Photos taken by Madeline Warren (University of Wisconsin- Madison), Student Correspondent for CET Florence, Spring 2023
Spring has sprung in Florence! The weather has been amazing. The wisteria seen here can be found all over the city. It surely is a blessing to be here at such a beautiful time of the year.
CET planned yet another amazing activity for us— rafting along the Arno River! We rafted beneath the Ponte Vecchio and Santa Trinita and even had a race between the rafts- I would love to say that my raft won, but it would be more honest to say it was a tie. The fourth photo shows me (far left) with two good friends in the program as we rafted down the river.
The views from the Boboli Gardens are absolutely incredible. On our last day of classes, I went with my UW course to explore them as well as the Pitti Palace. While it’s sad to think that our time is coming to an end, knowing that I could spend my time in places as beautiful as this has been beyond worth it.
For my UW course, we go on field trips every Thursday. This past week, we saw the Ospedale degli Innocenti, or the Hospital of the Innocents. It was incredible seeing all the artifacts and original records of the orphaned children living there centuries ago. After class, our UW professor treated us to coffee on the rooftop café with stunning views of the Duomo and the Florence Synagogue.
Another UW class activity was paper marbling. This practice of coloring paper dates back centuries, and there are various techniques that we were able to try. We each picked our own colors, and with the help of the store owner, we marbled our own paper that we could take home!
I am going to miss walking past the Duomo every day. I snapped this picture as the sun was setting so I could preserve the memory of this magnificent cathedral. Months ago, when I first arrived, I was amazed by the sheer size of it, and that feeling hasn’t gone away.
Seeing the David for the first time was much like seeing the Duomo. I was amazed by the size of it and how it immediately captured everyone’s attention upon first entering the room. My Renaissance art history professor took us to the Accademia Gallery to show us this piece done by Michelangelo. You truly cannot go to Florence without seeing this masterpiece!
One of my favorite memories I have made while being here was being able to go to a Fiorentina soccer game organized by CET. We had a great time joining in the chants that the crowd was yelling and eating popcorn and hotdogs. Despite our one-point loss, it was truly a great time.
Pictured here is another CET-organized activity in which we went to a garden and made our own tea! The owner here showed us the many types of plants he grows. We were then sent with tea bags to go throughout the garden and pick whichever blend of tea leaves we wanted. The tea was delicious.
Our final CET activity of the semester was very bittersweet. It was one of my favorite activities we were able to do. We hiked two miles up to a castle along the Tuscan hills, where we stopped to take pictures. I’m pictured on the right along with my close friends- don’t mind our red faces; it was very warm!
After the hike, we had an aperitivo served to us. An aperitivo is an Italian tradition in which you spend time with friends and family and enjoy small appetizers such as bruschetta or focaccia bread. It was a very satisfying meal after our long hike! Shoutout to Niccolo and Gabriele for planning such amazing activities this entire semester.