Our class went to Rome this past weekend! We had a guided tour of the ancient forum, which has been recently exposed through excavation. There are scattered bits of marble and other stone that were once the walls and foundations of ancient buildings. The ground level has risen considerably since Julius Caesar and Agustin walked these streets. We also saw the basilica of Saint Peter and the adjoining Vatican musuem. We took a guided tour underneath the basilica as well in the necropolis, an ancient burial ground. It was covered up by Constantine in order to build the basilica on top of Saint Peter’s grave.   We saw the exposed bones of Saint Peter, or at least that’s what some people think- historians are still debating.  


St. Peter’s       

Inside the pantheon!      






In Florence there is one major cathedral that towers over the city. It has an enormous dome that was an architectural wonder in its day, and is still an architectural mystery today. The dome was so enormous and high that it would have been more expensive to build the scaffolding to support it than the cost of the actual done itself, so it sat empty for years until Brunelleschi somehow came up with a plan to build it. The inside of the dome is magnificently painted, and the outside is high and has a fantastic 360 degree view of the city. Here is what we saw after climbing to the top! My house is in the second picture. I’m right in the center of the city! Continue reading



On Easter (AKA Pascoa), our wonderful program director Jodi, invited us into the Italian tradition of leaving the city on Easter Monday. We went to Fiesole, which was originally an Etruscan town. This is unusual for Italian cities because most were founded by Romans. Florence itself was founded by Roman soldiers as payment for their service. In Fiesole we saw the ruins of an Etruscan temple, and a roman temple which had been built on top of it. We also saw the remains of some Roman baths. The view overlooked they city of Florence on one side, and beautiful hills on the opposite.  AKA: a recipe for a beautiful view! Continue reading



I arrived in Florence after spring break in Spain for a week. We had some free time to explore on our own, then we met as a group and had a delicious three course meal and gelato!  I thought that was quite a treat, but apparently it is standard! All dinners here are three courses, usually starting with pasta, then eating meat dish plus dessert. That’s quite a change for me! Our host mother, Signora Silvia, serves us dinner at 8, so we have plenty of time to work up an appetite!  Continue reading


Welcome to Paris

ACM is giving us two free weekends where we are encouraged to travel! For my first trip I decided to go to Paris with Anna! We hopped on a coach headed from London to Paris on Thursday evening. Friday morning we arrived smelly and exhausted, but in Paris!!! We went to the Louvre during the day (where we received free entry as students). It was rainy, which made it a perfect day to stay inside.IMG_0837

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We journeyed north to the home of Shakespeare: Stratford upon Avon! Thanks to a “landslip” we had an altered route involving at least three trains and a bus. We arrived on B&B row, where our group of 19 had reserved rooms at three different B&B’s. Sam, Anna, Kaylie, and I stayed at The Hathaways, named in honor of the Hathaway family, whose eldest daughter married Shakespeare (quite the scandalous relationship too! They were the talk of the town at their shotgun wedding!) Continue reading