What Historical Sites or Landmarks Have You Visited and What Did You Learn? by Eva Tryon

One of my favorite parts about studying abroad in France was the ability to travel to other cities and countries. “ La Toussaint” is a holiday in France when all the schools and universities across the country get a week-long vacation, typically at the end of October.

A friend from my program and I went to Italy during the break. Throughout the course of the week, we traveled to five different cities across Italy including: Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, and Milan. This was my first time in Italy and getting to see five different cities over ten days was an incredible experience that I will never forget. Within each city, we made sure to see all the famous monuments and attractions, try the local cuisine, and experience as much of that city’s culture as possible. I had the opportunity to see many buildings, museums, and historical sites that I had only ever learned and read about—this is one of my favorite aspects of traveling.

Our first city, Rome, is full of history and sights to see. I had the opportunity to learn more about the events that went on inside of the Colosseum while climbing to the top of it. We even made wishes and threw coins into the Trevi Fountain. Also, to our surprise, the day we visited the Vatican City and Saint Peter’s Square, Pope Francis was giving a speech in-person there. The square was filled with people gathering to see him speak and it was an incredible event to experience.

Next, we traveled to Florence, a city full of art and fun energy. We were immediately greeted by the Duomo, which is so much bigger and more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. One of my favorite parts of this city was getting to see my friend from CofC who spent her semester here, as well as the paninis and pasta (although the food was incredible in every city!).

Stop three, Venice, was a city I’ve always had on my bucket list and was truly one of the most unique places I have ever been to, with its winding canals around every corner. Verona is a very quaint and charming city; it is the city that inspired Romeo and Juliette and was very cool to see in person. Our last stop, Milan, is filled with culture, art, history, fashion, and an exciting, busy energy.

It is very hard to choose my favorite city, as they all completely exceeded my expectations. I learned so much from each city and am so grateful that I was able to experience this incredible country’s culture over my time abroad. It was the perfect country to spend my fall vacation in!

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