Tuscany with the Best Friend

Morissa Pepose
May 25, 2016
Boboli Gardens with Firenze in the distance!

            As if exploring one of the most beautiful regions in Italy wasn’t incredible enough, I got to do it…with my best friend! One of the great things about studying abroad in Milan and Europe in general is, chances are, you have at least one other friend studying abroad in Europe! It is very cool to meet up with old friends in various locations. In this case, my friend Golda and I have been very close since we were 15 years old. During this semester, she was studying in Stockholm, Sweden! I already mentioned a few of the cool things about Stockholm in an earlier post from when I went to visit her, but of course it was now Golda’s turn to visit me!

            We spent a few days in Milan but then decided to spend our week of spring break exploring the region of Toscana aka Tuscany. This region is loved for its pride and joy: Firenze! I mean, who doesn’t love great wine and lots of museums with incredible masterpieces of art? But we were also on a mission to explore a couple of other places that are perhaps a little bit more off the beaten track. This included a wonderful day trip to the town of Lucca.

            Lucca is a walled city and is very beautiful. It also happens to be the hometown of a little-known composer named Puccini (just a tiny bit of sarcasm there). We saw the Romanesque church San Michele in Foro and continued on to the beautiful gardens of Palazzo Pfanner, built in the 17th century. And for the best view of the town from above, we climbed Torre Guinigi and could see all the way to the distant hills!

Florence itself was beautiful and with so many things to do, Golda and I were both tired after our whirlwind visit! Somehow we managed to see Michelangelo’s David as well at the Uffizi Gallery. The Duomo of Firenze is not to be missed and neither is the Palazzo Pitti! Both provided some of the most spectacular views…in particular, I recommend a visit to the Boboli Gardens connected to the Palazzo, which are absolutely stunning and also provide a wonderful view of the entire city! The Basilica of Santa Croce was also a highlight of our visit to Firenze. This beautiful church is the burial place of some of the most well-known Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, and Rossini.

            In general, Tuscany is such a beautiful place to visit and it was only that much better with my best friend! Definitely an experience I will treasure forever.

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Morissa Pepose

<p>As an aspiring soprano opera singer, it is very clear why I chose to study abroad in Milan, the very city which houses the famous La Scala opera house! From St. Louis, MO originally, I currently study voice performance and Italian at Brandeis University near Boston, MA. I am an avid reader, dessert-enthusiast, and enjoy animals and taking leisurely strolls where I happen upon interesting people and places to explore. I am a triplet (with 2 brothers!) but am excited to be on my own, meeting new people and learning a bunch from locals and other students!</p>

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