Thursday, January 12, 2012

Exploring Italy in January - Greetings from Deryn Cro

Deryn Cro, Class of 2012, sends an update from Florence, Italy.
Thankfully my convoluted trek to Florence went smoothly and I arrived in one piece. I was surprised to see how small the city center of Florence is, easy to get around by foot no matter where you are looking to go. My apartment is about a ten minute walk from the school which includes passing through Piazza della Signoria which is right in the heart of medieval Florence. I have really enjoyed strolling the streets and window shopping and just taking in the sights. Of course January is the sale month in Italy so it is less window shopping and more actively purchasing! In-between eating gelato and bargaining for better deals in the San Lorenzo Market I have also been taking Art History. Specifically we have been discussing art of the Antiquity to the Renaissance. Taking this class in Florence has been especially interesting since we are constantly out and about going to see examples of what was discussed in class. So far we have visited St John’s Baptistery right outside the Duomo as well as Piazzele Michelangelo and assorted churches. I doubt I would have thought to go to many of these places were it not for the class.

The Duomo at night in Florence.

Statue in Palazzo Vecchio.
When I first came to Florence I was slightly nervous about my nonexistent Italian skills. Fortunately English is widely spoken and I am sure many locals have been amused by my pitiful attempts at Italian. For anyone planning on traveling here in the future I would recommend picking up a pocket size phrase book. I purchased one by Berlitz and it is both helpful and amusing thanks to some of its more humorous sections. I am hoping it will come in handy especially when I travel outside of Florence.
My first weekend here I took a four day trip to Rome and had an amazing time! While I did not expect the main area of Florence to be so small, I did not expect Rome to be so big! Although it is still possible to walk around it was a much more daunting task than in Florence; I have the sore feet to prove it too! I stayed in a hostel for the first time, something I would definitely do again. While in Rome I stuck to the main attractions since I only had four days. This included the Colosseum, the Forum, the Trevi Fountain, Vatican City and the Pantheon. The Vatican Museum was one of my favorite places so far, and while there I got to see the School of Athens Painting, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. This coming weekend I will be taking a tour of a vineyard in Chianti. On Sunday I am going to Milan to see Da Vinci’s Last Supper. I am also hoping to take a day trip to Fiesole, a small town right outside of Florence. The town is known for its Etruscan and Roman remains and archeological park. The town is also supposed to offer beautiful views of Florence.
Deryn Cro at the Pantheon in Rome.

The Vatican.

I am disappointed that I only have two weeks left, it seems like the time is going by far too quickly. There is so much to fit in and so little time to do everything!           

Deryn Cro at ruins across from the Colosseum.

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