Photos by Nicole Cox, (Vanderbilt University) Student Correspondent CET Florence, Spring 2019 For CET’s program trip, we went to Rome for the weekend. We got to see the most important sites on guided tours, my personal favorite tour being of the Colosseum. It was fun to learn about the history while strolling through the magnificent amphitheater. The Vatican was, of course, stunningly beautiful. The artwork was insanely gorgeous and intricate, and I spent the entire tour in complete awe of the vivid colors. Even in the off-season it was filled with too many tourists for my liking, but I was still excited to see firsthand how beautiful the Vatican was. Right near our hotel in Rome was Piazza Navona, a lovely piazza filled with fountains and surrounded by dozens of restaurants and stores. We had a great central location in Rome that made it easy to explore the city by foot. Rome is definitely larger and more touristy than Florence, but it made for an unforgettable weekend trip! The fabulous Giada, our Student Life and Services Coordinator, planned a very fun trip to Viareggio to see the Carnevale. It was unfortunately quite chilly, but it was still one of my favorite experiences because of the happy vibe and contagious enthusiasm. This photo is of one particularly passionate performer, who was happy to dance for my camera. Back in Florence! It was such an incredibly beautiful day that I decided to go for a walk around the city before heading to a cultural talk at our local library for Black History Month Florence. I usually stroll around with the intent of staying off my phone, but Florence is often so gorgeous that I can’t help but take out my phone to take a photo. For my international marketing class, we went to Gucci Garden to learn more about Gucci’s marketing strategies. I love how so many of our classes go on trips around the city so that we can apply concepts to various local companies. It’s a great way to both immerse yourself in the culture of Florence, while also increasing your comprehension in your classes. For another class, Wine Studies, our first written assignment involved going to a local Enoteca and observing the wine culture. This was a fun way to understand firsthand how wine (in moderation) is such a big part of the culture, and we got to sip on a lovely glass of Sauvignon while doing so. My roommate and I decided to do a daytrip to Siena to explore the area, as well as meet up with our friends in the CET Siena program. Our first stop was Siena’s Duomo, smaller than Florence’s but also incredibly beautiful. We randomly stumbled upon this little piece of art on the street in Siena. Our experience the entire day was a lot of wandering and happening upon beautiful and unique sights, from statues to viewpoints to artwork. Siena has this magical way of feeling both small and large at the same time. To get the best views of Siena, we climbed a couple very narrow spiral staircases by the Duomo. It was a little claustrophobia inducing, but it was definitely worth the effort for the incredible views in all directions.