Monday, November 29, 2010

Fam in Florence: part two.

The next day, the parents and I took off on a road trip. Props to my dad for managing to maneuver a motor vehicle in Florence - a feat which I will never even attempt. First, we went to the beautiful little town of San Gimignano; then, we were off to Siena!

Our pretty little rental car!

Taking in the sites. ;]



My dad and I climbed that bell tower!

The view from the top.

Hello down there!

The descent!

We made it. ;]

View of the surrounding area from the hill.

On our way out. :]

After a short drive, we spotted Siena!

That's the Duomo di Siena in the background.

Here is its façade.

The Basilica di San Domenico.

Mom and me checkin' it all out.

And that was that! We returned to Florence exhausted but content. ;]

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lovin' Italy/Love in Italy.

Just a little photo from my Venice trip.

Ethan viene a Firenze stasera... It's going to be so fun to show him all of the ins and outs of this place that I have come to know and love. I have prepared a little itinerary for us filled with fun and excitement - and rest assured that there will be copious amounts of photos taken. :]

Us at my going away party in August.

Non vedo l'ora di vedersi! <3

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fam in Florence: part one.

The last few weeks of October were among some of the most enjoyable I've had while studying abroad! The highlight was this: my parents came to visit, which was absolutely wonderful. :]

My parents have not been huge world travelers. My dad has been to various countries in Europe, but my mom, like me, had never really left the continent. They embarked on a two-week tour of Italy, beginning in Rome, then in Tuscany, then in Cinque Terre and ending with an overnight stay in Milan. They were set to arrive in Florence on a Thursday, smack dab in the middle of one of my classes. I regretfully informed them I wouldn't be able to greet them at the train station when they arrived, but then promptly informed my teachers that I wouldn't be able to make it to class on Thursday. I surprised my parents at the train station, and we were all so happy! My mom definitely almost shed a tear. And then we were off!

Before we could get too far, my dad was assailed by the biggest bee I have EVER SEEN. I have no explanation for this - in all my time here, I had yet to see a bee, let alone one of this size.

It was great to see how in awe my parents were of the Duomo - I realized I had been taking its presence for granted! Here is a photo my mom took of the facade.

And she took this shot of the campinile, or bell tower.

Upon checking into my parents' hotel room, we realized that the view out of the window was nothing short of amazing!

After getting settled, we went exploring and ended up near the Arno and the Ponte Vecchio - which means "Old Bridge," which is... what it is. ;]

The view of the bridge from the other side. All of the buildings are now filled with jewelry shops.

The view down the Arno.

After a long day of traveling, my parents were down for some R&R, so we returned to the hotel for a couple hours before heading out for the evening. Here is the Duomo by night!

We walked to my school and I showed them around, then finished the night with a delicious meal at a superb restaurant nearby.

Day one complete! :]