My senior year of High School I went on an amazing girls trip to Italy with my mom and grandma. It was so fantastic. It’s one of the coolest places I’ve been. It’s so rich in culture, history and beauty. We only spent eight days, but I would love to go back and spend eight months! There is so much to do and see there, but here is a look into my trip.
We landed in Milan and drove down to Venice where, because of flight cancelations and such, we only got to spend one afternoon in this famous, sinking city of canals. (So, actually spending time in Venice away from the touristy parts is something that I want to do in the future.) We rode the water taxi out and went up through St. Marco’s Square, through the canals, over these amazing little bridges and on to our gondola.
We took a 30-minute gondola ride through a ton of little canals, and then out into the grand canal! It was so fantastic! Everyone idealizes this little city, like it’s this place everyone needs to visit, but you really see that it’s a real place where people live. It’s so fantastic to see these little doors that open up right onto the canals and there are garages with their boats in it, but you really just fall in love with this city. You just want to walk around all day, covering every inch of it. After our gondola ride we explore a little, but I would have loved to have two more days to see everything I wanted to see.
The next day we got up early and headed towards Florence. On the way there we stopped into the city of Padua (Padova)! It was such a cool little town. I absolutely fell in love with it! We went to St. Anthony’s Basilica which has some relics from Saint Anthony such as his jaw and tongue. That was something that I had never seen before. It was very interesting to get a bit more insight on something I didn’t know anything about.
We wandered through the town, stopping at the open air markets to grab some fresh fruit for lunch. Then we went into the town square where we got to see the University of Padua, which is where Galileo taught! It was so amazing to know you were in the same town even as such an amazing historical figure! When we were there there was an amazing graduation tradition going on.
So these students dress up in crazy outfits, with crowds surrounding them, reading from this giant scroll and drinking! (I was told that the scroll is in Latin, and when they messed up reading they were to take a drink and start over, however, I’m not sure if that is 100% accurate.) It was really humorous and one of these graduates very graciously asked me to “hold his leash” as we posed for a picture. It was so fun to watch them all get flour thrown on them, tomatoes crushed over their heads and every single person had a huge smile on their face! It was by far one of my favorite small cultural experiences I’ve ever seen or been a part of!
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