Walking on History (or Roamin’ in Rome)

We’re all bummed about leaving Florence, but Rome is calling. On the way there, we stop in the town of Orvieto, situated majestically atop a mountainous chunk of volcanic stone. We have to take a funicular to get there, and at the top we’re treated to a breathtaking view across the hills of Umbria.

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View from the fortress.

Antonio leads us to the cathedral, whose immense and imposing facade draws us inside. The cathedral’s nave is both vast and quaint, striking and charming. I light a candle for my grandmother like I do at every cathedral and wander around in awe.

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Wining in Florence and Whining in Pisa

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Juliet and I.

Have I mentioned that I love Shakespeare? I’ll say it again. I love Shakespeare. So when we stopped in Verona on the way to Florence, I had to visit Juliet’s balcony. The two Emilys, Megan, and a few others came with me and we posed dramatically for a few seconds before relinquishing our spot to the next eager visitors in line. In the pictures Megan took of me, it looks  like I’m gazing serenely down at my one true love. In reality, I was looking down at a courtyard packed with a heaving crowd of tourists, all waiting to grab the breast on a statue of Juliet (a tradition I can’t begin to understand). I’m thankful that photographs don’t represent reality.

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I’m Not in Epcot Anymore: Exploring the Real Venice

I forgot how much I hate flying. Once on the plane from London to Venice, I suddenly remembered how terrified I am of dying in a fiery crash, and I nearly asked to hold the old woman’s hand next to me when we took off. When I got to Marco Polo Airport, I couldn’t find anyone in my EF College Break tour group and had a healthy panic for an hour or so, my head spinning from all the Italian I was hearing. Finally, they appeared and we headed to our hotel in Mestre, on the mainland across from the island city of Venice.

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