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Foreign in Florence: Hiking the Alps!

 

After christening Munich as our last hoorah of abroad, Julia, Rachel and I stayed a little closer to home (yes, I’m referring to Florence as home now…) this weekend and explored Northern Italy. Our first stop on Saturday was Verona, the city where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is based. Thanks to my high school English teachers, I have an obsession with Shakespeare, specifically Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, so Verona was definitely a must see. We took a quick trip to Juliet’s house, which is actually a historical fake, sorry lovebirds! Shakespeare’s most famous play was most likely inspired by a story written by an Italian writer almost eighty years earlier. The original story does not take place in Verona, but in the hills surrounding the city. Yet, Juliet’s house still attracts thousands of visitors and hopeless romantics who come to get a glimpse of the famous balcony and leave letters for Juliet on the entrance walls.

 

After strolling through the farmers’ market and exploring Verona, we made a quick stop in Lake Garda before heading to Trento for the night. Lake Garda is a picturesque summer resort town and although I couldn’t convince Julia and Rachel to jump in the lake with me, we had a great afternoon relaxing by the water.

The next morning we headed up to Madonna di Campiglio where we started our hike. Madonna di Campiglio is a small ski resort village situated in the Dolomites, a mountain range on the Italian side of the Alps. We spent the afternoon hiking through the Alps, definitely something everyone should put on their study abroad bucket list! About an hour into our five-hour hike, we took a much-needed break next to a waterfall.

 

Although it was 75 degrees and beautiful the entire afternoon, we did hike (and trip) our way through some snow, and our Alpine guides told us that the hiking paths were still completely covered ten days ago. The hike got more difficult as we went on, and the three of us definitely felt the effects of fours months of eating pasta every day! There were times that we thought we were going to collapse but we made in back to Florence in one piece.

Our time in Florence is quickly coming to an end, and the abroad crowd is slowing thinning out as other programs begin to leave. Over the next week and a half we plan to squeeze in many more amazing Florentine restaurants, hit our favorite sites again and enjoy our final days as much as possible!

            Ciao a tutti!

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