Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Wrapping up

And now, five weeks and 3 days from the day I stepped foot on Italian soil, I’m here doing my last load of laundry. It is rather sad to say that today and tomorrow will be the last of my time spent here in the wonderful Castiglion Fiorentino. I remember applying for this study abroad program as well as the acceptance email and I never thought I’d consider this place home to me; but here I am, thinking of how sad I’ll be to leave Santa Chiara.

Now that the sad stuff has been said, I wanted my last blog post to be about my amazing weekend I just came back from. I couldn’t have thought of a better way to end my study abroad program than to be in the Dolomite Mountains. Italy has continued to amaze me from the day that I got here until I am getting ready to leave. Just the other week, I was on the beaches and hiking some trails overlooking the ocean in Cinque Terre. Sitting out in the hot sun, enjoying the waves and sand. Then I got to end my time here in Italy 6,000 feet above sea level while we hiked the snowcapped mountains in the Dolomites. It was awesome to be in two completely different terrains; hot and sunny with the beach as my playground, the flowers very tropical to go along with some great seafood followed by putting on as many layers as I could to keep warm with the snow around. It wasn’t that unbearable but there were some times where we thought of turning back because our fingers were going a bit numb. I suppose we also weren’t rightfully dressed for the weather after we got our fair share of looks from the locals thinking, “These kids are a bit crazy.” I just embraced being THAT American one more time. I had never been in an environment like that of the Dolomites before and I just could not get enough of the moss covered rocks and trees, pines all over the ground, or how we literally walked through a cloud on our hike up one of the mountains on the first day.

The second day completely blew the first day out of the water with the amazing views and the snow (I have never really been around any sort of snow coming from south Texas). My buddy Nick and I took a ski lift up to the top of one of the mountains early in the morning. Since it was still rather early and the sun wasn’t out yet, the snow was still very present in some areas. As the day continued it started to melt away but not before I could make a small snowman. I named him Mr. Dolomities. Other than experiencing completely different horticulture that we had seen in Italy so far, we got to experience a different culture as well. I sparked up a conversation with this lady on the bus ride there and she explained to me that most of the people there were Italian by nationality but German by culture. The residents spoke both languages but the towns we were in all had a German feel to them with the building structures. So not only did we see another part of Italy that was different from the rest, we got to see ‘Little Germany’ as well. Again, Italy always had something up its sleeve that kept us amazed. This entire summer has just kept me wanting to come back for more one day and I am so excited to have the opportunity to make it back here to see more. I love Italia!

Until next time, Ciao! Peace, Love, & Moe. Go USA!

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