Florence is starting to feel much more like home. I’ve done a bit of traveling to Verona, Rome, and Venice and I am very happy Florence is my home base. The other cities were beautiful and interesting, as most of Italy is, but Florence has won my heart.
Verona was very nice but cold and being not properly dressed, as I was, made the hours and hours of free time seem too long. Nevertheless it was fun to just browse through stores and visit Juliet’s balcony.
Rome was cold as well. It snowed on the way into town and our tour leaders were in awe of it. It hasn’t snowed in Rome for more than 35 years or so and it was a definite shock to everyone. Due to this slight drizzle (most of us that come from areas where it snows every year would call it that) the police decided to shut down most of the places we were planning to visit. To add to that the museum that holds the Sistine chapel was closed for a the Vatican city day of independence. Our tour guide made up for it though. To compensate she shared every tiny fact she could think of with us. She had a lot of interesting and hilarious things to say. The streets were dead at night so we only really saw Rome in the day time. I enjoyed myself thoroughly but by the end I was definitely ready to return to tiny Florence.
Venice was a whole different story. Our trip was scheduled for the weekend after the end of Carnivale (the yearly carnival that crowds Venice’s streets for days and days). My friends, however, we’re not going on the trip after carnival and decided at 10pm on a Thursday that we should catch a train to Venice. We did. We arrived at 10 am on Friday and spent the whole day almost falling asleep in the streets and pushing through crowds of people in tiny alleyways. We didn’t get on a train home until 3am on Saturday. You can imagine my excitement when I realized I was going back to the city the next weekend. Still, both weekends were adventures and fun was sprinkled throughout, including a free motorboat ride at sunset. With these three experiences of other Italian cities I am confident I made the right choice in choosing Florence.
Paola – Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College