I LOVE FLORENCE. SERIOUSLY. Florence feels like it’s a world away from Milan. The people here are totally different from the people in Milan. Most people seem to be more friendly. Everything was within walking distance from our hotel which made the whole experience much more pleasant. Friday, we visited the San Marco monastery, which is unique because it was painted by the monks who lived there. This is also the monastery where Savonarola stayed, which I find interesting as a history major. The building itself was also really beautiful. Later, we went to Santa Maria Novella which is one of the prettiest churches we’ve seen, in my opinion. It stands out because so much of the ceiling is a pure white with stripes at the “joints” of the vaulted parts of the ceiling. The church had beautiful wall sized frescoes throughout. Afterwards, we went to the open market near the (absolutely unreal) Duomo. I certainly bought my fair share of souvenirs there! We then went on our winde tour which took us through the beautiful mountains of Tuscany. We went to a castle and tried the wine there, and then traveled to two other little villages before heading to dinner where Staphanie, Ashley and I befriended two Swiss couples. It was really fun to get a culture lesson within a culture lesson. Saturday, we visited The Academia Gallery. The highlight was definitely Michelangelo’s David. I also loved the room full of sculpture there too. I didn’t find the paintings quite as interesting here. After I looked over everything, and took my time in the sculpture room. Many of our group just sat on benches near David. Something about this statue just creates this mentally magnetic field and it just commands your attention. After that, we went back to the market, and I bought a few things for myself. Once we were done with that, we all met up to visit the Uffizi. The most interesting things in my opinion were all of the Boticelli pieces. Quite a few of them are so famous, it was strange seeing the originals in person. After a while it started to get uncomfortably crowded and most of us left a little earlier than we’d anticipated. We went back to out hotel and napped before enjoying a little of the city’s nightlife. Sunday, we visited the Duomo, but due to the weather, that was just about it. We had to wait to get in for at least half an hour, which was miserable in a t-shirt and shorts, but of course, it did end up being worth it. I bought a few last minute souvenirs in the rain, because the market was open, much to my surprise. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel and waited in the computer area until it was time to come back to Milan!