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Greetings! By Cole Ellertson June 9, 2010

Posted by aellertson3 in Travel Log.
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Guten tag! And in the words of the great Miller Templeton, “Good morning sports fans!” I am in Vienna, Austria arriving yesterday after a long but beautifully scenic trip through the mountains of Northern Italy. My Oxford group has now left the marvelous country of Italy after residing within the cities of Florence, Venice and Rome and visiting the town’s of Sienna and Padua.

Our journey began after flying  into Rome and busing to Florence, where the quaint architecture of this urban environment, its central river, and of course the marvelous Duomo of Florence (designed by the great Brunelleschi) 😉 created a truly captivating scene. The highlights of Florence for me included the great Italian food, running along the bridges over the river in the afternoon, climbing at sunset to the Piaza de Michelangelo for some amazing sunset photographs, and hearing about the rich heritage in art and music engendered here.

To be studying art and architecture and the music of European composers in such a way, and coming face to face with some of the world’s most famous masterpieces again and again was an experience which was only heightened by my arrival in Rome shortly after. Here, between the old world ruins of the Romans such as the Pantheon, the Colosseum, and the remains of ancient forums and the treasures of the Vatican’s High Renaissance masters, there was never a shortage of sights to see and pictures to take. I particularly enjoyed the Colosseum where education and fun were combined as my friends and I recreated with our bodies the great Renaissance sculptures on an empty pedestal.

However my favorite city to date is certainly Venice. The beauty of the place in astounding, and walking through the winding alleys, getting lost in the city, or taking a water taxi through the canals to St. Mark’s Square, as I did one day, were memories I’ll carry with me forever. This on top of a trip to the island of Murano, to see the famous glass blowing in action really topped of the trip. In Venice the food was incredible, the pizza superb, the Vivaldi concert we attended awe inspiring, and the experience unforgettable. I will definitely miss the city and I long to go back. Now we are in Vienna, facing the somewhat more challenging task of German communication, where I am about to embark on my first day after morning class to explore the city. To my fellow travelers best of luck and to you all I say, Auf Wiedersehen!

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