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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Everything Under the Tuscan Sun

My roommates being goofballs
on the amazing walls of Lucca
by Delaney Kennedy


This past week has been packed with day trips, new restaurants, and Florence adventures – less than 20 days left, the pressure’s on! And with this pressure just comes a whole lot of crazy: crazy busy schedules and a crazy emotional rollercoaster buckle up.


So it all began after meeting my new friends I met over Spring Break for lunch during their last week here, which sparked a fire under me, leading to my Oltrarno explorations and the growing of an already lengthy Florence to-do list. Then, I met for a drink with one of the girls from that group that I was closest with for her last night in Florence (she stayed a few days after their program ended) and listening to her reflect on her experience and watching her get lost in nostalgia was just too much, after hugging her goodbye I wanted to cry as if I were leaving too, thus set in my “I never want to leave this City” sentiments.
My fabulous reunion with my sorority sisters
helps make the idea of going home much easier to handle

These were flipped two days later when I met up with some of my sorority sisters who are studying in Florence to celebrate one of the girl’s last nights here, with gelato naturally. Being with them and being back in our usual rapid fire, fast-paced talking and inane, frequent comments that never allow anyone to finish a story let alone a complete thought, made me so excited to go home – so here I stay – in a daily flux of never-wanting-to-leave and being psyched to go home. In the scheme of things, this is not a bad problem to have.


Ketti and I at the top of the Duomo!
To combat this, I’ve been trying to soak up as much of Italy as I can. Two weekends ago we went to Verona with GSE, which was nice and relaxed and neat to see Juliet’s House and the “Letter’s to Juliet” wall. The next day my roommate Ketti and I woke up early to climb the Duomo…we live literally ten steps away, this has been a long time coming. It was awesome! The path we walk up is the same path that workers took years ago when building the Dome, that alone was awesome, but the views from the top were even more beautiful!


Thursday, two of my roommates and I went to the Bargello Museum, which houses a lot of famous Florentine sculpture such as the submissions of both Ghiberti and Brunelleschi for the Gates of Paradise and both Verrocchio and Donatello’s Davids – I completely geeked out over the Davids, especially because I’m writing my final paper in one of my classes on Donatello’s David.


The following day, just sending me over the edge was our GSE trip to the Uffizi. There was a small group of us so it made the tour with Chiara even better and seriously around every corner was some famous masterpiece. I just about died and went to Art History heaven. It’s crazy that these works that I’ve studied for the past three years as tiny thumbnails in text books or written term papers on are right in front of me and I can see the brushstrokes and layers of paint, it was too much!


The gorgeous Siena Cathedral -
so different stylistically from our Florence Duomo
Sunday, my roommate Sierra and I went on a daytrip to Siena and it was gorgeous! It was surprisingly sunny, we’ve been having our fair share of April showers in Florence and we just walked around and saw the Siena Cathedral and explored other churches and piazzas…and had some gelato and cookies.


I just got back today from Lucca, another quaint town in Tuscany, and it was a gorgeous relaxed day. We had today off from school, so we had all the time in the world to wander, get lost, and just sit and soak it all in. We finished our day by just sitting on the city walls which are amazing – lined with trees and filled with runners, bikers, and loungers like ourselves. There was so much greenery (and there was a flower festival too!) which I miss being in the Florence City Center, it was a beautiful sunny day!


Next on our list is a picnic in Fiesole tomorrow, so our “Tuscan tour” continues! The time crunch has been positive as it pushes us to “carpe diem” and do things now rather than put them off, I’m feeling spontaneous for once in my life, so I’m just going to run with it and experience everything under the Tuscan sun!




Ciao,
Delaney Kennedy




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GSE Spring 2012 - Florence, Italy
Lorenzo de' Medici - Florence

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