Three cities in two weeks: Why Italy has stolen my heart and made it its own

I guess what they say is true, you can fall in love when you’re twenty two. These two weeks are coming to a close and reflecting back on this past weekend literally is making me smile as I type this. Who knew I could have so much fun with people I have never met in cities I have never been to.

Let’s start with Saturday, our day trip to Ravenna. We visited the most beautiful mosaics at the Basilica of San Vitale, Opera Di Religione Della Diocesi Di Ravenna, and Sant’Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna. I am positive I have never experienced anything like it. The images were overwhelmingly beautiful especially with the sunshine beaming in from outside revealing all of the color and detail of the mosaic. The experience was very soulful and humbling, I could tell I wasn’t the only one feeling that way because when we all walked in, all we could say was, “Wow.” It was simply powerful. There aren’t many words to describe such imagery, so I will just post some pictures.

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After eating the best lunch I think I have had thus far, we then went to Dante’s tomb. For all of us English majors, or our one medieval history (Hi, roomie!), this was obviously like going to Disney world. Nothing like seeing a legend and a piece of his history; and taking selfies with his tombstone.

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And, just to add a great little tidbit of information, the fish in the church that lived underground in their own little cave was just too good not to post. Just shows how amazing Ravenna is, full of hidden gems! 

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Sunday was supposed to be our day off but we were all feeling extremely adventurous so we went off to Venice. The giddiness and pure happiness that Venice provides is a little ridiculous. I have never fallen in love with a city the way I have fallen in love with Venice, and Bostonians have a lot of pride, but I definitely foresee myself going back to that magical place (hoping it doesn’t sink before my honeymoon, if I ever get married.) The sights, the wine, and everything about Venice (the shopping and the gelato, especially) has put the cherry on top of the already very amazing cake.

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And finally, Monday morning. We started off with a lecture by the very wonderful and engaging Dr. L. Iannacci about the juridical books from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages. The common thread between the format of glosses and the present day hyperlink and footnote was so interesting to me. We have come such a long way in technology but I never realized the way we have transformed note taking from manuscripts to the formatting of textbooks and note taking today.

Then, after my very expensive shopping lunch break, we visited the Archivio Storica of the University of Bologna. The manuscripts and letters we saw were so well preserved and interesting. They each had such an incredible story and who knew we would have a letter from Cambridge, that was pretty awesome (there’s the Bostonian pride I was talking about earlier). The “scrapbooks” were also exciting to see because linking students from then to now, not much has changed. The fraternities are still very prevalent, the social events held during college, and the general bond students have to each other are still the same. I think that is incredible that we still connect (even if it is through Facebook or FaceTime, since that’s just how I talked to my boyfriend before writing this.)

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I have never felt so humbled in all of my life. I feel so grateful to be a part of this experience with all of these wonderful mentors and fellow students. I am the youngest one here so I was a little intimidated, knowing I would be so learning so much with people who already know so much, and I feel nothing but grateful to be surrounded by such beautiful, intellectual human beings. So, thank you to everyone for being amazing and talented people.

Now, I am going to close this very long post with just a few awfully cute/needed to be posted pictures of our professors: 

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