I’m becoming spoiled by the abundance of opportunities I have had and fun, educational, sometimes overwhelming experiences. For my spring break, I went to Italy, and writing about it several weeks later, I realize I still haven’t processed my time in Florence and Rome. Maybe writing will help.
My four days in Florence were absolutely incredible, especially because I stayed with a dear friend from high school who I hadn’t seen since last summer. She is studying art history there and enthusiastically told me about every street we walked down. Having a personal tour guide and friend to show me around made my entire trip nearly seamless. Since she is an actual tour guide for the Duomo Cathedral, we got to skip the absurdly long lines and walk right through. We walked across the Arno River via the Ponte Vecchio bridge and made our way to Boboli Gardens, which used to be owned by the Medici family (I joked that they were the Habsburgs of Italy). Walking outside without a jacket, it was the first time since Budapest I embraced such warm, sunny weather, and because Florence is compact, we walked everywhere. I saw Michelangelo’s David and many other inspiring masterpieces in the Uffizi art museum. In between, we ate the three p’s: pizza, pasta and panino. And of course, plenty of gelatto.
Rome was a different experience. I went alone for two days but met a few people from IES Abroad Vienna there. I squeezed as much as possible into my time, as I strive to do most days. I walked around the Colosseum and Roman Forum, which still hasn’t registered in my mind. I went to Vatican City and saw more beautiful paintings, sculptures and frescos, one of which was the Sistine Chapel. How do I write that so casually? Some people dream of seeing just one of these sights, am I greedy? Am I unworthy?
I have so many more things to write about, but Italy has become a very sweet, powerful memory, while Vienna is here and now. I will write about more Wiener experiences, soon.
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Naomi Keusch Baker
<p>As a math and computer science major and music minor at Emory University, my passions range from increasing diversity and inclusion in technology industries to advocating for arts education. I want to combine my skills in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) to work toward social justice in my community and beyond. On campus, I am involved in Girls Who Code, the Interdisciplinary Exploration and Scholarship (IDEAS) Fellowship, Refugee Revive, Hillel and the Media, Literature and Arts Outreach (MLAO) themed house.</p>