a week in italy

So I feel like I haven’t blogged in a while. I went to Italy for our week off. I arrived in Rome Saturday morning and stayed there until Thursday morning. Then I went to Venice for Thursday and Friday, and was back in Lyon by Saturday afternoon.

Rome was fun because I ran into a few fellow students waiting for the bus to the airport who were on the same flight. I hung out with them the first day when we went to the Coliseum and walked around seeing other churches and monuments. We had lasagna for lunch and gelato, and that evening we hung out at their hostel and met fun people. The next day I toured by myself and saw so many things. I went to the pantheon and the big fountain, and so many other great places. It was raining the whole day and I was soaking wet but it was still fun. I stopped in a restaurant for lunch and the waiter gave me free glasses of wine- I guess I looked like a drowned kitten or something haha. That evening I went out for some drinks with this cool Brazilian girl that was staying in the same hostel that I was. The last day we went to Vatican City in the morning and saw the pope in his pope-mobile. Then we went to the Sistine Chapel. It was so beautiful I must have stayed there for a half an hour looking at all the pictures on the ceiling. I can’t imagine the time and dedication artists used to spend on their work. I ran into the kids from the group on the way out surprisingly enough, so we agreed to meet for dinner at this great little local pizzeria I found the night before. Delicious pizza for cheap.

I caught the early flight to Venice the next morning and checked into my hostel there so I could drop off my bags. Then I took a gondola across the river (the commuter gondolas are inexpensive but the romantic two person tours are a lot!!) to say that I rode in one. Venice is beautiful and old and historic. My favorite part is that there are NO CARS in the historic section because it would be impractical so that means the streets are all narrow and winding and it is very peaceful and quiet. Cars make a lot of background noise, it is nice to not hear it. It is very easy to get lost in Venice because all the streets are winding and go for two blocks and then stop, etc. But I had a good map so I did alright.

Then just as quickly as I got there it was time to go home again. I have to say, I had a great time but I think I like Sicily better than Italy. Better food, nicer people, warmer. Did you know that canollis are a Sicilian thing? I couldn’t find any in Rome! I had to ask a guy at a Sicilian sandwich shop I wandered into for lunch where to go for one and he sent me to this “Little Sicily” part of town. It was cute.

Back in Lyon we have been working on our projects and carrying on like usual. I went to a really cool piano bar/jazz club this weekend with live music which I enjoyed a lot.

Oh and we are officially planning the trip to Russia now. We have all the visa paperwork in line- I go to Paris on Thursday to turn it in. And we booked our flight to St. Petersburg. The individual train tickets you buy at each station on the day of, but we’ve mapped out our itinerary and will book hotels in each place ahead of time. It will be such an adventure to go to a foreign country whose ALPHABET we don’t even know. We will be illiterate. Wow. SO EXCITED! hahaha

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