Today was absolutely fantastic, and it was only the beginning! After a long flight, we were ready for what was to come, and Italy did not let us down. After spending some time in the train station in Rome, we hopped on a bullet train to Florence, where some resumed sleeping from the night’s flight, but others rode while awestruck. Riding through Tuscany, a lot of us looked at each other with jaws dropped every time another small town approached. It was hard to capture the beauty of the countryside, because each time we tried to snap photos, the 245 km/hr train seemed to have sped away. We were able to appreciate it in its natural beauty without our camera lenses. However, we had plenty of excellent photo opportunities once we arrived in Florence!
When we arrived there was a ton of excitement in the air. During the walk to our luxury hostel, we became acquainted with the narrow streets, beautiful architecture, and bustling nature of the city. After freshening up, we headed for the Piazza del Duomo, one of the most frequently visited spots in Europe. The word 'magnificent' doesn’t fully encapsulate the grandiose nature of the area. The plaza with the duomo and baptistery is the landmark of Florence’s landscape, but seeing it up close brought it into a new light for us. Some of us snacked on bruschetta, gelato, and pizza as we neared the line for the duomo. Inside the cathedral, we were all in awe at the beautiful stained glass windows and paintings that adorned the walls. Mr. Guthrie and Mrs. Min included some contextual information about the piazza and some of its features, expanding on our art history knowledge. After walking all around the city and eating a lovely dinner at the hostel, we are all ready to crash. We look forward to what tomorrow will bring at the Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, and the Uffizi Galleries!
Thanks to Joella Chase (AVPA'19) and Elana Lane (AVPA'20) for the photos shown in this post!