Photos by Emilee Zhang, (Brandeis University) Student Correspondent Brandeis Midyear at CET Florence, Fall 2018 When I found out the CET activity for this particular week involved stairs, I was not convinced that the 463 step climb up the Duomo dome was worth it. I was completely wrong. The view is remarkable, overseeing all of Florence. Our activity was perfectly timed in the evening: we arrived at the top of the dome exactly as the sun began to set, leaving a warm orange hue over the city. With my sights set on traveling on the weekends, I haven’t been able to explore as much of Florence as I would have liked. The Florence Sketchbook class is a perfect opportunity for us to not only draw from real life, but also discover so many scenic areas in Florence. The Bardini Garden gives us a beautiful view overlooking Florence, with the unmistakable dome standing out against all of the terracotta tiled roofs. In my search for the a vintage market going on this particular weekend, me and a couple and other Brandeis students happened upon this passageway under the street, covered in beautiful street art. Even throughout the entire city, there is definitely no shortage of seeing people expressing their art. The Medici Chapels and San Lorenzo Church are probably some of the most fascinating places I’ve visited while in Florence. In addition to all of the Medicis buried in the chapel, they also have this relic collection of what seems to be extravagant vases. However, if you look closely, incorporated into each piece is a real bone, presumably bones from long dead saints. While some people might think it’s grisly to visit crypts, I find this one especially to be fascinating. The center of the picture is where Cosimo the Elder is buried, and just a few paces away is where Donatello is buried. Yes, we were in a place where dead people were buried, but at the same time, we were also literally a few feet away from some of the most important figures in history. Our fall break spanned 10 days, leaving me with the difficult choice of deciding how many countries I wanted to visit, and where I wanted to visit. For someone who has never been in Europe before joining this program, Paris was an obvious first choice. I simply had to see the Louvre and all of the art inside. Also, this gave me a chance to brush up on my rusty French. What is a trip to Paris without the iconic Eiffel Tower? Although the temperature may have dropped to 14 Celsius the entire time we were in France, the view was worth it. My roommate and I met up with some other Brandeis students in the program while in Paris, and found yet another iconic landmark of Paris: L’Arc de Triomphe. It seems like the traveling just never stops. Soon after returning from fall break, I quickly found myself away again. This time, my destination was Prague, and both my friend and I made our contributions to the John Lennon wall.