Nikki is a sophomore studying abroad this semester in Ormskirk, England. Check in each week for posts from Nikki as she shares her experiences abroad.
Our next stop was Italy. We went to Pisa, Florence, Rome, Vatican City and Venice. Each city has its own charm, but Italy can be described in one word: chaotic. The precision that existed in Switzerland is nowhere to be found in Italy.
Pisa is red. It is a bold crimson somewhere between a rose and a fire truck. It’s chaotic and loud mixed with fun and giggles. The city is surrounded by red-orange houses and street vendors that try to sell you everything under the sun. The only thing to do in Pisa is go to The Leaning Tower of Pisa. That’s it. You take pictures, then jump back in your vehicle and continue on!
We continued to Florence that evening. Florence is borderline perfect. I would equate the feeling of walking down the streets of Florence to one notch below the feeling one gets when hearing “I love you” for the first time. There is just a rush
of pure joy and happiness. I may be biased because I was heading towards a pasta, steak, red wine and gelato dinner after not eating much that day, but the comparison still stands. For me, Florence would be the first city I would want to return to out of all of them on the trip. It is a bold, bright yellow — the happiest of my happy colors. The food was amazing and the guide who took us around was incredibly funny and sweet. The heart of the city is clean, bold and the perfect place to be when the sun sets.
Rome and Vatican City have a whole color scheme. It builds from a rusty red into a bold Play-Doh blue, and Vatican City is a deep purple. The parts of Rome that are that rusty red are the parts that are thousands of years old. The coolest thing about Rome is that you can literally go up and sit on a 2,000-year-old pillar. There are ruins everywhere. It is the biggest open-air museum in the world. As you progress through the centuries and get to the marble architecture, that is when it transitions to a blue. Vatican City is a deep purple, filled with spiritual purpose and hundreds of old pieces of artwork. Walking through Rome is like walking through a time capsule. You literally see the progression of a society over hundreds and hundreds of years. We saw just about everything in Rome — the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Piazza Venezia, Circus Maximus and every ruin in between all of these sites.
After only two days, we had to say goodbye to Rome and head to Venice. Venice is unlike any place I’ve ever been. It’s a teal blue that is calm and steady. For obvious reasons, cars are not allowed in the main part of the city. We took a lovely 45 minute walk to the center of part of the city to reach St. Mark’s Square. As we made our way to the square, you felt like you were walking
in a fake city. It had that same quality that Paris did. Everything was just so small, quaint and crisp. It was like the little shops and restaurants belonged in a museum. Water surrounded us everywhere as the channels cut in and out of the city. We took a gondola ride — and no, they did not sing to us. We had pasta from a local restaurant and people-watched. As a side note, street musicians rock in Europe. They bust out violins, guitars and cellos. It’s incredibly classy. Venice, in one word, is peaceful.
Our trip then ended with Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium before heading back to London. Next time, I’ll close up the two week trip with our North Western Europe adventures. Then it is on to our UK explorations and school at Edge Hill University. Until then, live in color!