This past month I took a trip to Italy with three of my good friends. We decided to take advantage of this four-day weekend and explore another country. We flew into Bologna, took a train to Florence, and then a train to Rome. I felt a bit of culture shock as soon as I arrived in Italy because of the language difference—I didn’t really experience this in Barcelona because I am already fluent in Spanish (although there is Catalan everywhere, it still wasn’t as huge of a shock as Italian). It was odd and a bit difficult trying to communicate with people, but the locals were very nice and they understood that we were trying!
Bologna is a small city, where mortadella, a type of deli meat, is from! Although we were only there for a few hours, we got to climb up the Asinelli tower and got a great view of the whole city. We also were able to try lasagna alla Bolognese and mortadella.
In Florence, we climbed to the top of the Duomo, went to the Uffizi Gallery, and the Academia Gallery. One restaurant I recommend going to is called Trattoria Casalinga! It has the best food (and mozzarella) that I have ever eaten in my life and it was recommended to us by a local. ***Asking locals where to eat is probably the best thing to do to avoid going to overpriced, touristy restaurants!***
In Rome, we visited the Coliseum, Roman Forum, Vatican City, and Sistine Chapel. If you can I recommend buying your ticket for the Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel online ahead of time because the line was very long and we almost didn’t make it in! Luckily we made it in and we got a student discount (half off!) since we had International Student ID Cards.
The Asinelli Tower
The view from the top of Asinelli Tower in Bologna
Lasagna alla Bolognese
Piazza di Santa Maria Novella
Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, Florence
View from the top of the Duomo
Fresco on ceiling of Duomo
View from Ponte Vecchio
David in Accademia Gallery, Florence
Mozzarella from Trattoria Casalinga
Pizza (our Airbnb host recommended this restaurant called Pizza Man) and coffee gelato!
The Coliseum in Rome
The Roman Forum
St. Peter's Basilica
Pathway next to Castel Sant'Angelo
Alleyway in Rome
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<p>My name is Alison Castañeda and I'm a junior double majoring in Communicative Disorders and Spanish at the University of Redlands. I grew up in Rancho Cucamonga, California and I have a passion for traveling, exploring new places, trying new food, and taking tons of pictures. In my free time I like to go thrift shopping, drawing, taking trips to Los Angeles, and spending time with my family. Studying in Barcelona this fall is such a blessing and I couldn?t be happier with my decision.</p>