There are a lot of things that I look forward to during the year at CCI and Florence is at the top of the list. In my mind, Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with its rich history, architecture, sculpture, and paintings. I have trouble leaving every time I visit.
We spent two nights in this wonderful city last week. Upon arrival, we first headed to Piazzale Michelangelo for a gorgeous view of the town, with the famous Duomo at its centre.
From there, we checked in to the Hotel Adriatico. We were at our hotel for only a few minutes before heading to the Accademia to see Michelangelo's David, perhaps the most recognizable sculptures in the world. There, we learned about the statue and the life of Michelangelo.
Afterward, our students had time to explore Florence's leather market. We then rendezvoused at the hotel for dinner, and a birthday surprise for one of our students.
A walking tour followed dinner, moving along the Arno River to catch amazing views of Ponte Vecchio lit up at night. From there, we arrived in Piazza della Signoria where Ms. Sidoti's Classical Civilization class delivered presentations on the statues within the square.
In the afternoon, we split up for "tours by choice." These included a visit to Santa Croce, the Gucci Museum, as well as climb to the top of the Duomo for magnificent views of the city. My group visited the Galileo Museum to learn about the scientific revolution and marvel at the various measuring instruments.
We had dinner out on Friday night. Our students had three local restaurants to choose from, each offering traditional Tuscan dishes. By far, the most popular dish of the night was the steak Fiorentino!
The next morning we visited the Uffizi Gallery. "Uffizi" translates to "offices" and it was here that the Medici family governed the city-state of Florence. It now houses the most important paintings of the Renaissance. Tours were led by the teachers who explained the evolution of Renaissance art as we moved from room to room. We spotted work by such artists as Giotto, Botticelli, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio.
We made our way back to Lanciano in the afternoon, but not before stopping in Siena.
Siena is the home of the Palio; a horse race that takes place in the Campo twice every summer. After learning about the history of the city, St. Catherine of Siena, and all about the race, we couldn't resist holding a race of our own around the track!
We arrived back in Lanciano by midnight. While it was nice to be back in town and off the bus, it was sad to think that this was our last overnight trip of the semester.