The Past 2 Weeks: The Italian Grand Tour


I am making the most of every moment here which means not much time is left for leisure or typing up a blog. I finally found some peace and a moderate level of quiet to sit and write. My recent adventures feature all of Italy, as well as my mom.



Siena, the historical (somewhat still modern) enemy of Florence, is lovely despite my clear bias. Just as my beloved Florence has Il Duomo, Siena has Il Duomo di Siena.
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While eating our weight and a half at a local family style restaurant in Siena, the local men’s rugby team rumbled in chanting and singing. I’m sure you can surmise from that image that they had indeed been victorious that evening. This was also the week I turned 21. They sang “Happy Birthday” just as fervently.

Cinque Terre

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I’d seen the pictures but I had no idea this coastline developed the same way in reality. I hiked to several of these towns among the olive trees.


The green nets strung between the trees are unfolded during harvest season to cut the middle man. Rather than hitting the ground, these olives fall straight into the chain of becoming olive oil, an Italian necessity.

Amalfi Coast

You can almost picture the pterodactyls diving around the corner of that cliff. Clearly my imagination is at its prime.

Amalfi reminded me most of Jurassic Park which might seem like an unlikely comparison, but an accurate one for sure.

On all these adventures I was accompanied by my beloved mother. Thanks for feeding my adventure.

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There’s no time for down time so that means a day trip. This week’s day trip took me to Viareggio. Viareggio’s claim to fame comes in February during Carnivale. However on this particular day it was fairly deserted. I napped on the beach after reading The Old Man and the Sea, an appropriate book for the occasion.

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Under the Tuscan Sun:

Academic Programs International Trip


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Cortona was quiet and earthy. It was Palm Sunday so I witnessed a procession to the cathedral featuring olive branches rather than palms.

Wine Tasting

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So the wine was luxurious and so were the prices so I acted like I could afford it then proceeded to find this cat outside.

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As you can tell Italy is wildly diverse in landscape and “people-scape“. There are mountains, beaches, cliffs, and plains with olives, vineyards, and lemons. Italy’s people hold different opinions, careers, and ways of life, which they will speak proudly about in countless dialects.

This weekend I’ll be heading to the UK. Suddenly the thought of being surrounded by English speakers is more foreign than being surrounded by Italians.

Buona Serata,



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