This week’s edition of “Wanderlust Wednesday” is completely dedicated to Italy! I can’t remember for sure if I’ve mentioned my upcoming trip, but in 87 days I will be going to Italy to visit a friend who is studying abroad in Florence! I’ve been to Italy once before in 2007 (which you can read about here, here, and here), and it was a really great experience. I really fell in love with culture, and found my love for Anthropology there. Well, I’m going back and I’ve found some specific things I want to visit:
Basilica of San Lorenzo is one of the churches I didn’t visit the first time I was in Florence. I love the main duomo, but it will be nice to see a more understated church. This basilica holds the Medici mausoleum, which, I know it’s morbid, but there’s something cool about seeing where people you’ve read about in history books are buried, and you’re standing where they stood and worshiped. Also, Michelangelo designed the library inside, and it’s always great to see anything Michelangelo thought up, considering he’s a genius. As if the Medici mausoleum and Michelangelo library weren’t enough, but the pulpits were Donatello’s very last works! This is a basilica full of art, history and Florentine greats!
Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is another basilica that I didn’t think about visiting when I was 17. I wanted to hit the hot spots, but now I’m looking to explore! This basilica has a beautiful front that (from photos) reminds me of Santa Croce, and inside there a ton a of frescoes, and some that were inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy- even more Florentine greats!
Ognissanti means “All Saints”, and it’s yet another church that is also filled with art and other great things. Besides being the church that Amerigo attended (the navigator that my country/continent is named after) and frescoes covering the walls, it’s also the place where I plan to pay my respects to my favorite Renaissance painter: Sandro Botticelli!
Museo Galileo is the number 4 stop on my list. I have always been intrigued by Galileo and his teachings, and now I can visit a whole museum (plus I’ll get to see his middle finger on display). I’ve already been to the University where he taught in Padua and seen his tomb in Santa Croce, so this will round out my Italian adventures with Galileo. The museum is full of scientific and surgical instruments, the “shrine” to Galileo, and, from what I hear, an amazing collection of early maps and globes- which, I have an obsession with!
Cinque Terre is going to be my eat, drink and relax location. I plan to do the hiking trail that connects the 5 villages known as Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Path). Instead of rushing around to different sites, I want to eat or drink something different in each Village. I hear their white wine is extra-amazing, their sardines are, as well (and even though I don’t care for fish, how many times will I get to eat sardines caught fresh that day in Cinque Terre?), focaccia bread, and I read that in Carniglia they have a special gelato made from their local honey! So, this is the stop for my taste-buds!
This is the University of Bologna, which is the oldest continually operating university in the entire world! Pretty impressive, right? The earliest accounts are from 1088, so it’s been a house of learning for almost 1,000 years! That is so unreal to me, and I’m so excited to visit!
These are the Torri degli Asinelli e Garisenda, also known as the “Two Towers”. Apparently, there were originally about 200 towers, and these two remaining have become a key part of the Bologna skyline. You can even climb to the top of the taller one, and you can see out over Bologna and into the hills! Worth the 500 steps up? We’ll see, but I don’t know how it couldn’t be!
This is a photo of the interior of San Petronio. It was originally intended to be even larger than St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, but they ran out of money. Because of this the church was finished significantly smaller, and a little lopsided. It’s said that the spending on this church was supposedly one of the things that drove Martin Luther against Catholicism. I want to visit this beautiful brick medieval basilica to view the stained glass windows and gothic frescos!
Well there ya have it, 9 things I’m especially looking forward to in my upcoming trip to Italia! If anyone has any suggestions in any of these locations on places to see, eat or things to do, please let me know! I love hearing what my fellow travelers have to say! I hope everyone is having a great week, and as always thanks for reading!