One thing I love about Italy is how easy it is to travel within the country. You can easily buy tickets for a train and travel wherever you want to go! Figuring out the train system was a little intimidating at first, but after you use it a couple of times it is very easy to navigate. A couple of our friends in our program traveled to different countries while we were there, it is very cheap to do so. My roommate (and travel buddy in one) decided to stay in Italy during our trip since it was so easy and cheap. There are so many places in Italy we wanted to visit and not enough time to visit them all! I definitely added more to my bucket list while I was there.
We had two excursions included in our trip, those included a weekend trip to Venice and Rome. I have always wanted to visit Venice and it was even cooler than I imagined! We took a bus there and had a tour of the city right when we got there. After, we got lunch and explored the city on our own. The small streets of Venice are really easy to get lost in! It is like a maze trying to get around, but there are many beautiful side streets with beautiful views of the canals. We rode in a gondola and it was definitely a highlight of my trip! Our driver was hilarious and it was so neat seeing the city by boat.
Our other included trip was to Rome and it was equally as incredible! The Colosseum and Roman Forum were even cooler than I imagined because of their rich history. My friends and I even got to see the Pope while we were there. We didn’t understand a word he said since his address to the city was all in Italian, but it was still an incredible experience. Vatican City is definitely a must-see if you visit Rome. We also saw the Trevi Fountain, which was beautiful but very crowded.
We had two weekends free during our time in Italy, and during those I visited Lucca and Cinque Terre. Lucca is a really neat town because it is surrounded by a wall! We walked on top of it while we were there and also climbed Guinigi Tower which had an incredible view of the city at the top. The trip we took to Cinque Terre was probably my favorite part! Our hotel had an incredible view and was really close to the beach. There are five different towns in Cinque Terre and we took the train to see them all. Manarola and Corniglia were my two favorite towns. The water is beautiful and the beaches are like nothing you have ever seen. I highly recommend a trip to Cinque Terre!