I had jumped on a train with scores of other students throughout the entirety of the Study Abroad program and squeezed my way onto an Italian subway next to a man who was playing saxophone with his daughter asking for change. I had to run to keep up with our tour guide, who had to be an Olympic sprinter bent on losing us in the city of Rome, because when I made it to the top of the steps past the smelly metro, I had only a brief second to snap a picture of the Roman Coliseum.
That day we all were literally running around Rome to get to our walking tour through the Vatican on time. However, naturally, we had to wait almost an hour before we could even get in. We found out along the way that someone had been pick pocketed by a Roma (a gypsy from Romania) and we felt sorry for the teary-eyed girl until we heard about the girl who had been pick pocketed several times and had her Italian apartment robbed twice in the same week. It was then, after hearing that story, that my roommates and I felt a little more panicked about the rest of our luggage that was locked in our apartment back in Florence.
I spent the rest of the weekend on various walking tours in order to see Saint Peter’s Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon, the Four-River fountain, the Coliseum, the Trevi fountain (even though it was completely covered in scaffolding and under construction) and the Roman forum. I spent a night with the locals by the river listening to music, drinking wine, and eating fantastic Italian cuisine, and I got to see the pope the next day before we all came back on the smelly subway, and the train, back to Florence.
I spent the following day in Chianti, Italy, after a half hour bus ride through the countryside, and we all went wine tasting with our immediate media class. I’m positive that by the end of the day everyone was at least buzzed or drunk and that no one asked for wine again when we went out for dinner later that night in Florence. But we all couldn’t help but smile drunkenly at the fact that we had gone wine tasting, and sipped aged wines under the beautiful Tuscan sun.