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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

From Siena to Cinq Terre – Florence Pre-College Enrichment

From Siena to Cinq Terre - Florence Pre-College Enrichment

Eppur, si muove!

By Thursday and Friday each student had started to notice small idiosyncrasies about the city of Florence, and the students’ free time was filled with curiosity and self-discovery. The Digital Photography was actively working on shooting and editing photographs related to fashion, and some students, like AnneMarie, have even started a photo blog on Tumblr where they post their top photographs. Across town, Cooking has learned how to whip up panzanella e bruschetta al pomodoro, and journeyed through a bakery tour where they tasted different types of breads and pastries.

For many individuals, Friday was one of the highlights of the program for multiple reasons. In the morning everyone went to see Michelangelo’s Statue of David at the museum, Galleria de Academia. Our museum and city tour leader, Marchello, was quite a vibrant character and knew tons of information about Florence’s history and the families that once ruled the streets. Who knew that Michelangelo died the same year Galileo was born? And who knew that da Vinci and Michelangelo hated each other, but created the Mona Lisa and the David mere blocks from each other at the same time? Trust us, Marchello is a walking encyclopedia and functions like the Florentine library with feet.

PCE Florence in Tuscany

Further, Friday evening’s energy was cosmic as the students dressed-to-impress for Space Electronic disco, which is a prominent discoteca. After a delicioso group dinner at ZaZa’s, we all went to go strut our moves on the giant dance floor. As we walked into the disco, the music surged through our bodies and the beating bass intensified the atmosphere.  Many students displayed some stellar dance moves. It was apparent that everyone was having fun, and there was not a lugubrious student in sight.

After a quiet morning at the Residence, we all boarded the bus to the historic town of Siena for a day of exploration. Once in Siena, the students embarked on a photo scavenger hunt and had to navigate themselves through the city to seven landmarks and plazas. As the students traversed the hilly streets, they were able to see remnants of the Palio di Siena, which is a biyearly horse race between ten of the original city wards. Imani, Emily, and Meagan were the winners of our challenge and all groups came back with hilarious photos!

A little later in the afternoon, Darren, Emily, Ethan, Hannah, Sam, James, and Imani, took on a challenge and climbed the Torre de Magnia in the Piazza del Campo, and witnessed spectacular Tuscan views from the top of the bell tower. Surrounding Siena, rolling hills create picturesque settings and the images that the students captured are impeccable. That evening, all the students found superb restaurants and shared stories of the wonders within Siena.

PCE Florence in Tuscany

The following day was just as exciting, and the students hiked and discovered the marvels of Cinque Terre. A large group of students hiked from Vernazza to Montorosso al Mare, and were lauded for their tenacity. Callie and other students noted that they weren’t quite sure how difficult the hike was going to be to Montorosso al Mare. However, after they completed the undulated and rugged terrain, they were very proud of what they had accomplished because it was such a hard trek.

Like in Siena, many students captured scenic shots that illustrate the beauty of the Italian Riviera and Cinque Terre’s five villages. Throughout the day, many students relished moments of relaxing on the beach, and some even took advantage of a water taxi that transported them to-and-from the five villages.

We are all very excited for the upcoming week! We have new recipes to cook, new photos to shoot, new community service goals, and more to learn about Italian culture.

For now, tutto é bene che riesce bene!

The Westcoast Blogger

If you think this sounds like fun, learn more about joining one of our 21-day or 28-day student trips to gain credit and pre-university enrichment with classes at college in Florence, Italy.