Florence & Rome

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My second trip was Italy. I decided to travel to Italy because Italian culture always captured my attention. My first stop was Florence. I am in love with Florence. The city is very small; therefore, everything is walking distance. I traveled with 4 of my classmates from UF that are also on the study abroad program in London. We stayed in an Airbnb 5 minutes walking away from the Duomo, so we were in the center of the city. What I loved about this city is that it may be very small, but they have countless historical places. I went to Florence Cathedral and Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Galleria dell’Accademia, Palazzo Pitti, Piazza Della Signoria, Santa Croce, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence Baptistery, and Giotto’s Campanile. Everything is very old, but unique at the same time. Something I really enjoyed watching was the “frescos” inside the Cathedral and the Baptistery. It’s amazing to think that someone actually made it. Also, the sculptures are perfectly made and everything detailed. Something very important tourists must do in Florence is climbing to the top of the cupola. I climbed 500 stairs, so I was very tired when I finally reached the top. The view was amazing! I was able to see Florence from above I really loved the experience. We all know that when talking about food Italy is the best place to eat pasta; therefore, I went to Mercato Centrale. The food was fresh and delicious. I  don’t like exaggerating, but it was one of the best pasta plates I have ever tried. Overall, I stayed only two days in Florence and I think it was too little time for a city that is full of culture and historical places. If you are planning to visit Florence stay there at least 4 days.

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The second city I went in Italy was Rome. Some advice I have for future students is that if you are planning to travel around Italy buy train tickets in Trenitalia, they are very cheap. The company has train stations all over Italy. My trip from Florence to Rome was only two hours. Also, I have to mention that the seats are very comfortable. So, I arrived in Rome and the weather was very nice compared to London’s weather it was a little cold, but very sunny. My Airbnb was 3 blocks away from the Coliseum, so we were in a good location. The first thing we did was the Coliseum. We paid the whole package which included the Roman Forum and to get inside the Coliseum. The Coliseum is huge! If you are planning to travel to Rome you have to get inside. An important fact you have to know is that the Coliseum was once used for gladiatorial games. The Roman Forum is a excavated area of Roman temples, squares & government buildings, some dating back 2,000 years. Then, we went walking to the Pantheon is a very old temple built circa 118 to 125 A.D. We didn’t go inside because of time. My favorite place in Rome was the Trevi Fountain it is so beautiful and it’s important to make a wish and throw a coin 🙂 The only thing about the Fountain is that it is very crowded. I was not able to go to the Vatican because I only planned Rome for the day, but I know people that have been there and all the comments I here about the Vatican is that it is amazing and that all the Sundays the Pope goes out just for 10 minutes, so if you plan to visit the Vatican go a Sunday. Overall, Rome was nice, but the only thing I didn’t like was that Italians yell too much and some streets are dirty. However, Italy is a country that has a lot of historical places because many years ago it was The Roman Empire. So to summarize, Italy was great and I learned a lot of things I didn’t know before.

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