Ciao bellas!! Another week down and I'm still LOVING life in Rome. Yep, don't you worry, the pasta, gelato and wine haven't gotten old yet, for those who were worried it would. Even Florence fulfilled Italy's promise for a "life full of magic and pasta" (and I may or may not have this quote hanging in my room in Madison, some inspirational stuff I tell ya). We have also participated in our first (and hopefully not last) wine tour! Although the all too curvy and bumpy bus ride through the dark vineyards could have been more pleasant, learning about the journey from grape to bottle was riveting stuff (we even stayed in on a Saturday night to watch a documentary on SOMs- tbd if this is the career path for us).
Even between the weekend trips, we are still learning our way around ~home sweet Rome~ and continuously are impressed with what it has to offer. One of our new favorite lunch spots- Donkey Punch. Just along the river in the hip neighborhood of Trastevere, the colorful menu, cheap prices, and fresh meat (along with the free Sprite for students- Maren's favorite part about the place I think), the popular sandwich joint is definitely one to be revisited- cue punch card stamps for the win! (Also pictured from the same day, Maren's first iced coffee in which she admitted that she may have even enjoyed it!!!! YUUUUGE progress people!!)
Besides continuing to explore Rome... our first weekend trip was quite the success!! Firenze was BELLISSIMA, and these pictures hardly do it justice. Highlights include climbing the Bell Tower to have quite the up-close and personal view of the Duomo (the trek up will go unspoken of due to the narrow, steep, concrete staircases and poor health of some group members that morning) but hey, we made it!! Florence is known for the breathtaking view from the Ponte Vecchio (honestly feels like Michelangelo painted the landscape himself) and of course the leather. The streets smell like the inside of a brand new jacket and you could spend close to a small fortune on one of your own, if convinced...(cough cough Lauren, HBD girlfriend, your parents really do love you)