I have spent the last 8 weeks studying in Florence and have had some amazing opportunities to learn about Italian history and culture. Not only have I been to many of the museums and sites in Florence, but I also have traveled to other Italian cities such as Venice, Verona, and Siena.
After making it through midterms this last week, it was time to enjoy fall break. For 10 days I have the amazing opportunity to travel around Europe, so I'll share with you what I've experienced so far.
First, I spent 2 days in Barcelona. Barcelona is an incredible city. It has a extremely unique history, especially due to the debate around Catalonia's independence from Spain. I got to see a lot of Antonio Gaudi's work including La Sagrada Familia and Park Guel. La Sagrada Familia is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen even though it is not finished yet. They began building the basilica in 1882 and it is expected to be completed in 2026. One of the other highlights of this stop was the chance to see an FC Barcelona game. They won 1-0 and it was an incredible experience to see Messi and Neymar play.
I spent the next 3 days in Paris. I studied French all throughout high school so it has always been a dream of mine to visit. I must say that the city completely exceeded my expectations. The Eiffel Tower is awesome and seeing it light up at night was breathtaking. I also visited the Louvre, Norte-Dame, and the Arc de Triomphe which made me miss Washington Square Park a bit. Paris is a huge city so it was fun to explore the different neighborhoods like the Latin Quarter with lots of cafes that famous writers such as Ernest Hemingway used to hang out at. Another great neighborhood was the Montmartre district where I watched the sunset at Sacre-Coeur.
Next, I have 3 days in Amsterdam. Everyone knows stories about Amsterdam so I wasn't really quite sure what to expect, but it's a really beautiful city with a rich history. I was able to learn a lot about the history of the city and how all of its canals were constructed. Another educational and emotional experience was my visit to the Anne Frank House. It was surreal to stand in the same rooms and see her diary from a whole new perspective. Amsterdam is filled with so much history! It has some great food too. I tried some Dutch cheese and mini pancakes called poffertjes. I also toured the Heineken Brewery.
The last stop on my trip is Berlin, Germany. Then it is back to Florence to finish up the semester! Fall break has been amazing and it is just one of the many reasons why I recommend studying abroad. If you have any questions or want some advice about studying and the sites please feel free to reach out!