May 14th: Walked around with the group I arrived with from the airport. We saw the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon. We went inside the Pantheon and got to see a little bit before we visit it later in the trip.
May 15th: Drew gave his presentation at the Colosseum. I sketched an arch there on the ground level. After leaving the Colosseum, we traveled to the Arch of Constantine and Jared gave his presentation over that. We were walking on an old Roman road and Carrie presented about Roman roads. Next, we traveled to Palentine Hill and saw the main aqueduct of Rome there. Lastly, we visited the Roman Forum where Steven Parkison gave his presentation while it was raining on us.
May 16th: Torre Argentina was the first place we went to, where the cats of Rome were. Next, we went to the Piazza Novana which is the place where the chariot races were held. Now there are three fountains there, one of them being the fountain of the four rivers. Next we went to the Campo de Fiori, which is where the markets are today. There is a statue of Giordano Bruno because he was killed because he suggested the Earth revolved around the Sun. Lastly, we went to the Spanish Steps and climbed them. After leaving the group, Steven, Drew, Patrick, and I got lost and sketched an obelisk near the Flaminio metro station stop.
May 17th: First we went inside the Basilica Santa Maria. Next we went to the Trevi Fountain again and Katherine did her presentation. After that, we went to the Pantheon and I did my presentation before we went inside. Next, we went to the Capitline museums which are in an area designed by Leonardo Da Vinci. Lastly, we went up into the Vittorio Emauele.
May 18th: First we went to the Vatican museums. Next we climbed to the top of the Castel Saint’Antelo which is a fortress next to the Tiber River. Next we went to the Spanish Steps again where Ryan did his presentation. Lastly, we went to the Da Vinci museum where we saw a lot of Da Vinci’s ideas like a catapult or ideal city.
May 19th: First we went to St. Peter’s and Emily presented there. Next we went on a scavenger hunt. My group was Drew, Steven, Patrick, Emily, Rachel, and I. The scavenger hunt led us to Piazza Novana, Basilica Santa Maria, Torre Argentina, Foro di Traiano, and the Colosseum. Next we had a meeting with a representative from the university in Rome. She showed us around the engineering part of campus then proceeded to show us to the main part of campus.
May 20th: We left Rome today on a train to Florence. In Florence, we toured the Galileo museum. We then climbed all 463 steps to the top of the Brunelleschi’s Dome which is on top of the gothic cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore. This is the best view in Italy so far that I have seen. Finally, we walked around the cathedral after descending from the dome.
May 21st: Our first stop was the Academia which is the home of Michelangelo’s David. We then toured three cathedrals: Santa Croce, Basilica Di S. Lorenzo, and Santa Maria Novella. Santa Croce contained the tombs of Michelangelo and Galileo. It also contained a monument dedicated to Dante. Lastly, we went through the Uffizi Gallery which is a huge collection of Italian paintings. The most famous in the gallery was the Birth of Venus. There were also a good sum of works by Da Vinci. We had a picnic on the terrace of our hotel to finish off a good day.
May 22nd: Today we hiked up to one of the taller parts of Florence. This provided a good spot to take pictures and had amazing views. Lastly, we ended our short day with the Bargello Museum.
May 23rd: Left for Milan from Florence today. We went to the cathedral of Milan. It is a very French style of cathedral because of its gothic arches and its vaults. However, it still remains a little Italian because the stained glass windows are very stained to keep it dark inside the church.
May 24th: First, we went to visit the university in Milan. We had the privilege to hear 3 lectures and were shown a couple of labs. Their university was very interesting compared to Nebraska’s. Next we went to Pinacoteca di Brera, which is a museum with many paintings. Lastly, we had a great dinner prepared by some of our group and Jeff.
May 25th: First we went to the National Science Museum where a lot of Da Vinci’s ideas were. Next we went to San Lorenzo Cathedral. Next we went to the Teatro museum where we got to see a rehearsal for an opera they had that night. Went to the Castle next which is now a museum. Lastly we saw the Last Supper to make a good end to the day.
May 26th: First we took a train from Milan to Venice. When we got to Venice, it was a great sight to see all of the canals in the city. We went to the following cathedrals: San Giovanni Crisostomo, S. Giovanni Battista, Ss. Giovanni e Paola, Chiesa dei Ss. Apostoli, and S. Maria di Nazereth. After a lot of shopping, we took a train back to Milan after a very long day of walking and traveling.
May 27th: Just chilled around the hostel in Milan on our 2nd free day and played cards with the group that was there. Pretty relaxing day.
May 28th: First we took a bus from Milan to Pisa in the morning. We went up to the top of the leaning tower of Pisa and it was an amazing sight. We went inside the church and the baptistery there to finish off our stay in Pisa. We then took a bus from Pisa to San Gimagnano. We had a group dinner in the hotel that night and walked around a bit after dinner to see parts of the city.
May 29th: First we climbed the only tower available to the public in the morning. The view from the top was worth the climb. After we descended from the tower, we went to one of the torture museums there. Then we took a bus from San Gimagnano to Siena. In Siena, we went inside the church. We climbed the tallest tower in the Tuscan region. After this, we took a bus from Siena to Assisi.
May 30th: First we went to the church of St. Francis. Next we went up the hill to Santa Marie Sopra Minerva. We then climbed higher up the hills and reached the San Rufino cathedral. We went back to the hotel to take a bus from Assisi back to Rome to catch a flight to Palermo. We went out to dinner at 10:30 to finish our day.
May 31st: First we went to the open air market and saw a head of a swordfish there. Next we went to the palace of Sicily. Then we went to the cathedral of Palermo. We were going to go into the Amphitheater but it was closing as we got there so we planned on going there the next day. We had a nice dinner at Cin Cin. Jeff knew the people there and they prepared a great dinner for us.
June 1st: First we went to the Amphitheater in Palermo. After that, we took a flight from Palermo to Rome and took a bus ride to Paestum. Once in Paestum, we arrived at a farmhouse and had a very nice group dinner.
June 2nd: First we went to Pompeii on a bus from our farmhouse. We saw many ruins there that were very well preserved. After seeing all these ruins, we went back to Paestum and saw three major Greek temples that were preserved very well. Lastly, we had a very nice dinner at our farm house again.
June 3rd: Today was a travel and preparation day for our flights tomorrow. We left Paestum and went to Rome by bus. Lastly, we prepared our luggage for our flights tomorrow and spent one last night together as group.
June 4th: Today I took a plane back from Rome to the United States. It was a very long day of flying but I finally made it home and I had a great time on my trip.