So this weekend was so much fun!! Friday we spent the day in Bolzano. It is little town, right at the foot of the Alps. Germans founded the town, so it is a little version of a German town. We went to the Otzi Museum, which showed the 5,000-year-old iceman that was recently found in the Alps. We ate lunch at this German-like pub and at sausage and potatoes. SOO good! Then we walked around and saw a little castle and did some shopping. Next, we took a cable car to the top of the mountain and it was gorgeous! We really enjoyed Bolzano because it was completely different from any other town we had been to in Italy. It felt as though we had left Italy and had landed in Germany.
Saturday, we went to Milan. We got there around 9:30 to make it in time for our tour. We started the tour at the Duomo in Milan, which is the fourth largest church in the world! It was beautiful!! It was full of stained-glass windows and beautiful paintings. The church houses what they claim to be the nail that was used to nail Jesus to the cross. That was really neat to see! We climbed to the roof of the church and the view was gorgeous! We had to hike up this skinny little staircase, up like 500 steps in the blazing heat, but the view made the trek worth it!! After the church, we toured the Opera House. Picture the Phantom of the Opera and that is exactly what it looked like. Next, we went to the second largest castle in Italy, the Sforza Castle. Then we went to see the “Last Supper” by Leonardo Da Vinci. Usually, you have to make reservations several months in advance, but because we had booked this tour a couple of days earlier, we were able to get tickets with them. The church that the “Last Supper” is in is a small, ordinary little church. From the outside, you would never know that something so beautiful and special was inside. The painting was amazing. I never thought I would ever get to see it in real life and I was blown away! The fresco was huge, taking up the entire wall. It was so incredible to get to be just a few feet away from it! After that, the tour was over and we headed back to the middle of town to do some shopping. Around 7pm, we headed back to Verona to make it in time for the US vs. England soccer game. We ate dinner at a café in the middle of town at watched the game there with all of the locals. So much fun!
Sunday, we headed to Torino, host of the 2006 Olympic games. Our train was delayed about an hour, getting us to Torino later than we were planning. Once we finally got there, we headed down the main street. We passed to of the main churches and went to the palaces at the end of the street. We got in for free because we are history students. First time school has actually paid off!! To tour the second floor, which were the Prince’s Quarters, you had to go on the group tour. So we were like “That’s great! We will learn all of the cool history!!” Wrong. The entire tour was in Italian. And it was an hour long. So we looked at all of the pretty rooms and paintings, but have no idea what any of it was because nothing was in English. But it was still beautiful! I have decided that I definitely need to marry a prince so that I can have a house like that! After the tour, we headed down another one of the main streets towards the castle at the foot of the mountain. That is when the heavens opened up. It started POURING, so we had to rush inside to a café to escape the rain. Once we realized it wasn’t going to stop, it was 6:30, so we decided to head back to the train station. We were a little upset that we weren’t able to see the Olympic torch or the castle, but we still enjoyed Torino!
Last night (Monday night) was the Italy vs. Paraguay soccer game. We rented out the entire upstairs of Campus Bar and went there to watch it with the locals. When Italy scored, the entire place erupted and people went crazy! Picture all 92,746 fans at a UGA football game and put them all in one bar. That is what last night was like. Maybe I am exaggerating a little, but it was definitely crazy! But we had a lot of fun!!
This is our last week in Florence. We have finals tomorrow and Thursday, which cuts into our time to explore Verona one last time! Friday, we leave for Florence and next Tuesday we leave for Rome. There are so many awesome things to do in Florence and Rome, such as see Michelangelo’s David and the Vatican! We found out today that we are staying in a four star hotel in Rome! Can’t wait for that!! We also found out today that the airlines in Italy are going on strike June 25th, the day we leave. How convenient. One week and a half left in Italy!