be able to experience it all. Although it was raining most of the time, it was still a great time.
The next day was really nice out so on our way back to Florence, we stopped at Pompeii. Pompeii is famous for the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. The eruption killed all of the people in Pompeii and some from surrounding villages. The coolest thing about Pompeii were the bodies that were still there from being melted back in 79AD.
Overall, the trip was a great time and experience. The only thing I would have changed would have been the weather, but other than that everything was awesome. The next 2 weeks are my last 2 weeks in Florence. This last weekend I will be spending here in Florence. Next week I need to study for finals, pack my bags, and say my goodbyes. I can't wait to be home and see everyone, but its going to be hard leaving my favorite place in the whole world.