On only our second weekend in Rome, two of my roommates and I decided to use Italy’s well-connected train system to see Tuscany. We decided to spend a day and a night in Pisa, and then take a quick train to Lucca, a small, picturesque town.
We had an incredible time in Pisa, partially due to the cloudless blue skies above the Piazza dei Miracoli, which houses the famous leaning tower. We climbed up the tower-battling vertigo and unsteadiness-and were rewarded with sweeping views of the town.
Everybody tells you that if you find yourself in Pisa you have to take the iconic photo with you supporting the leaning tower. Nobody tells you how hard it is to perfectly align your hands and stance. It must be a carefully choreographed dance between the photographer and tower-supporter. We spent nearly an hour making sure we all had a good photo.
The next day in Lucca we understood how lucky we had been with the previous day’s weather. It poured all day with periods of rain and lightning. Despite two broken umbrellas and soaked clothing, we managed to keep our dispositions sunny and enjoyed our guided walking tour and some of the best gnocchi of our lives in a small restaurant.
As we trekked through the rain to the train station we all experienced a new feeling: we were homesick for Rome and couldn’t wait to get back to our new city.
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<p>Amanda is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in Economics and Contemporary European Studies with a Philosophy, Politics and Economics minor. After graduation, she wishes to travel frequently while working with international trade and diplomacy. Her idea of a perfect day is enjoying an Orioles victory at Camden Yards followed by fresh crab cakes in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. She is excited to achieve Italian fluency,visit every Roman museum, find the perfect scoop of gelato and argue about soccer with locals at the neighborhood café.</p>