Monday, July 26, 2010

This Past Week...

The past two weeks flew by so quickly. One thing that I learned here is that you NEED to cherish every minute on the Italian clock, otherwise time becomes the enemy.

This past week, we all went to Florence, Venice, Padova, Assisi, Pompei and Sorrento. Compared to the busy and loud Roman streets, these cities are calm and scenic. Florence, where the Art Renaissance was born, is a small and charming city. Walking through Florence was like stepping through a time portal and walking the streets of the 14th century. Since we arrived in Florence in the late afternoon, we had our city tour at night. The churches, especially the Duoma, look beautiful against the night sky. Many piazzas were full of live music. An Italian played Oasis’ “Wonderwall” on his acoustic and everyone stopped to have a listen. The streets seem to be full of people all the time—even during the late hours of the night. The following day was feverishly hot. However, we spent much of the afternoon at the Academia: Florence’s museum where Michelangelo’s statue of David stands. Photographs of David do not do it justice. The statue is huge and every detail, from the flowing curls of his hair to the stresses within the arm muscles, portrays the statue’s youth and strength incredibly.

Florence was hard to leave. From Florence we took a trip to the leaning tower of Pisa; which, in complete honesty, was a bit disappointing. We took pictures, watched street performers and shopped around for a bit before leaving Pisa for Venice.

Venice, on the other hand, is a dream. Imagine a city without cars. Streets are canals and your taxi is a gondola. Venice is a bit touristier than Rome and Florence but it is so wonderfully different that tourism is the last thing on your mind. It was in Venice where my friends and I had the most delicious and expensive meal during our stay in Italy. We figured that we might as well splurge on the fresh seafood. The spaghetti and clams were worth every euro!

Our last night in Venice was very special because there was a huge festival. My friends and I bought Venetian masks and wore them that night as we watched a firework show over the main canal. It was a great way to end our excursion.

As soon as we got back to our hotel in Rome, the days began to feel longer since they were packed with trips to museums and churches. We found some spare time to go shopping near the Spanish steps where the Rome version of 5th Avenue is located. It was nice to be back in Rome. The owner of the local gelateria was definitely happy to see us and I was definitely happy to eat the coconut and nutella ice cream again.

A few days ago, we hopped on our bus again and left Rome for Pompeii and Sorrento for the day. Pompeii is a small city of ruins. We got to walk through the ancient city and see the Volcano in the background (I was secretly crossing my fingers in hope that it wouldn’t erupt despite its occasional loud noises).

Okay, Sorrento! Sorrento was definitely the highlight of my trip. I have never seen a city so beautiful. Sorrento sits on a cliff next to the ocean. The view is gorgeous, absolutely breathtaking. The bus driver took us through the city and although seeing the artsy shops and the locals walking through the streets was interesting, we were all itching to jump into that clear, cool water. As soon as the driver let us off the bus, we all headed down the mountain and took a dip in the ocean. The water was salty but so clear and almost warm from baking under the hot sun all day. We only had a couple of hours in Sorrento, my friends and I wanted to stay in the ocean in protest for more time. Reluctantly, we headed back to the bus.

Anyway, I have exactly one week until I return to New York. Would it be so horrible if I “accidentally” missed my flight and just stayed in Italy forever?


  1. I had no idea you were going to get to see the entire country - it sounds amazing. We all hope you were joking about staying in Italy forever... Regardless, enjoy the last bit of your trip!

  2. Omg! I didn't realize this was here! Hey Jessie!! I hope your flight went well!

  3. haha hey vickie! im going to post another blog (my post-trip finale) by the end of the week, so please check it out when you get the chance! Hope everything is going great with you, I heard you went to Israel after our program ended. Hope you're having a great time! I miss you!