Italy, Germany · 8 Days · 8 Moments · September 2017

Natalie's tour through Italy

11 September 2017

Went to the actual city of Venice! We had to take a bus to the port, then a boat to the actual island. We met our tour guide and saw Saint Mark's Basilica and walked around the area over bridges and saw canals. Our female tour guide ended things short at a glass-blowing shop for a demonstration on how they make their beautiful glass pieces. It was a very short demonstration as well.. we then went for a gondola ride, which was an excursion that Antonio set up for us. I rode with Serena, Jashrine, Janelle, Alexis, and Awanda. When we got off, Antonio had champagne for us! Us five (Alexis went elsewhere) got food- I got a seafood pasta which was pretty good. We stayed and rested for awhile, and heard that the main square was flooded... we had no idea how bad the flooding was actually going to be! Awanda and I got piggybacked all the way to where we met the rest of the group! After going back to our hotel, we got some alcohol at the grocery store and played kings cup with Phil and others.

10 September 2017

Woke up early to get on the bus for Venice! Ate shrimp and zucchini risotto and pesto pasta at a rest stop. I felt really tired on the bus and we arrived at our hotel (I roomed with Yesteni, Awanda, and Jashrine) at around 4:00 pm. It was very cloudy and muggy. Most everybody went to a wine tasting excursion, but I slept with Yesteni until 6:00. We went downstairs to the grocery store next door, and met up with Victoria, Ish, Jenny, and Christian for dinner. We walked around and finally found a local Italian place. I ordered a margarita pizza with prosciutto and mushrooms (first pizza I ordered the entire trip) which was delicious! We went back to the hotel and everyone came back pretty quickly. We all slept because people felt like they were getting sick.

9 September 2017

Woke up and took a bus to Cinque Terre! We rode a train to three different areas; first to a picturesque and colorful town on the cliffs. We hung around for awhile, then got on the train to the next stop: another colorful town but right on the ocean this time. Janelle and I shared local fried seafood, then went to a restaurant and has seafood pasta. We felt hungover but powered through our meal. We all met up for the final stop: a beachy area. Phil, Yesteni, and I walked to a sandy place and met up with others. Many people went in the water but I napped for two hours on the beach. I got gelato again, and we headed back to Florence on the bus. For dinner, I ate lasagna at the hostel and an aperol spritz with Janelle, Shawn, Yesteni, Alexis, and a couple others. We then got ready to go out for Shani's birthday. We walked to a club called Bamboo but it was dead, so we walked to Space, the same place we were at the night before. I left early (and lost my drink ticket).

8 September 2017

Woke up and did the walking tour of Florence with our male tour guide! We started at the Duomo square, saw the Basilica of Saint Mary up close, a Porta Rosa church, saw some statues of Dante, walked through the streets of major shopping Ponte Vecchio, by the river Vipera, passed the Uffizi Gallery, and ended the tour at an Italian leather demonstration. An Australian woman showed us how to distinguish real Italian leather and fake. I bought a wallet for Brandon, and then Serena, Anna, Denaeuh, Awanda, Shawn, and I went to the Accadamia museum to see Michelangelo's statue of David (on his 513th birthday)! We then walked back to the Uffizi Gallery where Serena and I met up with other people in our group. Serena, Jashrine, and I went shopping and got food at the Central Market again. We then went back, left to eat traditional Florentine steak, then went back and got ready to go out! We all went to a club where a lot of Americans were.

7 September 2017

Woke up early to get on the bus for Florence! But first, we stopped in the medieval town of Siena! Such a beautiful town but filled with tourists.. people also weren't very nice, but I would visit again! Shawn, Yesteni, and I walked around to get food and found a cute restaurant with flowers around it. I ordered caccio e pepe, a local pasta dish (also homemade pasta)! It was sooooo delicious! We then walked around to find gelato, which was also yummy. We all got back on the bus and arrived in Florence at around 5 pm. We stayed in an older hostel and I roomed with Shawn, Yesteni, Awanda, Lyndley and Haylee. Antonio took us on a walking tour and we saw the marvelous Basilica of Saint Mary! He treated us with ice cream at Venchi and took a few of us to Il Mercato Centrale, an indoor market filled with food vendors! I got basil gnocchi with meat in it and a cheesy cream sauce over it. Serena, Yesteni, and a couple others and I drank at the bar in the basement of our hostel and slept.

6 September 2017

Yesteni and I slept in until 10 and grabbed food, then went back to the room until we left for the Vatican tour. We went through the museums, Saint Peter's Square, and Sistine Chapel. Everything was so beautiful and unforgettable. After the tour, I ate at an awful, touristy, and expensive place with Ish, Amby, Jay, Christian, Kai, and Victoria. I ate a meat and cheese tortellini with tomato sauce and it was the worst meal in Italy. We then got lost and walked around until we got to the Trastevere Market. It was very cute and such a peaceful area to eat! We headed back to the hotel and I met up with Yesteni. Janelle, Jashrine, Serena, and the two boys were about to go out but we decided to get some food and boozy slushies in the area. They left and Yesteni and I went to the hotel bar and got drinks and lasagna for the room and passed out.

5 September 2017

We woke up at 8 to go to our pasta making class! We took taxis to the small studio, where two chefs showed us how to make pasta from scratch, and a tomato sauce with pork cheek! It was a really fun experience, and eating it in the dining room next to the kitchen with local wine was wonderful! We also got to try authentic olive oil and balsamic vinegar which was delicious as well. We then had free time, so Jashrine, Serena, Kelsey, Denaeuh, Alexis, and I went into a few stores like Zara, got Venchi gelato, and made our way to the Colosseum where we had a tour. We passed Capitoline Hill on our way which was SO BEAUTIFUL! We met the group at the Colosseum and took our tour with a female Italian guide, as well as the Roman Forum right next to it. After our tour, we took the bus back to the hotel, and went to dinner around the hotel with Joe, Johanna, and Yesteni. After, a group of us pregamed in the boys' room, then went out to an Irish bar. People got trashed!

4 September 2017

We woke up super early to take an airplane (delayed) from Athens to Rome. We checked in to the hotel and got pizza to-go, and relaxed in the room until or walking tour. I roomed with Yestini. We went on the underground metro and walked through beautiful landmarks: the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the Fountain of Four Rivers. Such gorgeous weather too. We then had free time, so me, Awanda, Janelle, Kai, Alexis, and Yesteni went to a cheap place to eat (I got tagliatelle), but it was so delicious! We then met up with other people and drank wine by the Fountain of Four Rivers. We went home by metro but one line was shut down so we struggled to find a cab home.