My weekend in Tuscany was absolutely amazing! I went on the trip with Solene, Brian, Larissa, Elitza, and Cathy, but made some new friends on the trip:) There were 170 people on the trip, some from Poli Milano, and many from other universities around Milan. It got a little crazy sometimes, and we were always late on our schedule due to having to organize so many people. But it was still awesome.

We left Milan around 8am on Friday and drove to Sienna, which took about 6 hours because we stopped a couple of times. Then we went on a guided tour of Sienna, which was great. We somehow took the Italian tour instead of the English tour, but I understood a great deal of what they said so it was fine. I am going to post a bunch of pictures in the gallery section, so you can look there. I only put up some photos on this blog, but I put all the rest of my photos on facebook, so you can look there for the entire album. We then had some free time in Sienna so Elitza, Brian, Larissa, Raphael(one of my new friends from Switzerland), Cathy, Johnson(another new friend from China) and I got some coffee at a little place in the center square of Sienna and Elitza and I got some good Tiramisu:)

Then we got back on the bus and drove to Florence, where our hostel was. The rooms were for six people each so Brian, Larissa, Solene, Elitza, Cathy and I shared a room. It was pretty nice for a hostel, but we didn’t spend much time in it anyways. WE didn’t get in until around 9:30pm and then we ate dinner and went to bed. The next day we took a guided tour of Florence, which was probably my favorite stop on our journey. I definitely need to go back with less people and when I can spend more time there because it was absolutely beautiful and I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to. After the guided tour we had some free time, so I went with fourteen people to this amazing hole-in-the-wall pasta place. One of the tour guides came from around Florence and knew the owners, so we were treated really well. We sat in this room with the walls covered in bottles of wine;) Also it was really cheap for the quality of food. I got Gnocchi with tomato sauce and Basil. We also got a tour of the wine cellar there, which was amazing.

After lunch, Elitza and I tasted Chianti wine with Giuseppe(one of the tour guides) who said it was one of the best wines in the area. It was actually very very good:) Then we went to the Galleria delgi Uffizi, which is the large art museum in Florence housing works of art from Michelangelo, Botticelli, Mantegna, Correggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and many more. It was pretty amazing, but Elitza and I were sleepy from the wine we drank, which is another reason I want to go back because I would like to spend more time looking at the paintings and sculptures. After the museum, Larissa, Brian and I got gelato on the way back to the hostel. I got almond and it was so delicious.

WE didn’t have dinner until around 10pm, but it was a three course meal and was really good. It started with some bruchetta and bread with oil.(There was also prosciutto, which I didn’t eat) The next course was risotto with vegetables for me, but the non-vegetarians had pasta with meat sauce and meatballs. Then dessert was tiramisu, which is the best tiramisu I’ve ever had. Then we rolled ourselves home and Solene, Cathy and I went to bed and the others went out drinking. But Solene and I had headaches and Cathy was just tired. I think I was a little dehydrated because I didn’t drink as much as usual. But I was fine the next day.

Sunday was our last day of the trip and we stopped on this hill overlooking Florence before we left to go to Pisa. The view was incredible and we had some time to take pictures there and look at the scenery. Then we went to Pisa where Elitza, Cathy, Johnson, Solene, Stephan(my new friend from Germany) and I went on a guided tour of the Baptistery, Cimitery, Duomo and Leaning tower. The others didn’t go because it cost a little extra, but was totally worth the 12 euros We couldn’t go into the Leaning tower because it cost extra money and was booked solid all day long. But we went into the Baptiste, which was incredible. the acoustics in there are some of the best in the world, and I filmed the demonstration of the acoustics on my camera, so check out the video in the Videos section of my blog. We then traveled over to the Cimitery, where our tour group was invited to be in a movie, so now were kinda famous lol. There was some guy making a documentary and he filmed us listening to our tour guide.

After that we grabbed a very quick bite to eat because we had to catch the bus which took us to Lecco. Unfortunately, because we were running an hour and a half behind schedule, we only got 45 minutes to explore Lecco and it was dark. Cathy, Elitza and I ust explored the town square on foot and got sandwiches and gelato before we had to get back on the bus. Also, there was some sort of Halloween festival/comic con going on, so there were a bunch of people dressed up. So even though we didn’t see much of Lecco, it was still fun, and I would like to go back and visit again.

We stopped once on the way back to Milan and finally returned home around midnight. Overall it was such a great weekend and luckily I don’t have class today so I slept in and relaxed. I don’t have classes tomorrow for all saints day so I will catch up on some work and stuff.

P.S. Happy Halloween! And Happy Birthday Caitlin!