Week four: Students explore four places in seven days

By Mary Harris, Brendan Armstrong, Kamree Laursen and Cate Ferraro

BYU students finished up their third week studying abroad immersed in the history and culture of Italy. 

The next stop on the trip was Florence, a beautiful Italian town with a rich history of Renaissance art and phenomenal architecture. Students visited the Uffizi museum and toured large collections of paintings and sculptures from the Middle Ages to the Modern period, including the works of Carvaggio, Botticelli, and Da Vinci. 

The hall of statues was the main attraction of the museum. The largest and most captivating was Michelangelo’s David. There were also several other pieces of art, the busts of Michelangelo, and a music museum. 

The next attraction that BYU students did was trekking to the top of the Florence Duomo, climbing over 450 steps to get to the top. The group took in a captivating 360 degree view of the city. Students also explored nearby at the Baptistry of St. John and somescaled the stairs of Giotto’s Bell Tower to see another perspective of Florence and the Duomo.

Pictured is a beautiful view from the top of the Florence Duomo. The climb to the top includes 463 steps. (Brendan Armstrong)

After exploring the streets of Florence, students departed for the food capital of Italy, Bologna. Alessandra Cortesi, a friend of the Kennedy Center, took students around on a tour of the city, various markets and the famous Piazza Malpighi. Students found that the food did not disappoint! 

“I really enjoyed the market because of the variety of delicious food, colorful flowers and active social environment. It was a bright and fun place to be,” BYU student Gillian Marcucci said.

Bologna hosts a number of food markets (Mary Harris)

The BYU group continued their travels and spent a day in Venice—a city made of over 100 islands. Students traveled to Doge’s Palace and learned about the gothic architecture in Venice, the government structure of the region and the importance that religion played in Venetian history and culture. Students also rode gondolas, tried Venice cuisine, admired local glassworks, and explored the water city. 

Finishing up the week in Venice, BYU students made a pit stop to Verona on their way to Milan. Verona is known for being the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and even features Juliet’s balcony. Here students were able to have their Juliet moment on the balcony and touch the statue of Juliet in hopes for good fortune. They were also able to visit the Arena Di Verona, the best preserved ancient Roman amphitheater built in 30 AD.

A crowd gather in her courtyard under Juliet’s famous balcony (Brendan Armstrong).

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