Tuesday, April 16, 2013

First Weekend of April: 5-7th

The weekend of April 5th through 7th was a busy one for me. Friday the 5th I went to Siena with my classmates at SRISA, Saturday the 6th I was in Venice with my good friend, Sarah, and on Sunday the 7th I took part in the Firenze-Vivicitta 10k run.

Siena: We all met up at the school bright and early for our bus ride to Siena. The weather wasn't nice for our trip to Siena. It rained pretty much all day and if it wasn't raining it was windy and cold. When we got to Siena the first thing we did was met up with our tour guide we were running late so we in a hurry through the tours. The first place we toured was the Basilica of San Domenico. The tour of the basilica didn't last long because we were late for the next building we went to. I don't remember what it was called but there were a TON of old, old books stored away there. We also got a great view of the Piazza del Campo, where we headed next. After we walked through the Piazza we went to the Cathedral in Siena. It is one of my favorites because of all the detail and decoration. It's pretty crazy. My friend, Olivia, and I went and got HUGE slices of pizza for lunch after our tour. After Pizza, since it was so darn cold out we went to a cafe and got coffee and hot chocolates. We stayed there for about an hour since it was nice and warm, we had plenty to talk about as well. After that we walked around some more and made a few other stops in shops and other cafes. It was a pretty cold and windy day so when it was time to go back to Florence we were all ready.

Venice: I went to Venice through Florence for Fun with my friend, Sarah. Everyone who was going to Venice through Florence for Fun met at the Santa Maria Novella train station where we got on our private bus. We watched the Italian Job with Johnny Depp on the ride to Venice. We actually had to take a train to Venice which was pretty cool and sad to admit my first train ride since being here. Shame on me, I know. Anyways, we got into Venice and we took a boat ride down the grand canal into the center of Venice, the Piazza San Marco. The first thing we did when we got there was go straight to the glass blowing demonstration. Venice is well-known for it's venetian glass. It was so incredible how fast this guy who did the demo, made this one glass horse. It literally took him maybe two minutes. So much talent. I wish I could have afforded to buy something for my family. It was absolutely beautiful! We had our free time for lunch and exploring after the demo so Sarah and I, along with a girl we met named Alejandra went and got some sandwiches. When we all met back up at the Piazza dei Leoncini we toured more of Venice, crossing the many bridges there are in the city. After some time of walking we got on the gondola and went for a ride. It was so amazing. I can't even explain to you have wonderful it was. There's so much action in the Piazza San Marco but as soon as you get in the gondola it is absolutely peace and quiet. It was so relaxing and beautiful. I think I could live in Venice ( I say this for every new place I see). I suppose the flooding would get old fast though. We had some more free time to shop around and then it was back to Florence for us.

Firenze-Vivicitta 10k: Sunday I woke up bright and early to prepare myself for the Firenze-Vivicitta 10k. I originally wanted to do the half marathon but you need some medical certificate, which could be obtained by simply getting a physical but I didn't want to go through the trouble of having to get that done here in Italy. I wish I could have ran my first ever half here though, but oh well. I woke up early and headed to Santa Croce where the start of the race was and picked up my registration number and free t-shirt. I went back home to drop off the free shirt before the race because I was planning on wearing my UW-Superior XC uniform. I don't think anyone knows how much it killed me to not compete this spring, but on the other hand I have enjoyed every moment here. The 10k runners were not being timed or anything so we all started with the half marathon runners. There were so many runners! It took me at least a minute and a half to even get over the start line! Once we got going I felt great. We ran by a few big things in Florence like the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio, so we all got another tour of the city. My finish felt nice until I realized I cross the half marathon finish like instead of the 10k finish. HA! It really didn't matter though because I wasn't being timed or anything and the finishes were right beside each other. The only difference was that people were crowded around the half finish instead of the 10k. So everyone clearly saw the dumb American in bright yellow. Ohhhh boy, haha. The snacks after the race were so good. I want to bring that back to America! They had strawberry smoothies, fresh fruit, EVOO on bruscetta, and more!! So good! The rest of my Sunday consisted of thinking of my photography project and how I was going to start it. I also got a head start on my paper for Italian Renaissance.

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