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Veni Vidi (Vici)

I went to Italy over fall break, hence the cliche title. (Pictures below!) I studied ancient Rome (a long, long time ago) but had never been there before, so it was really interesting for me. I travelled with a new friend who is also in the Fulbright program and spent two days in Rome, and two days in Florence. I went and I saw, though I don’t know if I really conquered; there’s still plenty more to do there that I did not get to.

Two days wasn’t really enough for either place. There are infinite amounts of things one can do in both cities, and in other places across Italy, but we managed what we could. While in Rome, we mostly focused on historical sights, having to do with the Roman empire. In Florence, it was all about the art.

Rome is a massive city that I have no desire to be in for any extended period of time. The only reason I would visit again is because of all the touristy stuff I still didn’t get to do. The historical sights, ruins, and museums are fascinating and fun, but the city itself is not terribly welcome to tourists. In that it’s too welcoming. You can’t go anywhere without someone trying to hustle you out of your money (especially if you are American), and the city was too big and too crowded. Our hotel was a dump, the public transportation is extremely crowded and dirty, and everything is overpriced.

Florence, on the other hand, was amazing. I loved the city and the size and never felt uncomfortable walking at night or going into unfamiliar territory. The city still felt authentic despite the presence of tourists. Florence also has a lot of history, though we mainly saw renaissance art and a few of the typical sights (the Duomo, for example) for our sightseeing there. By the time we got home again, I’d walked almost 50 miles in my quest to get as much as possible out of my trip. (Shoutout to my fitbit for keeping track).

Coming back to Germany made me realize that I don’t feel like a tourist here anymore. When I got off the plane in Munich, I felt at home seeing signs in German rather than Italian, and I knew how to navigate my way home without stopping to pull out a translating app or asking someone a question. The culture felt familiar to me, unlike in Italy. I even fooled flight attendants into thinking I was German; they make guesses by appearance and behavior and will address you in English if they’re unsure, but I was always addressed in German first. The Americans next to me on my flight out also thought I was German, but they’re easier to fool.

Anyway, below are a few pictures.








Fresh pasta!


Vatican (We just missed the pope)




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