Week 4: Milan, Nice and Paris greet students

Two train rides and a major heatwave marked Global Diplomacy and Journalism students’ journey the week  starting July 14 from Milan, Italy, to Paris.

Students made professional as well as sightseeing stops along the way, beginning at Milan’s historic Duomo and ending at France’s gilded Senate building.

BYU students visit the French Senate.

On June 14, days before gearing up for the long train ride to Nice, students gathered outside of the renowned Duomo di Milano for a tour of its symbolic and historical relevance. The guide pointed out the varied origins of the multicolored marble floor, the differences between new and old stained glass, and even a timeline of astrology signs. Students then summited the roof of the Duomo for a birds-eye view of the surrounding Piazza. 

After a brief stop in Nice to go to the beach and attend church at a French ward, the group headed off to Paris.

The recent arrivals to Paris toured the UNESCO headquarters on June 20. They toured the Japanese gardens and the various pieces of artwork on the grounds. One of the art pieces was a cylindrical structure with circular imprints all along its walls, engineered so that if one stood in the middle of the structure and spoke, their voice would be naturally magnified. The piece comments on the impact a single voice can have. Students also had a Q&A session inside of the UNESCO General Assembly.

One of the highlights of the students’ trip to Paris was a group visit to the Louvre. The largest museum in the world, the Louvre is a complicated labyrinth filled with artifacts, statues, paintings, tapestries and other forms of art. It’s easy to get lost in, so students split into groups or tackled the museum individually. Some enjoyed the chaos and masses of people, while others felt overwhelmed, but all learned and experienced something new as part of the visit. 

The students had the opportunity to visit the Palace of Versailles, walking through the ornate summer home of French royalty. They noticed the extravagant artwork that filled the walls of the rooms, noting marble sculptures on the ground floor that sat in the middle of massive rooms.

A personal chapel with two levels was adorned with gold, and art on the ceiling evoked memories of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. The students passed through grand halls filled with artwork dedicated to France’s military victories and national glory. 

Following the visit inside, the students walked among the palace’s massive garden grounds. There, they passed by manicured hedges and colorful flower beds. Pathways took them along perfectly straight roads through groves of trees as they admired marble statues and ornate fountains hidden among the dense groves of the garden.

As they walked through the dense groves, they came into view of the grand canal, where some other guests had rented boats. The students enjoyed the visit and left the palace with a first-hand understanding of its extravagance and detail.

Categories: Europe News, Europe Travel, Study Abroad Themes, Uncategorized

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