Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence - Penn State Altoona

Blogs: Suzanne Lesher

Friday, March 14, 2014

Today was early, exhausting, and confusing, to say the least! We went to the Dublin Airport at the bright and shiny hour of 5am to catch our connection flight in London before heading to Milan. Once in London, we were delayed a few hours due to weather conditions. I personally didn't mind the delay. It gave me the chance to collect myself, contact some friends with the airport wifi, spend some time to mediate to keep my head level, and of course update my social media sites! A group of us spent some time exchanging photos and reminiscing about our incredible time in Ireland.

Once on the plane to Italy, we were able to settle in and relax for the 2+ hour flight to Florence. What happened next was something I had only dreamed of ever becoming a reality for me. I looked out the window and all I saw were miles of snowy mountains and blue skies. I laid my eyes on the Swiss Alps for the very first time. From my cramped middle seat, I stared out the window in complete amazement and awe over the surrealism of the moment and how I never thought I would be able to experience something so breathtaking from an airplane.

We landed and went on our way to the hotel. Bianca, our guide from Classport, told us about our plans for that evening after we had the chance to settle in. We had dinner at The Club House, a local restaurant, and enjoyed my first plate of authentic Italian pasta. I was in heaven! Afterwards, we walked as a group to see the sites of Florence and to experience the city right away.

Bianca didn't tell us exactly what we were going to see, but I'm sure glad she didn't. Turning the corner to see the incredibly remarkable Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral made me stop in my tracks and hold my breath. For a split second, it felt like the world stopped spinning, the people in the streets stopped making a sound, and all I could see was the cathedral. The statues and extravagant architecture along with the all around atmosphere of the area outside the church was something out of a novel. I was star struck.

We took some group photos (hopefully someone posts one on their blogs for today!!) and took in the moment to appreciate where we were. We continued to walk around and take more photos before inevitably and unfortunately having to turn into the hotel for the night. After an exhausting day of traveling and site seeing, I couldn't have asked for a better way to start off our stay in Italy! :)

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