Ciao Bella

Venice, Italy

That phrase (“hi, beautiful”) was on the T-shirts that many Italian vendors were selling.

A group of nine UF students went to Venice and Florence this past weekend. I always wanted to go to Italy ever since I heard the phrase: “It’s shaped like a boot!” I was 6 years old at the time.

The lagoon in Venice was beautiful. I might regret not riding in a gondola in the future, though. It was only 13 Euros per person for a party of six. Also, having masquerade parties seem to be a big deal in Italy because I saw a lot of venues that were selling masks. A few friends had a mini-photoshoot with masks during dinner at an outdoor restaurant.

Florence’s biggest highlight was the leather market that spanned six streets. I bargained for some jewelry that was supposed to sell for 40 Euros but purchased for only 25. I’m sure my family will be glad to have something from Italy.

The Venezian community was peaceful and some places played romantic music at night. I definitely enjoyed the scenery and the park we napped in for half an hour. Florence has more of the hustle and bustle of a big city like Atlanta, Miami or New York.

A big thing I didn’t like was how the foods were costly. My friend bought Gelato for eight Euros. It was stacked with chocolate flavor but for that price is ridiculous. All of the restaurants we went to I found had small portions: a McDonald’s hamburger-sized steak for one, a paper-thin marinara pizza for another and only five strands of lasagna in the last one in Venice.

Florence, Italy

I heard Europeans eat lighter meals. That’s something I won’t be able to adjust to because I eat at a lot of buffets back in the U.S.

A majority of Sunday was spent on waiting and riding on the train. Traveling is quite taxing on the body, so I definitely will be staying in Salzburg this weekend. The only other place I plan on going this summer is to Prague. I spent at least 250 Euros this past weekend, and I’m simply blessed to have been able to do this trip.

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