Archive for March 2013

Locarno and Lake Como

Traveling through Europe in a semester is incredible.  Study abroad is a once in a life time opportunity, and I am thankful for every moment.  Study abroad is also similar to a marathon.  To combat fatigue, a few of us decided to stay in Lugano for the weekend.  Instead of an overnight adventure, we took small day trips to learn more about the area of Europe in which we live. On Friday, we headed to Locarno, Switzerland, a lake town similar to Lugano, but located an hour west.  Locarno was quiet and laid back, and we loved wondering through the…

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Tour of Tuscany

On Saturday we pulled a Diane Lane and went on a bus tour of Tuscany.  Throughout our day under the Tuscan sun we visited San Gimignano, Siena, Monteriggioni, and Chianti. Our first stop, San Gimignano, was a small town surrounded by walls.  I loved the quiet streets and quaint leather shops. The town also provided great views of the Italian countryside. Our next stop was the hilly but beautiful Siena.  A friend recommended Nonno Mede’s pizza so we decided to take a lunch break there.  The pizza was definitely some of the best I have had so far on the trip.…

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Florence

Florence was amazing.  I loved the old world charm, laid back lifestyle, and rows of leather stores.  I also really enjoyed exploring the whole city on foot.  Most importantly, however, the shops in Florence ended up having the most incredible gift items. I’ve seen a lot of churches throughout my European adventures, but the Duomo in Florence was still able to surprise me. During a tiring search for our apartment, we took refuge in a cafe in order to relax and to ask for directions.  The cappuccino was one of the best I’ve had, and the staff was so incredibly nice. I…

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Barcelona

For the second break, we headed to Barcelona to soak in the sun and the Spanish culture. The architecture throughout the city, especially Gaudi’s, was intriguing.  The sun and the sand also gave me a nice little glimpse of summer, regardless of the fact that it did not get above seventy degrees. Our hostel was perfectly located near Plaça de Catalunya  and La Rambla. La Bouqueria, the renowned fresh food market, was super cool.  I loved getting lost in the rows of fresh fruit, fish, meat, and sweet stands.  Some of the best food that I ate during the week…

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Rome

With Rome being such a tourist hot spot to begin with, I thought that the city would be especially crowded because of the recent happenings at the Vatican.  Other than news vans outside of St. Peter’s Basilica, I surprisingly never noticed a commotion.  After a long weekend soaking in the sites, I now know why it is one of the most popular tourist spots in Europe.  Between ancient ruins, pretty piazzas, sweeping views, and crazy good cuisine, Rome has something for everyone. St. Peter’s Basilica is the gateway to Vatican City for good reason.  I was blown away by the amount of…

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