Monday, 10 August 2015

Last Day in Italy

Hello everyone! So today is my last day in Italy, and I've been filled with so many mixed emotions. Since my last post, we've traveled to Venice, which has ended up being my favorite city so far. It is just so full of history, and is very unique, I love it! Our time in Venice has been really laid back so far; we've mostly just walked around the city. Of course we had to do the cliche gondola ride, which was probably one of the most relaxing and cool things I've done on this trip. Other than that, we've gotten to see St Mark's Basilica, which is stunning from the outside, and we shopped around for Venetian glass. 
St Mark's Basilica (Under Construction)
Gondola Ride
Some of these glass shops are so amazing; it's hard to believe what these artists can do with just glass. One of the most popular things that you will see with Venetian glass are tons of little animal figurines. The sizes vary from smaller than your pinkie fingernail, to large animals that are used as centerpieces. It is also crazy how many different glass shops there are! You can basically find one around every corner. Also, the seafood here in Venice is divine! Every dish that I've gotten here that has calamari, prawns, or mussels has been delicious. If anyone is ever in Venice, I would recommend getting seafood!

I can't believe that my time here in Italy has run out. I have met so many amazing people, and have had the opportunity to get to experience this beautiful culture first hand. I just wanted to take a second to thank all of the Italian students that I have had the pleasure of studying with at the University of Trieste, without whom I would not have had the experience that I've had. So to any of you that are reading this: thank you for your friendship. 

I can't say that I'm not excited to be going home. Two months is definitely a long time to be away from home. The next time you hear from me, I'll be back home in Denver. 

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Milano 2015

Hi everyone! It's hard to believe that my trip is quickly drawing to a close. In exactly one week, I will be on my way home to Denver. I am definitely excited to go home and see everyone, but at the same time, it's sad that I'll be leaving the place I've called home for the last seven weeks. To celebrate one of our last weekends in Italy, we decided to take an impromptu trip to Milan and Verona.

Firstly, I think that Milan was my favorite city to visit thus far. It was such an amazing city with a lot more to claim than being the fashion capital of Italy. Milan is also the economic center of Italy, which is contrary to what you would initially think. I had so much fun in Milan; and although it is a pretty big city, it didn't feel dirty or crowded. I also appreciated that their Metro system was incredibly laid out (it reminded me of London or Madrid).

We got to visit the Duomo, which is the fifth largest church in the world. That was so imposing and stunning from the outside; pictures do not do it justice. From there we went to go walk around the fashion district. It was amazing! We passed stores from so many incredible designers like Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci. We didn't go inside because we were pretty sure we needed a down payment to even enter the store, but window shopping was really cool. From there we went to Eataly, which was definitely an experience. The food there was delicious, but the atmosphere was weird. It was essentially a huge supermarket with mini restaurants scattered all around.
Duomo Cathedral

View of Milan

The next day, we went to the World Expo that is being held in Milan currently. This was probably one of my favorite days of this entire trip, even though it rained. We got the opportunity to see the world through the lens of food, and how the 145 countries that are participating are working towards sustainability and improvement in food production in their country. There were a few countries that got a huge pavilion to design, and the countries that I least expected had some of my favorite pavilions. Azerbaijan, Brazil, and Vietnam were by far my favorite pavilions, and I really feel like I learned a lot about their countries and what they do in terms of exports/sustainability. We even got to visit the United States' pavilion, and we had a little burst of patriotic excitement which was fun.

The next day we packed up and headed to Verona, which is the city that Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet takes place. Cool fact: Romeo and Juliet were actual people, and in Verona you can visit Juliet's house and see the balcony where Romeo serenaded his love. Other than that, Verona was just a really cool city, and I think that it perfectly captures what my preconceptions were about how Italian cities looked. It was definitely one of the prettier cities that we've visited.

Well that's all for now. I've got a Business Law exam to study for. We are headed to Venice before heading back to the States, so I'll try to get another blog post in before then. If I don't get the chance to, I'll do one back in the States. See you in a week Colorado!

**Note: This WiFi is the worst, so it won't let me upload pictures, so I'll do that when I have less awful Internet!**