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Italy Day 3: Scenic Views, A Historic Church, & A College Tour

Casey Beidel, Student Blogger

· Italy 2019

For our last full day in Florence before heading to Rome, we had a lot on our agenda. The rain wasn’t our best friend during the first leg of the journey, but luckily it let up in time for us to fully experience the panoramic views of the city from far away. After breakfast, we took a bus to the San Miniato al Monte Church on the outskirts of Florence, where we first took a stop at a beautiful overlook with slightly foggy views of the city. We hoped that the fog would be gone by the time we retraced our steps and reached the overlook again, and luckily our wishes came true. After a beautiful walk through the 1001 year old church, we returned to the spot from earlier where we were able to see all of Florence. It was definitely worth the walk!

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We then went our separate ways for lunch, but following our meals, most of us ended up at the same gelateria, Gelato di Filo, which boasted a wide variety of fresh fruit flavors as well as your basics. Because we were experiencing the coolest weather yet, we bundled up at our hostel before heading to an exciting tour of Marist College’s Florence campus. After a brief information session, we were split into two groups where we learned about Florence’s history and snacked on Ferrero chocolate filled with espresso shots. After that, we were taken on a tour in our two groups where we walked all around the city and learned valuable stories of art history. A highlight from one group was when many panels of the Gates of Paradise on the baptistery were explained in detail with their events from the Bible. We also visited the Via Orsanmichele for the second time in our trip and were told detailed accounts of the statues and their meanings.

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Marist College’s administration then brought us to dinner at Ciro and Sons, where we dined on a three course meal of pasta bolognese, Tuscan-style chicken with tomatoes, olives, and potatoes, and tiramisu. We bonded over discussions of everything from the education system to food. At the end of another exhausting and valuable day, we headed back to our rooms to pack for Rome tomorrow. Thanks so much to Marist for hosting us, and thanks to Joella Chase (AVPA'19) and Jennifer Baer (AAST'20) for the pictures in this post!

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