As I sit here writing this I’m back in my dorm room at Hofstra watching the snow outside and trying to get my head around the fact that my trip is over and I’m back to reality.
Even though I’m happy to be home and see my family last week, my final week, seems so far away now. In keeping with all of my other posts I want to share the events of my last week and capture the experience in words as well as the photos and memories that I’ll have forever.
My last weekend in Italy was spent in Rome and it was a crazy busy weekend but so much fun! It started with a visit to the Trevi Fountain which unfortunately was under construction and not really visible, at least not in the way that every tourist imagines…I’m glad I got to see it four years ago as it’ meant to be seen. From there we went to see Piazza Navona and the Pantheon. The majority of our afternoon was spent touring the Vatican museum, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday and then dinner and a night out with my wonderful friends. Sunday was just as crazy starting with a trip to see the Colosseum which was just as amazing as I remembered and then a chance to tour the Roman Forum, including where Julius Caesar’s ashes were spread. Afterwards we were allowed to explore on our own so we took the chance to see the Spanish steps (yay!) and tour some of the churches of Rome which were beautiful. When I say we I mean myself and the 5 others that I palled around with during every waking moment we could. By the time we caught our train back to Florence that night we were all wicked tired and fully satisfied with the time we spent in Rome.
Monday was a fairly uneventful day as I spent it buying my souvenirs, something I’d been putting off and couldn’t any longer.
After finishing up a few things on my to-do list for souvenirs I spent Tuesday enjoying the Palazzo Pitti one more time before I had to leave. This time I took the chance to see the art in the museum as well as the Ducal apartments. Palazzo Pitti was probably my favorite place in Florence.
Tuesday night was a tough one. The whole CIS Abroad group got together courtesy of a trip planned by Alessandro and toured a farm just outside of the city where we hiked up to get a view of the whole city and enjoyed some fresh meats and cheese over wine. It was a bittersweet night knowing that it was meant to be the first of the many goodbyes in front of us.
Wednesday for me was a day to just walk around the city, see the sights one last time and just take it all in without the sadness that was Thursday. I enjoyed my normal morning stroll over Ponte Vecchio, walk through Palazzo Vecchio and taking little side streets just to see what might have been left uncovered still.
To be honest, even though I knew that it was my last week in Florence, the finality really didn’t sink in until Thursday morning when I realized there were going to be a lot of “lasts”. Rather than exploring on my own for most of the day as was my usual I spent the morning studying for my final exam later that afternoon and then hanging around the city with some friends, just trying to make any more memories I could. After class and my final the CIS group met up for one last dinner that we arranged for ourselves at La Giostra. The food was great but the company and the laughs were even better. We made one more stop to our favorite late night gelato place, Venchi and said goodbye to the Duomo as we all walked by it and through the heart of this place that had become our home one last time. That morning was the hardest as the group slowly grew smaller and smaller until suddenly I was back on a plane and headed home…it was really over.
My time in Florence was amazing, there’s just no other way to easily sum it up. It was a whirlwind and while in some ways I feel like I was in Florence forever I also feel like I barely spent any time in Italy at all. There isn’t one thing from my trip that I regret and there isn’t one thing that I’m sitting here feeling I didn’t get to because I know that I made the most out of that trip. The experiences I had, the memories I made and the people I met are amazing and I’m so glad I experienced it all.
Until next time Italy…until next time.