Arrivederci Firenze

Well. This is the end. I stayed up all night tonight in preparation for leaving for the airport. The apartment is spotless, and my bags are packed. I have to pray to the airport gods that they don’t charge me for overweight bags, or I might be wearing 3 pairs of jeans on the plane.

I can’t believe that my time abroad is now about to be a thing of the past. My entire college career, and even in high school, has been leading up to my time studying abroad. It was always something to look forward to, something that was years away, and now it’s over!!

Studying abroad has been such an eye opening experience. I am beyond lucky to have traveled the world and to have seen so much. I got to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, watch a Carnivale parade, walk along the snowy Swiss Alps in Interlaken, visit the Coliseum, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and the Vatican in Rome, see Sagrada Familia and sit on the beach in Barcelona, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, go to the opera in Vienna, swim in the bathhouses in Budapest, walk along the rivers of Venice, drive along the coast of Italy, see an Italian soccer match, walk around the Jewish quarters of Prague, jump off cliffs in the Amalfi Coast, stand beside of the Eiffel Tower, hike the cities of Cinquetere, and live for four months in the best city in Europe, Florence. I have been exposed to different parts of the world and have learned to appreciate other cultures and lifestyles.

I honestly couldn’t have picked a better city to study than Florence. This city is perfect. It’s tiny and manageable which makes it to so easy to navigate. The city itself is so historic and beautiful.

Besides the city of Florence itself, the people that I have met here are truly what have made it so special and welcoming. It’s so funny because every time a friend comes to visit and we go and do something, they are shocked by the fact that the owner of a café, or of a leather shop, would know my name. To me, that seems normal at this point. One thing that is so unique about Italy as a whole, is that the people in this country value relationships so much. They take the time to get to know you and genuinely care about you.

Our coffee shop around the corner, Snack Bar Anna, has been so kind to us. Every time I’ve passed by, the owners Stefano and Anna greet me with a wave and yell, “ciao Dolly!” One of the most generous and shocking experiences I had was when I was walking through the leather market one day, and one of the guys who owned a booth came up to me and handed me a purse and told me I could have it. I asked him how much, and he told me “free” and that he wanted me to have it because he had recognized me (since I live in the leather market and walk through it everyday) and knew that I wanted that specific color, since I had my eyes on it, and that it was the last one left. I couldn’t believe it. He literally handed me a free purse. The leather jacket guy that I bought my jackets from, Massimo, knows me by name and would do anything for me if I ever asked him to. It’s the people like this who have shaped my experience in this country.

Today is so bittersweet. I love Florence so much. I can confidently call this city my second home. I have grown up so much here and I have even discovered a newfound appreciation for America. Today I will fly back to New York and not have to worry about language barriers, communicating via dumb little telephones that work 40% of the time, or converting euros to dollars. I have learned to love America so much more than I did before. We have it so easy in the states and our amenities are outrageous compared to the rest of the world. I am so lucky to be from such a great country with so many great opportunities.

So this is the end Florence. Thank you for some of the best memories, some of the absolute most gorgeous views I will ever see, for bringing me together with people who I can confidently call my friends for life, and for appreciating and slowing down my pace of life. I can’t believe it’s finally over. It’s been such an amazing learning experience and it’s incomparable to anything I’ve ever done before.

I love you Italy, arrivederci, I will be back!

Arrivederci Firenze!!!!!!

Arrivederci Firenze!!!!!! Grazie mille!

My Last Week In Florence

This was my last week in Flo. So so sad. The worst part about it was that I had to spend my last week studying and taking finals. On Monday, Sari and I went to the Synagogue in Florence since we never made it over there. It was so gorgeous inside! We weren’t allowed to take any phones or cameras into the Synagogue so I couldn’t take a photo. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I had class and spent hours studying for the exams. On Tuesday night, Sari, Lane, Katie, and I went to dinner at Il Profeta, an amazing restaurant and on Wednesday night, we went to 13 Gobbi. On Thursday, Katie, Sari, and I ran around Florence doing some last minute errands and then on Thursday night, we had a farewell dinner with our program, Wells College, at a restaurant called Sabatini. Since it’s Lane’s birthday in a couple days, but we won’t be in Florence anymore, we celebrated her birthday on Thursday night. It was fun! We all went out together, and we obviously went to Kikuya, our favorite go-to!

Today was our last day, so Lane, Sari, Katie and I spent the day walking around, getting our favorite foods, and taking pics of Florence. We went up to Piazza Michelangelo one last time, walked by the duomo  one last time, and walked through Piazza Signoria one last time. We went home, packed and cleaned, and then went to La Giostra for the “last supper.” After dinner, I had to say bye to Sari, Katie, and Merel, and Lane and I came back to our apartment to hang out with our other two roommates Amanda and Rachel.

The Florence Synagoge

The Florence Synagoge

A piece of the famous "John Travolta" pasta from Il Profeta

A piece of the famous “John Travolta” pasta from Il Profeta

Lane's "birthday" celebration

Lane’s “birthday” celebration

IMG_8003

The roommates in front of our apartment, Via Della Stufa 3. Rachel, me, Lane, and Amanda.

The roommates in front of our apartment, Via Della Stufa 3. Rachel, me, Lane, and Amanda.

Being funny

Being funny

This is Milva, one of our program directors. She is the best!!!!!! We're going to miss her so much!

This is Milva, one of our program directors. She is the best!!!!!! We’re going to miss her so much!

13385_2144865536286_378275255_n

My friend Conor from IU who is on Morale for IUDM with me and is studying in Florence for the summer, Meghan, and me

My friend Conor from IU who is on Morale for IUDM with me and is studying in Florence for the summer, Meghan, and me

A last photo in front of the duomo

A last photo in front of the duomo

Goodbye Duomo

Goodbye Duomo

Our last trip to the secret bakery

Our last trip to the secret bakery

Me, Katie, Lane, and Sari at the duomo

Me, Katie, Lane, and Sari at the duomo

In front of Il Due Fratellini, a great whole in the wall sandwich stand

In front of Il Due Fratellini, a great whole in the wall sandwich stand

Gelateria dei Neri

Gelateria dei Neri

One last look at the Ponte Vecchio

One last look at the Ponte Vecchio

Fresh water fountains around Italy are clutch

Fresh water fountains around Italy are clutch

A statue on the way up to Piazza Michelangelo

A statue on the way up to Piazza Michelangelo

DSC_1749

This view NEVER gets old

This view NEVER gets old

Up on Piazza Michelangelo

Up on Piazza Michelangelo

DSC_1800

A rose petal in the shape of a heart

A rose petal in the shape of a heart

DSC_1807

DSC_1811

The best and worst part of our day. The brothers that work at our favorite sandwich shop in Florence, Anitco Vinaio. Had to get one last sandwich on our last day.

The best and worst part of our day. The brothers that work at our favorite sandwich shop in Florence, Anitco Vinaio. Had to get one last sandwich on our last day.

DSC_1834

Last walk through Piazza Signoria

Last walk through Piazza Signoria

One last look at the Fountain of Neptune in Piazza Signoria

One last look at the Fountain of Neptune in Piazza Signoria

Palazzo Vecchio in Piazza Signoria

Palazzo Vecchio in Piazza Signoria. You can see the fake David sculpture on the left.

This beautiful building one last time...

This beautiful building one last time…

Via Della Stufa 3, you've been great

Via Della Stufa 3, you’ve been great

The last supper at La Giostra

The last supper at La Giostra

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy mother’s day mama! Here are some pics that I found on my computer of us! Hope you had a fab day, see you in less than a week! Xo

Way back when when you were my age I think?

Way back when when you were my age I think?

Here's a random old-y

Here’s a random and funny old-y

In Israel

In Israel

DSC_2983

This kills me.

This kills me.

High school graduation with the rents

High school graduation with the rents

AEPhi Parent's weekend at Indiana

AEPhi Parent’s weekend at Indiana

Parent's weekend again

Parent’s weekend again

Last Thanksgiving in Michigan

Last Thanksgiving in Michigan

Cinque Terre

Yesterday was my last trip of the semester. Katie, Lane, and I did a day trip to Cinque Terre, Italy. It’s along the coast of the Italian Riviera, right outside the city of La Spezia. Cinque Terre is made up of five villages and literally means, “The Five Lands.” The five villages of Cinque Terre are Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.

So the three of us woke up super early and caught a 7:00AM train to La Spezia. We had to transfer trains in Pisa. The whole trip took about 2.5 hours. So when we got to La Spezia, we saw a group of Americans that were all a part of a Euro Adventures (one of those travel programs) trip so we asked how to get around and everything and he helped us out and showed us what train to take to get to the town with the hiking trail. Since it’s been rainy, a lot of the trails have been closed because of landslides, so we hiked up the only trail that was open. We took a train from La Spezia to Rimaggiore and then another train to Vernazza which is where the only trail was open. So we hiked from Vernazza to Monterosso al Mare. It was a two hour hike and it was uphill and intense! It actually reminded me a lot of camp. Obviously camp isn’t on the mediterranean coast line, but the actual hike up was similar to portages (the land you have to hike in between lakes on cane trips in Algonquin Park, Canada). And there were fresh water streams along the way up the hike which gave me flashbacks to streams in Algonquin Park. I was loving it!

I ran into a guy that I met in Budapest on the hiking trail. His name is Iman and he is friends with my friend Michael Kagan, who I bumped into in Budapest. This whole abroad thing makes the world so much smaller and it’s soooo weird. Anyway, at the end of the hike, we were in Monterosso. We had a seafood lunch and sat by the ocean. After lunch, we caught the train in Monterosso to go back to Florence. We had to transfer again in La Spezia and Pisa. It was pretty easy.

Last night, we all went out to Space Electronic, which is where we saw the Fat Joe concert one of our first nights here hahaha. Everrrryone was there last night. The last Saturday night in Florence, so sad, but it was fun!

DSC_1593

Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore

Look at this foliage

Look at this foliage

Inside a tunnel through one of the mountains

Inside a tunnel through one of the mountains

Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore

DSC_1602

Katie, me, and Lane

Katie, me, and Lane

DSC_1609

The trains were PACKED with tons of people

The trains were PACKED with tons of people

A train going through a mountain

A train going through a mountain

These two Italian men were playing music along the hike

These two Italian men were playing music along the hike

DSC_1630

The hike up

The hike up

DSC_1636

The natural streams. I was loving it!

The natural streams. I was loving it!

DSC_1643

DSC_1647

Vineyards

Vineyards

The end of the trail

The end of the trail

DSC_1673

Classic solo shot

Classic solo shot

 

Me, Katie, and Lane before going to Space

Me, Katie, and Lane before going to Space

Jenna, me, and Allie. They are both in AEPhi with me at IU.

Jenna, me, and Allie. They are both in AEPhi with me at IU.

The Touring Continues

So when I got back from Rome, I took a nice long nap and then woke up to be productive for a couple hours, and then I met up with my friend Brooke Maher (the friend I went on spring break with). She was in Florence with her mom traveling because her program in Barcelona is done already. We went out to dinner at Il Latini. It was SO good. You have a set menu and they just bring out the food for you. You don’t look at a menu and it’s family style. It was delicious. After a nice and long dinner, I went back to my apartment, where my friend Laura Bacco from home met me. She had come to Florence while I was at dinner with Brooke and her mom, so my roommates let her into my apartment. It was so great to see her! On Monday and Tuesday we ran around and did more touristy things. We went to the Gucci Museum on Monday. On Tuesday, I had class for most of the day, so Laura got to explore Florence by herself and went to the Uffizi museum.

Brooke, me, her mom Dale, and the waiter at Il Latini

Brooke, me, her mom Dale, and the waiter at Il Latini

IMG_4303

Brooke, Dale, and I

Brooke, Dale, and I

This woman was having dinner at the table next to us and we started talking to her and found out that she went to IU!

This woman was having dinner at the table next to us and we started talking to her and found out that she went to IU, so we just had to take a pic with her!

IMG_7929

Gucci museum

Gucci museum

IMG_4306

IMG_4309

Gucci cadillac

Gucci cadillac

Gucci interiors

Gucci interiors

The Gucci "Flora" print with the printed mannequin.

The Gucci “Flora” print with the printed mannequin.

Laura and I on the Ponte Vecchio

Laura and I on the Ponte Vecchio

My last pairing food and wine class. We had to present our food to a panel of judges! My teacher is the one on the right.

My last pairing food and wine class. We had to present our food to a panel of judges! My teacher is the one on the right.

Rome Wasn’t Built In a Day

On Friday, Margaux, Roni, and I walked around, went to the David, and went to the Uffizi and then left for Rome that evening. So we went on a 7:00PM train to Rome, and when we were about 15 minutes away from the Roma Termini (that’s the name of the station) track, we couldn’t pull in any further because the track was blocked. So we ended up sitting there for an additional 2.5 hours….I was so pissed. Italy…. It’s times like these where I miss America because I feel like this would never fly in America. Italians are too laid back to make a scene about this. It was so annoying because we were going to my friend Dylan Sklare’s (my friend on Hello Dolly! that I went to visit in the hospital) apartment to be with him and his friends for their last night abroad in Rome, so we ended up getting there super late. But the train was actually kind of funny. There was this Italian 17 year old sitting next to us that we were using my translate app to ask him what was going on and we found out he was on the minor league Florence football team. His name was Roberto Tomasiello. We told him we were going to follow his career. Everyone on the train was getting so antsy!

So finally we get to Sklare’s apartment and we got to see all the boys and hang out with them. Roni wasn’t feeling well, so she stayed home, but we all went out to Gilda which was really fun. Roni, Margaux, and I stayed at Sklare’s apartment on Friday night and so did all the other boys because their lease ended on Friday so they needed somewhere to stay for the night. On Saturday, all the boys left, except for Sklare because his flight back to America was on Sunday. So we had a little bit of a problem. Sklare’s lease was over on Saturday, so we had to get out because we couldn’t stay there Saturday night. So he got a hotel room at this hotel outside of the old city of Rome, so he took our bags to his hotel with all his stuff because we had a reservation at the Vatican for 11:30AM. So I was the Roman tour guide for the day. Getting to the Vatican was a bit of a struggle. It was just SOOOO hot that we were dying and sweating and running to get there and then once inside the Vatican, it was so packed which made it even hotter. We went through the Vatican and then ended in the Sistine Chapel which was so exciting. I was so pumped to see it. So we got into the Sistine Chapel, and to be honest, I was a little disappointed. I thought that the chapel would be WAY bigger than it was in real life, and I thought that the painted ceiling was much brighter and detailed than it actually was. I mean, it was still so cool to actually be standing there and see it, but I was a little underwhelmed to be completely honest. After we were done at the Vatican, we walked by the Castel Sant’Angelo and the Spanish steps. At the Spanish steps, we filled up our water bottles in the fountain at the bottom of the steps. It was such a hot day. We were sweating and so thirsty. We had to walk up the Spanish steps to get to the Borghese Gardens. The gardens were BEAUTIFUL! There were cyprus trees, Mediterranean pine trees, and palm trees. We laid in the grass for about an hour and took a little break from the heat and walking around. After the gardens, we walked by the capitol building, where the tomb of the unknown soldier is, and then walked by the Roman Forum, and then ended at the Coliseum. We were hungry, so we went to get some dinner by the Coliseum at this little cafe where we checked in and got some wifi.

At dinner, we heard from Sklare and he said that he would come meet up with us in Rome and walk around for a little. We accompanied him to dinner at this really cool restaurant in Trastevere, his neighborhood. The restaurant was called Spirito di Vino. It is built inside the oldest synagogue in Rome, older than the coliseum. So cool. After dinner, we walked around Trastevere for a little, and then walked to the metro station to go back to the hotel. We all snuck into the hotel room and stayed the night because we had no where else to stay. Ahhhh the adventures you have when you’re young. So Margaux’s flight was at 6:00AM, so she had to leave at 4:00AM for the airport, and we didn’t even get back to the hotel until 1:30AM, so we just stayed up until she got a cab for the airport. It was so funny because Margaux brought such a tiny bag and Ryan Air, which is the airline she was flying is super strict about the size of your ONE bag you’re allowed to carry on, so she wore all her clothes. She looked like a gypsy hahah because she was wearing jeans with a maxi skirt over it and all her other clothes. So funny. So then Roni, Sklare, and I fell asleep for a couple of hours while watching The Departed, and then had to wake up early because Sklare had to go to the airport for his flight back to America. So Roni and I went to the Roma Termini train station while Sklare went to the airport. When Roni and I got to the train station, we split. I went back to Florence and she got a shuttle to the airport.

The train was quick. I was exhausted when I got back to Florence because of how little sleep I had gotten the past two nights.

Margaux and I on the train to Rome

Margaux and I on the train to Rome

Sklare and his one arm because his arm is in a sling

Sklare and his one arm because his arm is in a sling

Coop and I

Coop and I

Sklare, Margaux, and Christian

Sklare, Margaux, and Christian

Matt and I and their apartment decoration cat friend, Felix. They threw Felix into the river as a symbolic sacrifice hahaha

Matt and I and their apartment decoration cat friend, Felix. They threw Felix into the river as a symbolic sacrifice hahaha

Sklare and his street. So sad that this is the end!

Sklare and his street. So sad that this is the end!

View of the Vatican

View of the Vatican

The walk through the vatican. It was SO packed.

The walk through the vatican. It was SO packed.

IMG_7837

IMG_7848

IMG_7850

The Sistine Chapel. You're not allowed to take photos, so I had to sneak these with my iPhone.

The Sistine Chapel. You’re not allowed to take photos, so I had to sneak these with my iPhone.

iPhone pics...not as good quality

iPhone pics…not as good quality

IMG_4261

The most famous painting in the Sistine Chapel

The most famous painting in the Sistine Chapel

IMG_4264

The Vatican dome through the view of a window.

The Vatican dome through the view of a window.

The stairs on the way down were so intense

The stairs on the way down were so intense

Very Guggenheim-esque stairs/ramp

Very Guggenheim-esque stairs/ramp

The court building

The court building

The Vatican from a distance

The Vatican from a distance

Roni and I at the Spanish steps

Roni and I at the Spanish steps

I had already been to the Spanish steps, but it is so much prettier in the spring!

I had already been to the Spanish steps, but it is so much prettier in the spring!

The fountain at the bottom of the Spanish steps that everyone filled their water bottles with and cooled off at.

The fountain at the bottom of the Spanish steps that everyone filled their water bottles with and cooled off at.

View of Roma from up by the Borghese Gardens

View of Roma from up by the Borghese Gardens

When we walked up to the Borghese Gardens, there was a Gelato fair going on. We didn't get anything because you had to buy a ticket and it was a whole process blah blah blah

When we walked up to the Borghese Gardens, there was a Gelato fair going on. We didn’t get anything because you had to buy a ticket and it was a whole process blah blah blah

But there was an elephant sculpture that I just HAD to take a photo with!

But there was an elephant sculpture that I just HAD to take a photo with!

The Borghese Gardens! So pretty!

The Borghese Gardens! So pretty!

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Margaux and I at the Trevi Fountain

Margaux and I at the Trevi Fountain

Making a wish!

Making a wish!

My favorite Elephant obelisk

My favorite Elephant obelisk

The capitol building. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The capitol building. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

This is my favorite street in Rome. And when you turn to the left, you see all the Mediterranean Pine Trees lined along the street, with the Coliseum at the end. I love it.

This is my favorite street in Rome. And when you turn to the right, you see all the Mediterranean Pine Trees lined along the street, with the Coliseum at the end. I love it.

Selfies at the Ancient Forum. This is my Ancient Roman face.

Selfies at the Roman Forum. This is my Ancient Roman face.

Ancient Forum

Roman Forum

The Coliseum!

The Coliseum!

The arch next to the coliseum

The arch next to the coliseum

IMG_7914

Coliseum at night

The coliseum at night

Sklare, Margaux the gypsy,  and Roni. Sklare is repping the Hello Dolly! sticker on his computer.

Sklare, Margaux the gypsy, and Roni. Sklare is repping the Hello Dolly! sticker on his computer.

Dolly the Tour Guide

Wow. I am exhausted. So let me run you through my past week. Last Sunday, after I got back from Paris, I met up with my friend Jon Miller from Indiana who was visiting Florence from London. He was done with his program and was traveling with a friend. So I met up with him and his friend and walked around Florence with them for a couple hours. Then I had to leave them and had to go to the train station to meet my good friend from home, Lexi Sorbara (visiting from Barcelona) and her friend from Barcelona, Lily. So I walked them back to my apartment, and then we did a nice little walking tour of Florence. On Monday and Tuesday I showed them around some more and we went to see the David on Tuesday. We also went to the Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella which is one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. The Queen of England buys her perfume from this perfumery. It was my first time going, so it was cool to see!

My friend from school, Roni (who I stayed with in Prague), was supposed to come to Florence on Tuesday evening, but she didn’t end up coming until Thursday night because her purse was stolen off the security conveyer belt at the Prague airport. She had nothing. It’s so terrible. They stole her Czech phone, her iPhone, her wallet with her money, tram passes, credit cards, etc, and her watch. So awful. So Tuesday night was Notte Bianca. May 1st is labor day, so every April 30th (Tuesday night), Florence has this giant celebration called Notte Bianca (White Night) where everything, all the restaurants, museums, etc, are open all night, and everyone is just celebrating in the streets. So Lexi got to celebrate with me and all my friends since she was here on Tuesday night!

On Wednesday, my other friend Margaux (the friend I was with in Paris) came to visit! So Lexi, Lily and I went to meet Margaux at the train station and we went to lunch with two of my roommates, Lane, and Amanda. It was so fun that Margaux and Lexi were here in Florence at the same time. So we walked around all day and then Lexi and Lily left for the airport.

On Thursday, Margaux and I went to the Palatine Gallery at the Pitti Palace and did some more touristy things, and then I went to meet Roni at the train station and brought her back to my apartment. Margaux, Lane, Katie, Amanda, and I all went out to dinner at Il Fagioli that night, and Roni met up with her camp friends for dinner. It’s been great having visitors, but it’s so tiring!

Pear Ravioli from 4 Leoni, where Lexi, her friend Lily, and I went out to dinner.

Pear Ravioli from 4 Leoni, where Lexi, her friend Lily, and I went out to dinner.

Lexi and I at 4 Leoni

Lexi and I at 4 Leoni

Ran into this English Bulldog named Edward in Florence. It made me miss Dash, my English Bulldog!

Ran into this English Bulldog named Edward in Florence. It made me miss Dash, my English Bulldog!

What a cutie

What a cutie

Me and Lexi in front of the Duomo!

Me and Lexi in front of the Duomo!

At the perfumery

At the perfumery

IMG_4177

IMG_4178

A huge flower candle at the perfumery that smelled so good

A huge flower candle at the perfumery that smelled so good

Ceiling at the perfumery

Ceiling at the perfumery

Lexi and I at Piazza Michelangelo

Lexi and I at Piazza Michelangelo

Kisses for Florence!

Kisses for Florence!

Went back to see the David

Went back to see the David

Me and David

Me and David

Notte Bianca! The city was packed.

Notte Bianca! The city was packed.

So many people out by the Duomo.

So many people out by the Duomo.

Crazy floats by Santa Croce church

Crazy floats by Santa Croce church

Sari, Merel, me and Lane

Sari, Merel, me and Lane

Lane, Sari, me, and Lexi

Lane, Sari, me, and Lexi

Margaux, me, and Lexi in front of the door of my apartment on my street.

Margaux, me, and Lexi in front of the door of my apartment on my street.

On my street

On my street

A woman at Gusta Pizza also had an eye ball ring

A woman at Gusta Pizza also had an eye ball ring

Heart shaped pizza

Heart shaped pizza

Margaux and I wrote this for Gusta Pizza!

Margaux and I wrote this for Gusta Pizza!

Our note inside the table

Our note inside the table

Florence is so pretty!

Florence is so pretty!

Michelangelo's tomb

Michelangelo’s tomb inside Santa Croce Church

Galileo's tomb

Galileo’s tomb

Machiavelli's tomb

Machiavelli’s tomb

Ceiling right outside of Santa Croce church. Love the blue and the shells.

Ceiling right outside of Santa Croce church. Love the blue and the shells.

Margaux and I walked by the Synagogue in Florence. I have to make it inside one of these days!

Margaux and I walked by the Synagogue in Florence. I have to make it inside one of these days!

Dinner at Il Fagioli. My parents' friend, Alberto from Milan suggested this place. It was delish!

Dinner at Il Fagioli. My parents’ friend, Alberto from Milan suggested this place. It was delish!

Ceiling in Uffizi

Ceiling in Uffizi

Oui Oui Pareeeeeeeeeeeeee

On Thursday afternoon, I took off for Paris! A bunch of my other friends went to Munich for Spring Fest, but I wanted to go to Paris instead. So I left Florence for the airport at 2:00 for my 4:00PM flight. I got there with plenty of time to spare, but I’d rather be safe then sorry. So I landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport right outside of Paris, north of city. I was planning on meeting up with my good friend from high school, Margaux, and she was supposed to meet me after I got off the metro. I had a minor freak out because my phone wasn’t connecting when I tried to call Margaux. She had given me directions, but I was a little confused and wanted to confirm my arrival, the directions, etc with her. So I went up to the information booth and confirmed how to get to where Margaux was going to meet me. I had 15 minutes of free wifi in the airport so I strategically planned to use it once I knew my game plan. I went on Facebook and found one of Margaux’s roommates, Alix, on Facebook and messaged her because I couldn’t get a hold of Margaux. Thankfully, Margaux was with her and I was able to communicate that I had landed and was on my way to the metro.

So I left the terminal, took a shuttle to the next terminal where the RER train station was. The RER is a train that connects the outskirts of Paris into the city. The station was huge, but I figured out where to buy a ticket and which RER to take. The RER took me to a metro stop where I switched trains and got on the metro to go to Margaux’s stop, Saint Germain des Prés. I got off the metro and Margaux was there waiting for me! It was so great to see her. We went up to her apartment, which is right in the heart of Paris, and her friends were cooking some dinner for us. That night, we went to the gardens at Invalides (a beautiful building which used to a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans), and hung out with some of Margaux’s friends. We rented Velib’s, which are bikes. So we biked around Paris! Very adventurous.

I really wanted to see a lot while I was in Paris, so we had a pretty tight agenda. We woke up early on Friday, showered and the first stop was Ladurée, the famous macaroon shop. I got a rose macaroon and Margaux got a vanilla macaroon. The rose flavored macaroon was like nothing I had ever tasted before. It literally tasted like roses. I tried the vanilla one too, both of them were so good. After Ladurée, we walked over the “Love Lock Bridge” which is actually called Pont de l’Archeveche. Couples come here and attach locks to the bridge with their names on it. Margaux told me that once a year, the government has to come in and cut locks off the bridge because the locks make it too heavy and the bridge will collapse with all that weight. From the love lock bridge, we went to the Louvre. The actually building was absolutely huge. I couldn’t believe how gorgeous the buildings in Paris were. I kept saying that they all looked so fancy and sophisticated. I thought everything in Paris was just fancy! It was all so pretty. Since it was so early, we were lucky that the lines were short and we got in with no long waiting. The Louvre is huggggeeee. We walked through a pretty decent chunk of the museum though. We saw the moat in the museum, the Italian art, the Greek art, impressionist pieces, and obviously saw the Mona Lisa. Going to see the Mona Lisa was nuts. There were SO many people crowded around it taking photos. Everyone was ruthless, it was so difficult to get to the front to take a photo. After a couple hours at the Louvre, we left and went Le Marais (the Jewish and Gay quarters of Paris) and met up with Alix, Margaux’s roommate at Le Loir dans la Theiere for lunch. Lunch was delicious. I had a mushroom and cheese tart/quiche thing. And then we all split our desserts. They were soooo good.

After lunch, we walked through he Jewish quarters to get to Notre Dame. While walking through, I ran into Zoe Stahl. My good friend from camp. She wasn’t studying abroad, but she goes to University of Michigan and she finished school for the year, so she went to visit friends abroad. Such a small world! Notre Dame was beautiful. Absolutely HUGE! After Notre Dame, we walked around gardens behind the church. Then we walked back through the Jewish quarters and split a kebab and the famous and best kebab place in Paris called L’As Du Fallafel. It was SO good. Israel status.

After that, Alix went home and Margaux and I went to the Musée l’Orangerie. I started to get a serious allergy attack. Just some seasonal allergies. Not so great when you’re using your eyes to look at art. l’Orangerie is an impressionist museum. Lots of Monet’s, Renoir’s, Picasso’s, etc. And Monet’s huge water lily paintings are here. They are in this giant oval room. So beautiful. After l’Orangerie, it was raining and we took the metro to Musée d’Orsay. It was great. With a Student ID you could get in to all of these museums for free! I loved this museum. There were tons of paintings here, so much to see. The museum was closing at 5:30PM and it was 4:00ish when we got there, so we had to kind of hustle, but I got to see it all! After the full museum day, we went back to Margaux’s apartment and stopped at a grocery store on the way back home to pick up dinner. We got an array of smelly cheeses to have a classic smelly cheese French dinner. Delicious! That night, we didn’t end up doing anything and we hung out at Margaux’s apartment.

On Saturday, we woke up early again and went to Angelina’s for breakfast. Angelina’s is the super fancy tea room that is famous for their hot chocolate. It was so good. Super fancy. We then walked down Champs Elysees, the big street with the Arc de Triomphe at the end of it. We then crossed the roundabout and went to check out the Arc. After that, we took the metro to the Eiffel Tower. It was sooo big. Way bigger than I expected. I thought it was so cool. I couldn’t believe that I was standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, such a famous landmark. After the Eiffel Tower, we got on the RER and took a train to Versailles. Versailles is right outside of Paris, so you have to take a tran there. Wow. What a beautiful palace. Again, so fancy. Everything in Paris was just so refined and super classy and elegant. Very different than the rustic Florentine lifestyle. Versailles was fantastic. The furniture and patterns in all the rooms were so great, and the Hall of Mirrors was so cool. After the castle, we walked around the gardens. The gardens were so enormous. We walked around for about 45 minutes and took a bunch of photos and then took the RER back to Paris. We went back to Margaux’s apartment and then went to dinner at Le Refuge des Fondues. It was a fondue restaurant where you drink wine out of baby bottles. So bizarre, but a really cool place. After dinner, we went to Montmartre and saw the Moulin Rogue. I loved seeing it because Moulin Rouge is one of my favorite movies. After that, we walked around for a little and then went home.

Sunday morning, I had to wake up at 4:30AM to get a cab at 5:00AM to go the airport. My flight was at 7:20AM. It was so early, but it was really nice being back in Florence by 9:00AM.

Dinner at Margaux's apartment!

Dinner at Margaux’s apartment!

Margieeeeeee!!!!

Margieeeeeee!!!!

Laduree macaroons

Laduree macaroons

Margaux and I in front of Laduree

Margaux and I in front of Laduree

IMG_4040

The love lock bridge

The love lock bridge

Margaux on the bridge

Margaux on the bridge

The Louvre

The Louvre

Inside the Louvre

Inside the Louvre

DSC_0942

All the hype for Mona

All the hype for Mona

Me and Mona

Me and Mona

There she is

There she is

We saw a Hillary Clinton look-a-like

We saw a Hillary Clinton look-a-like

Quiche for lunch at Le Loir dans la Theiere.

Quiche for lunch at Le Loir dans la Theiere.

Ran into Camp Tamakwa friend, Zoe Stahl!

Ran into Camp Tamakwa friend, Zoe Stahl!

The famous Falafel place in Paris

The famous Falafel place in Paris

DSC_1017

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

DSC_1038

Inside Notre Dame

Inside Notre Dame

The backside of Notre Dame

The backside of Notre Dame

Alix, Margaux and I

Alix, Margaux and I

DSC_1098

A cute little restaurant

A cute little restaurant

Accordion Parisian man

Accordion Parisian man

Margaux looking through a Jewish bakery

Margaux looking through a Jewish bakery

The falafel guys

The falafel guys

They take your order outside the Falafel place

They take your order outside the Falafel place

DSC_1140

Water Lillies by Monet

Water Lillies by Monet

Musée d'Orsay

Musée d’Orsay

The Birth of Venus

The Birth of Venus

Van Gough

Van Gough

Degas

Degas

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty

Where the Declaration of Independence was signed

Where the Declaration of Independence was signed

The Louvre!

The Louvre!

DSC_1187

In front of Angelina's

In front of Angelina’s

DSC_1207

Avenue Champs Élysées

Avenue Champs Élysées

Arc d'Triomf

Arc d’Triomf

DSC_1234

Under the Arc d'Triomf

Under the Arc d’Triomf

DSC_1254

Street performer

Street performer

The Eiffel Tower!

The Eiffel Tower!

I'm here!!!

I’m here!!!

DSC_1298

Versailles. Hayyyyy!

Versailles. Hayyyyy!

DSC_1341

Love this carpet

Love this carpet

DSC_1354

DSC_1358

Chapel inside Versailles

Chapel inside Versailles

DSC_1383

The gardens

The gardens

DSC_1402

DSC_1411

Hall of Mirrors

Hall of Mirrors

I love the matching beds and walls

I love the matching beds and walls

DSC_1471

DSC_1484

DSC_1507

DSC_1519

Getting creative with our photos

Getting a little more creative with our photos

DSC_1544

My Louis XIV pose

My Louis XIV pose

Pretty tulips

Pretty tulips

Crazy patterns in the gardens

Crazy patterns in the gardens

Fondue dinner

Fondue dinner

Margaux, me, Alix, and Annalie at dinner

Margaux, me, Alix, and Annalie at dinner

The Moulin Rouge!

The Moulin Rouge!

Amalfi Coastin’

So on Thursday, Lane and I were supposed to go to our program director, Milva’s, apartment for a cooking session. We were leaving for the Amalfi Coast that night, so we lugged our bags and walked over to the train station, to where we thought we would catch the bus that would take us to Milva’s apartment. Well…we were wrong. Turns out Piazza San Marco isn’t near the train station. We went the complete wrong way. So at this point, we were running late, we were super hot since it was hot and we were carrying our bags through Florence. So we called Milva and told her there was no way we would make it on time and that we were so sorry that we had to miss this. We were seriously so upset! It would have been so fun and we were looking forward to cooking with Milva. Lane and I grabbed some salads at the cafe on our corner and then went back for a couple hours before we had to meet with the Bus2Alps group to leave for Amalfi.

Lane and I left our apartment at met up with the group at 7:30PM at the train station. We met up with Meghan, Katie, Merel, and Sari there. There were a lot of other people that I am friends with that happened to be on the trip too which was a good surprise. We got on the bus, and we were off. The drive was about 7 hours and we had a 45 minute stop at a rest stop along the way. We got to “Seven Hostel” (the hostel that we all stayed at) at around 3:30AM and we were supposed to wake up very early to meet the group at 7:15AM. I barely slept. I probably fell asleep at around 5:00AM and woke up at 6:00ish.

We ate breakfast at the hostel, and then walked about 30 minutes to get on a big boat to Capri. All the Bus2Alps groups met at this point (the other trips from Florence and the trips from Rome). Tyler and Tim were on the trip from Rome (Sklare and Matt’s friends and roommates in Rome), so we got to hang out with them which was fun. We all went up on the top of the boat to be outside. It was so beautiful. We then transferred to a smaller boat where we were able to split into groups of 5 to enter the Blue Grotto, one of the seven wonders of the world. It was unbelievable. We took a tiny little paddle boat in to the grotto and had to bend down on our way in because the cave was so close to the sea level. Inside was pitch black, and the sunlight that came in from the cave hole was the only source of light. The water was a vibrant blue color. The sand on the ground was white which made the color even more vibrant. We were in the grotto for about 5 minutes, a short little visit. After the grotto, we got back on to the bigger boats and set out for Marina Grande, on the island of Capri. We walked up to the top of the hill, along Via Krupp, a 30 minute uphill steep walk, and then walked around for a little and took photos on the terrace. The walk up was pretty brutal. We were all sweating and it was so long!

The view up on the hill was amazing. So beautiful. The south of Italy is known for their lemons, they are HUGE. They are as big as an adult head. Not joking. They have these juice drinks called “granita” which is a lemon slush. They have a bunch of different flavors. You can have just lemon or you can have blood orange, melon, mint, etc. I got the lemon and blood orange juice. Oh my god. It was so fresh. Unreal.

After walking around and taking some photos, we walked to Capri Town and took buses up to Anacapri. The Bus2Alps leaders pointed us to a place where you can try limoncello shots (Capri is known for their limoncello) and order custom made sandals. We tried the limoncello, and passed on the sandals. I’m not really a limoncello fan, but I could taste the deliciousness of the lemons. We were really hungry at this point so we went to a restaurant right next door to the sandal/limoncello shop and we had lunch.

After lunch we wanted to lay in the sun, so we took the chairlift up to the top of Mt. Solaro. This was one of the coolest things that we did the whole weekend. The chairlift was individual seats that went all the way up to the top of the hill. The views were unbelievable. We saw Tyler and Tim at the top and made some new friends. We sat out in the sun for a couple of hours on the patio on the top of the mountain. I got a lot of sun. A little sunburnt actually. The mountain though was so cool. We were literally in the clouds. It was so high up. Clouds were LITERALLY passing by us, we could actually see them pass by. It was awesome. I was making jokes that I wasn’t getting Wifi even though I felt like I was in an “iCloud.” After a couple hours at the top of the mountain and taking some photos, we took the chairlift back down. The ride down was hilarious. We passed all these Asian tourists on our way down that were on their way up. They were taking photos of us and holding up peace signs for us to take pictures of them. I got some good pics of them.

When we were done with the chairlift ride back down, we caught a bus back to Capri Town. There was a Fiorucci store here, the clothing company that my mom used to work for, so I took a picture in front of the store. We then walked back down to get to Marina Grande and got a little lost on the way back down. But it was okay! Because we passed an absolutely gorgeous beach with clear blue water. The water was pretty cold, but Katie and Meghan ran in for a quick dip. We walked along the shore and met up with the rest of the Bus2Alps trip and sat on the beach for about another hour. After the beach, we caught a boat from the Marina back to Sorrento, where our hostel was.

We got back to our hostel, and showered and changed, and then met up with everyone and took a bus to the town of Sorrento (about 20 minutes) to have dinner and go out. We went to Pizzeria Aurora in Sorrento and then went to the English Inn, which was an outdoor beer garden which was fun and cool. Lane, Katie, Sari, and I split a cab home and went to sleep for the night.

On Saturday morning, we woke up, had breakfast again at the hotel, and then took a bus to Positano. The drive was about 40 minutes along the coastline of the Amalfi Coast. Really fantastic views. We got off in Positano, and then had to walk about 30 minutes downhill to the black sand beach. We hung out on the beach for the day. We laid out, got delicious sandwiches at this place called Vini e Panini. We laid out some more and went in the water. It was pretty cold, but it was really refreshing and the water was so beautiful. We had to wear sandals on the beach because it was so rocky and hurt our feet. At around 2:30PM, we took a boat to this small beach nearby where we went cliff jumping. Believe it or not, I did it. I am not adventurous at all, but, I thought, “When In Rome!,” but “When In Amalfi!” It was actually fun! I jumped off the low cliff, about 10 feet. The crazy people jumped off the high cliff, about 25 feet. Yeah…no.

We took the boat back to the beach and hung out for a couple hours and then took a bus back to Sorrento. On Saturday night, we just had dinner at our hostel and hung out there at night.

On Sunday morning, we checked out of the hostel, then took a bus to Pompeii. We entered into the ancient city, walked around, took photos, and then had lunch. We had lunch at this place called Pompeii Pizza. The pizza in Naples (the city near where Pompeii is) is supposed to have some of the best pizza. It really was delicious. We got another glass of lemon/blood orange granita and then got back on the bus for Florence. We got back to Florence at around 8:45PM.

The trip was great! So beautiful, so fun, and we got lots of sun! To be honest though, I think that Portofino was more beautiful. They had different vibes though. Portofino is more upscale and the Amalfi Coast was a little more “beachy.” I gotta come back one day! This week will be spent writing all my papers for my classes…blehhhhhhh!!!!!!

The group of 6 of us before taking the first boat to Capri.

The group of 6 of us before taking the first boat to Capri.

DSC_0042

On the boat to Capri. But then we moved upstairs to be outside.

On the boat to Capri. But then we moved upstairs to be outside.

Tim, Tyler, and me on the top of the boat.

Tim, Tyler, and me on the top of the boat.

Me, Meghan, and Merel. It was super windy outside on the boat.

Me, Meghan, and Merel. It was super windy outside on the boat.

DSC_0072

DSC_0081

These boating men had to hold on to a rope and the bigger boat that we were in dragged them to the Blue Grotto. These were the little boats that we took into the Blue Grotto.

These boating men had to hold on to a rope and the bigger boat that we were in dragged them to the Blue Grotto. These were the little boats that we took into the Blue Grotto.

DSC_0109

The boats waiting to enter the Blue Grotto

The boats waiting to enter the Blue Grotto

Meghan, Merel, and me in the boat going into the Blue Grotto.

Meghan, Merel, and me in the boat going into the Blue Grotto.

This is it! The Blue Grotto ladies and gentlemen.

This is it! The Blue Grotto ladies and gentlemen.

Another shot. It's so cool.

Another shot. It’s so cool.

The Green Grotto. Not sure why there are so many different grottos.

The Green Grotto. Not sure why there are so many different grottos.

Katie, Meghan, Merel, Sari, me and Lane on the boat.

Katie, Meghan, Merel, Sari, me and Lane on the boat.

This rock formation is supposed to look like an elephant. The trunk is on the left. Can you see it?

This rock formation is supposed to look like an elephant. The trunk is on the left. Can you see it?

If you look carefully, there is a statue of a boy/man on top of this rock waving. You are supposed to wave back at him and by doing so, you are promising that you will one day return to Capri. You bet I waved!!!!!!!

If you look carefully, there is a statue of a boy/man on top of this rock waving. You are supposed to wave back at him and by doing so, you are promising that you will one day return to Capri. You bet I waved!!!!!!!

Granita stand

Granita stand. Look at the size of the lemons.

The color of these flowers is fantastic.

The color of these flowers is fantastic.

I thought this flower tree was so beautiful

I thought this flower tree was so beautiful

Since Saturday was Little 500 at Indiana University, we decided to celebrate with some Italian beers!

Since Saturday was Little 500 at Indiana University, we decided to celebrate with some Italian beers!

A beautiful view

Beautiful view

Gotta love the solo shots

Gotta love the solo shots

Lane and I

Lane and I

The most amazing juice that I have ever tasted.

The most amazing juice that I have ever tasted.

It's casual. Just a bus that says "Capri." This can't be real life.

It’s casual. Just a bus that says “Capri.” This can’t be real life.

Merel on the way up in the chairlift

Merel on the way up in the chairlift

View of the coast from the chairlift

View of the coast from the chairlift

The chairlift

The chairlift

DSC_0394

We were LITERALLY in the clouds. SO COOL.

We were LITERALLY in the clouds. SO COOL.

DSC_0409

Look how small the people look and they are in the clouds!

Look how small the people look and they are in the clouds!

Some of our new friends. Katie was friendly with them.

Some of our new friends. Katie was friendly with them.

Hi friend!

Hi friend!

Ah! No hands!

Ah! No hands!

Hiya!

Hiya!

She was by far the best.

She was by far the best.

Looking good!

Looking good!

DSC_0479

Amazing coastline of Capri!

Amazing coastline of Capri!

In front of Fiorucci! This is for my mom.

In front of Fiorucci! This is for my mom.

This water..........

This water……….

Docking in Sorrento

Docking in Sorrento after the day in Capri.

Sunset

Sunset

Meghan, Lane, and I at the English Inn in Sorrento

Meghan, Lane, and I at the English Inn in Sorrento

IMG_7636

Positano

Positano

DSC_0549

DSC_0551

The walk down to the beach

The walk down to the beach

DSC_0556

DSC_0557

Beach bums

Beach bums

This guy worked at the granita stand. He is rocking some American gear.

This guy worked at the granita stand. He is rocking some American gear. I thought this was hilarious.

Hillary Wiesel and I

Hillary Wiesel and I

DSC_0572

The boat to go cliff jumping. I kept saying that this was the spring break that I never had in Eastern Europe...

The boat to go cliff jumping. I kept saying that this was the spring break that I never had in Eastern Europe…

DSC_0606

Jurassic Park-esque

Jurassic Park-esque

BlueBlueBlueBlueBlue

BlueBlueBlueBlueBlue

Cliff jumping

Cliff jumping

The beach in Positano

The beach in Positano

DSC_0736

DSC_0744

Groovy backpack dude

Groovy backpack dude

Pompeii! The theater in the ancient city.

Pompeii! The theater in the ancient city.

DSC_0754

DSC_0767

An ancient bath

An ancient bath

DSC_0770

The bodies in Pompeii were mummified by the volcano ash that destroyed the city.

The bodies in Pompeii were mummified by the volcano ash that destroyed the city.

DSC_0775

DSC_0781

DSC_0784

DSC_0792

The most famous preserved body. This is a pregnant woman.

The most famous preserved body. This is a pregnant woman.

DSC_0794

DSC_0804

DSC_0806

DSC_0808

DSC_0809

DSC_0816

Lane and I

Lane and I

Love the Mediterranean pine trees.

Love the Mediterranean pine trees.

Another granita stand. The lemons are HUGE once again!

Another granita stand. The lemons are HUGE once again!

It was time to go back home at this point.

It was time to go back home to Florence at this point.

My Favorite Week In Florence Thus Far

So this was definitely my favorite week in Florence. I was pretty productive, and just had a great time with great weather. So here’s a run down of the week.

On Monday, I met up with my mom’s past employee, Linda Sweeney. She was in Florence with her husband and son. Before I met up with Linda, I went to the Salvador Dali art exhibit. It was pretty cool. There were tons of sketches and sculptures. There wasn’t as much art as I expected though. It was a pretty small exhibit. I met up with Linda and her family after the art exhibit. I took them through the leather market and to the Mercato Centrale and then said goodbye. I had some time to kill before my class, so I went to the Leather School and looked around and then went to Santa Croce church. The church has wood ceilings which is really cool and Michelangelo is buried there. Then I had to go to class.

After class, I met up with Katie and we spent the afternoon at the Boboli Gardens at Pitti Palace. The gardens were beautiful! They are a completely evergreen gardens so it’s in bloom all year long. The weather has been fantastic this week. High 70’s, almost 80’s. We laid out all afternoon. Monday night, I met up with Jenna Cohen, Jenny Graff, Jenny’s two friends and Molly Weber (all AEPhi friends) for dinner at Il Profetta because Molly was visiting from Sevilla. It was great to see Molly! The food was absolutely delicious at the restaurant. Monday night, everyone went out to Yab and I ran into Eric Strumwasser, a friend from school.

On Tuesday, I woke up and went on a hike up to Piazza Michelangelo. It was so nice to just be by myself and take in Florence. I love this city so much and have appreciated it so much more in this weather. Then I had class and then I went back to the Boboli Gardens with Lane and Hillary Weisel. I studied for my Italian quiz and laid out. On Tuesday night, we had a mandatory dinner for my food and wine class that was in place of class that afternoon. We went to the restaurant Boccadama in Piazza Santa Croce. To be honest, the food was worse than what I was expecting. After dinner, I went to Jenna Mizzi’s apartment to meet up with Lena Baker and Kelsey Marks, our friends on Morale (our IUDM committee), who were visiting from Sevilla. They came back home with me.

On Wednesday morning, I took Lena and Kelsey through the leather market, to Mercato Centrale and then we sat on the steps of the duomo. We went up to La Rinascente, the department store, to get the good view of the duomo. Then I took them to meet up with Mizzi because I had class. I had Italian and then TV broadcasting. After class, I met back up with Lena and Kelsey and we went to meet up with Kelsey’s friends in her sorority, and Jess Rosen, who is also on morale with us, and Hillary Weisel and picked up sandwiches at Antico Vinaio (the best sandwich place) to bring up to Piazza Michelangelo to watch the sunset. It was so beautiful, and again I fell in love with this city and the view. After Michelangelo, Lena, Kelsey, and I just hung out at my apartment and they left early this morning (Thursday).

Today me and my friends are leaving for the Amalfi Coast which I am SO excited for. It’s going to be so gorgeous. We are going through Bus2Alps, the travel company. We leave tonight and take a bus. Like I said, this was definitely my favorite week in Flo so far! I love it here!

Dali exhibit. Melting clock statues.

Dali exhibit. Melting clock statues.

IMG_3802

Dali's ode to the Jews during WWII

Dali’s ode to the Jews during WWII

IMG_3804

Little statues

Little statues

Dali furniture.

Dali furniture

The inside of the building where the exhibit was.

The inside of the building where the exhibit was

IMG_3809

IMG_3813

IMG_3814

Linda and I in front of the duomo.

Linda and I in front of the duomo

The courtyard at the leather school

The courtyard at the leather school

Leather goods.

Leather goods

Students at the leather school.

Students at the leather school

Santa Croce church

Santa Croce church

IMG_7575

The wooden ceiling

The wooden ceiling

Michelangelo's tomb

Michelangelo’s tomb

IMG_7584

Santa Croce church from the outside.

Santa Croce church from the outside

Boboli Gardens

Boboli Gardens

IMG_3826

IMG_3827

The Pitti Palace

The Pitti Palace

IMG_3831

Molly comes to Florence!

Molly comes to Florence!

Jenny Graff and I at Il Profetta.

Jenny Graff and I at Il Profetta

The "John Travolta" pasta at Il Profetta. So good.

The “John Travolta” pasta at Il Profetta. So good.

Molly and Dolly!

Molly and Dolly!

My roommates friends, Rachel Broder and Karly Stillman came to visit. Rachel and Karly are good friends with my cousin Jordan Aronovitz.

My roommates friends, Rachel Broder and Karly Stillman came to visit. Rachel and Karly are good friends with my cousin Jordan Aronovitz.

Rachel Heimberg, me, and Lane at Yab.

Rachel Heimberg, me, and Lane at Yab

The hike up to Piazza Michelangelo.

The hike up to Piazza Michelangelo

The view from the top.

The view from the top

Back to the Boboli Gardens! This time with Lane.

Back to the Boboli Gardens! This time with Lane.

Amanda Haas, me, and Stacy Chemtob at the food and wine class dinner.

Amanda Haas, me, and Stacy Chemtob at the food and wine class dinner.

Kelsey, me, Lena, and Jenna.

Kelsey, me, Lena, and Jenna

We spelled out "OMAM." OMAM means "Once Morale Always Morale."

We spelled out “OMAM.” OMAM means “Once Morale Always Morale.”

Lena was so excited to get a porchetta sandwich from Nerbone in the market.

Lena was so excited to get a porchetta sandwich from Nerbone in the market.

This is the best sandwich place in Florence without a doubt.

This is the best sandwich place in Florence without a doubt.

Prepare yourself for some beautiful scenic photos of Florence.

Prepare yourself for some beautiful scenic photos of Florence.

DSC_1024

DSC_1026

DSC_1027

Jess, Lena, Kelsey, and I. We're all on Morale together.

Jess, Lena, Kelsey, and I. We’re all on Morale together.

Lena and I. Friends since 1992.

Lena and I. Friends since 1992.

The duomo in the sunset. So beautiful.

The duomo in the sunset. So beautiful.

Loving our Antico Vinaio sandwiches.

Loving our Antico Vinaio sandwiches

The group watching the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo.

The group watching the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo

This is basically Florence in a nutshell...

This is basically Florence in a nutshell…

DSC_1071

Florence at nighttime. This could be a postcard.

Florence at nighttime. This could be a postcard.

DSC_1096

Hillary Wiesel and I

Hillary Wiesel and I

Indiana group shot

Indiana group shot

All of us.

All of us

Kelsey, Lena, and I on the Ponte Vecchio at night.

Kelsey, Lena, and I on the Ponte Vecchio at night.