Oh man, a lot has happened since the last time I wrote!! After Victoria left I had about one normal week before the craziness began again. The first weekend in March my program went to Florence and Venice for an extended field trip! I hadn't been to Florence yet, so I was really excited to go there! We saw lots of churches and several museums. I went with my fashion class to see the Salvatore Ferragamo museum, and that was pretty amazing! He invented so many shoe styles that we use today... like the cork-wedge heel! And he did some other really interesting stuff so it was cool to learn about him. However my favorite thing I saw in Florence was a statue, a really famous statue... Michelangelo's David! It was SO amazing! And SO huge! I just don't understand how you can take a block of marble and carve this incredible person out of it! I absolutely loved it! Another interesting place we went was this apothecary that used to be attached to a church, Santa Maria Novella. The apothecary was built in 1200, and belonged to the church. They had their own herbs, garden, etc and made all of their own products. Eventually they opened to the public, and people came from all over to buy items there! It is still open and they continue to make ancient recipes! It was pretty cool!
After Florence we went to Venice. Although I had already been to Venice, it was really cool to go back and see it in the day light. We spent a couple days in Venice, and we went to several churches and museums, things I didn't have a chance to do during my one night I was there for Carnevale. I absolutely LOVE Venice! I love the water, the canals. I love getting lost there (which is INCREDIBLY easy to do!). And I love the feeling there.. you feel secluded in this old world, still surrounded by the beauty of a different time. I don't know how to explain it, but I just really like it!!
After we got back from our school trip, we had only one week until Spring Break! So we started making plans. I decided to go to Spain with 3 other people in my program. We went to Barcelona for a couple days, and then Ibiza for a couple days! I think I preferred Barcelona. It was so beautiful there, the weather was amazing, and I loved seeing all the Gaudi buildings! The Sagrada Familia was SO gorgeous! It's mind-blowing. I just don't understand how people design and make these things! The Sagrada Familia is a church designed by Gaudi, and was started in the 1880's, and it's estimated completion date isn't until 2026!!! Along with the Sagrada Familia, we saw 2 other houses designed by Gaudi, and a Palace and a Park. The park was really cool because it was on top of a hill that over looked Barcelona! The park itself was beautiful, surrounded by a beautiful view! Barcelona also has a castle, on other hill, that we hiked up to one day. And then from each hilltop you can see the ocean! Beautiful views and beach all in one place! I loved it!! A very minor side note is that Barcelona also had a Starbucks.... my first Starbucks since I left in January!
After a couple days in Barcelona we flew to Ibiza, one of the small islands off the coast of Spain. Ibiza is known as a summer vaca spot, with beautiful beaches and insane European super clubs. Sadly, since we were there during the off-season, most businesses were closed, it was even hard to find a place to eat dinner!! So we spent those days lounging on the beach. The water was turquoise blue, so gorgeous, but super cold!! So after the party days in Barcelona, and the lounging days in Ibiza, we were all ready to come home! We made it back to Rome for St. Patty's day, and then school started up again!
This week we have Midterms, so we're all spending our evenings preparing for those! I can't believe it's been 8 weeks! It's half over already! So I'm off to continue studying... wish me luck!!