Ciao! Sorry that the blog is late.
On Friday, we visited Florence, the city of flowers, “Firenze” in Italian. It was a long bus ride up, during which we crossed from the region of Umbria to the region of Tuscany. Our first stop was at the Piazzale Michaelangelo, where we were able to view the entire city from above. The Duomo was the most prominent feature, but the ponte vecchio and the many brown buildings made the view positively gorgeous.
From there, we entered the city; our first stop was at the Galleria dell’Academia, where we saw the sculpture of David. It was magnificent; David looked as though he would step down and begin walking among us. Every feature and proportion was human, down to the veins on his hands. We all marveled at it for about 10 minutes, and then moved on.
Our next stop was at the Duomo, where we ate lunch. Unfortunately, we could not go in because the wait in line was over 2 hours. From the outside, it looked much like the Siena Duomo, except far more massive. As we could not go on, we quickly moved on to a plaza with many statues, the Piazza della Signoria. They were mainly inspired by Roman mythology. My favorite was a statue depicting a centaur fighting a Roman god; the centaur was remarkably realistic for a mythical creature.
We were released to go explore the city after that. My group looked around in shops for a little bit, and then we went to go explore the leather market. The market was chaotic, with vendors shouting at you everywhere you went, and people bargaining everywhere. My friends were able to haggle with all of the vendors, and got leather goods for cheap prices.
Our final stop in Florence was the Ponte Vecchio. It gave us all a moment of peace, even with Mr. Eaton cracking jokes about Julius Caesar’s knife allergy. When we got back to Spoleto, we had dinner at a fantastic pizza place.
The day after that, we visited Orvieto. It was a much shorter drive than the drive to Florence, and we were all surprised when we got there so quickly. To get to the city, we took a tram up a mountain, which was crammed full of Italian high schoolers, presumably doing the same thing as us.
Our first stop was at the Orvieto Duomo. On the outside, it was quite similar to the Siena Duomo, but on the inside it was radically different from any other church that we had visited. It depicted gruesome and realistic scenes of demons and people brought back to life, and utilized depth (unlike most other churches). After looking at the duomo, we ate lunch, and were then released to look around Orvieto. Orvieto was relatively small, but it was an adorable city. The gelato there was the best of the trip.
When we met back up with the group, we went on a small tour of some of the tunnels (there are over 1200), and then wandered around the fort at the top of the hill. We were given the choice to either walk down or take the tram down. I walked down, and it was wonderful; I highly recommend walking, as it is quite scenic.
Our final day was today, in Spoleto. We had a late breakfast (although it didn’t feel like it because the Italian time change was today), and were released to pack and relax until 10:00, at which point we could go into Spoleto to do last minute shopping or grab food.
We did some sketching in front of the Spoleto Duomo after lunch, and then had more free time. My group walked down to the edge of the city, to see what was there. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and I was sad to see the sun go down at 7:00. Our last dinner at the Hotel Clitunno was wistful, apart from the content of the meal (which was incredibly strange). We went to buy pizza, and the whole Italy Team played a round of ninja on the boulevard in front of the pizza place. It was the end of our trip, and nobody wanted it to be over.
Our journey back to the U.S. was uneventful; everyone made it through customs and back to their parents or to Culver.
I hope you enjoyed the Culver 2019 Italy GPS Blog. Thank you for reading.
Sincerely, Kristen (On behalf of the 2019 Italy GPS Team)