For spring break, I took a trip to Italy with three of my best friends. We had a wonderful time, visiting four different cities. Here are my thoughts about each of our stops.
Venice is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to. Being from the Pacific Northwest, I have a love for being on the water. We had really nice weather, perfect for being by the sea. We took the water taxis and avoided the gondolas because the privately run gondolas cost a lot of money and are catered to tourists. The water taxi’s are Venice’s public transport system, and you need them to get to the islands around the city. We went to Murano, which is known for its glasswork. I bought some glass hair clips and jewelry. Dinner is later in Italy, and I had some of the best and freshest seafood on our first evening. One thing to keep in mind about Venice is that the city is split into the mainland and the biggest island, and you have to cross a bridge via a bus to get to the part of Venice that is on the water. We stayed in the inland part of the city, which is more residential and does not have as much of a tourism industry, and then commuted to be on the water
My first impression of Naples is that it is like nothing I have ever seen before. Unlike Vienna, Naples has a lot of cars and big streets. The most popular way to get around is actually by Vespa (motorcycle), and they have very different norms surrounding walking etiquette for pedestrians. You have to be really careful just because of the amount of cars that are out, and always look both ways. The city of Naples is built upward into a hill, so if you go you need to be ready to hike around the city to get places. There is a lot to do and see in Naples. We went to the archeology museum, which is massive and amazing. I also really enjoyed our day trip to Pompeii, which is one of the most unique experiences I’ve had while abroad. The pizza in Naples is simply the best, and is generally priced low.
Rome is also very beautiful. We stayed at a campsite outside of the city in the Roman countryside, and took a train to get into the city in the mornings. There was something very special about spending Good Friday at the Vatican. We also saw famous places including the Colosseum, Pantheon, and Trevi fountain. One of my favorite places was the ruins where Julius Caesar was assassinated, because it was converted to a cat sanctuary during the Covid-19 Pandemic. There are so many cats, and you can stand above the ruins and look for them.
We decided Florence would be out of budget after a week of sightseeing in big cities and instead booked ourselves an airbnb in the countryside of Tuscany. We were in the tiny and beautiful town of Vico D’elsa for our Easter weekend. When we arrived and realized the town didn’t have a grocery store and restaurants would be closed for Easter, our host so graciously drove us to the nearest store to make sure we had food for the weekend. I was so thankful for the kindness and good-will of strangers that Easter Sunday. We did a lot of cooking together and enjoyed the view. It was a very relaxing way to end our spring break in Italy.
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My name is Isabella Daltoso, and I am a senior at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU). I am a vocal performance major and a dance minor. I love all things music and opera, and I am so happy to be spending my spring semester in Vienna as part of the IES Vienna Music Program. I love to write and am a consultant at the PLU Writing Center. I have also been a newswriter for PLU’s Marketing and Communications department. When I am not singing, studying, or writing, I love to spend time with my friends and family, especially my younger siblings.