A Voyage to the Continent

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Pisa, Florence, Tuscany, Nice, Èze, Monaco, and Monte Carlo all in five days. This week was our fall break at CAPA. A few of my classmates and I planned a five day trip stopping in two main cities; Florence and Nice, with day trips to neighboring areas. When I say it all felt like a scene from a movie I am being completely honest. I saw scenes I never thought to be real, did things I could have never imagined doing, and constantly found myself questioning whether or not any of it was actually happening.

Stop one was Florence, a late night flight into Pisa led to an early morning at the Leaning Tower before hoping on a train to Florence. Italy has always been at the top of my travel list so to say I was excited would be a complete understatement. Upon a arrival we stowed our bags and rushed to a wine tour which took us to Tuscany, the red wine capitol of Italy. It was really engaging to learn about the process of wine making with the vineyards and beautiful countryside in the background. Along with the views the wine was great and the atmosphere was so welcoming. Saying I’ve tasted some Italys most famous wines is just one example of the many things from this trip I still can’t believe happened. Our second day in Florence consisted of walking around the city center, viewing from all angles the beautiful Cathedral of Florence, and visiting the David statue at the Gallery of the Academy. Having taken European history seeing these artifacts in real life was incredibly fulfilling. My favorite part of our visit to Italy however had to be the pizza. Pizza has and probably always will be my favorite food group and tasting true authentic Italian pizza was an enlightening experience.

From Florence we hopped on an overnight bus to Nice in the south of France. We arrived before the sun rose and again stored our bags at our hostel. After having a quick coffee and pastry we headed to the beach and breathtaking is the only word I can think to use to describe the sights. The beautiful blue water of the Mediterranean Sea coupled with the incredible architecture and mountains again looked like something out of a movie. As the day went on we did some local adventures such as the castle walk giving one even more incredible views of the city as well as swimming in the sea. Despite the slightly cold water it was such an exciting experience, especially since swimming is one of my absolute favorite pass times. Following our day exploring Nice Ville, we took a tour of Èze, Monaco, and Monte Carlo. Èze felt like a city out of a romance film with its rocky architecture, winding streets, and small markets. I felt like Nicholas Sparks could write an entire novel in the small area we explored. In Monaco we walked around the old city, viewing the Palace of the President and the changing of the guard before heading to Monte Carlo. Probably the most unreal place on the entire trip, I am not exaggerating when I say I still can’t believe a place like that exists. The sheer wealth and extravagance of the place was unbelievable. This feeling was aided by the carnival, multiple massive yachts, and of the course the Casino of Monte Carlo. As a James Bond fan seeing the casino of his film was again so engaging.

To conclude, I will forever be grateful for the memories made of my trip. I saw things I truly never believed I would. These are memories that will stick with me forever and I just feel so fortunate to be able to say I’ve experienced so much during my time in Europe.