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  • Julia Caldwell

Get on Your Feet!

On this trip, I've really learned the virtue of early rising. By getting up so early we got to see Venice wake up as we went down the canal for the last time to get to the train station.

While the train station may have been like any other one in Italy, it was special to me because it was where my mum took the train over 20 years ago when she traveled through Europe. I loved that purely by happenstance I got to be where she was when she was a young woman, and follow in her footsteps.

The train ride itself was a lovely resting period before we traversed our next city - Florence. Let's just say I was happy to have brought my most comfortable walking shoes for the next part of our day.

First we walked across the city in a tour covering the history of Florence. We stopped every two seconds as history is everywhere here. Everywhere you look there is another statue and another breathtaking historical building. Side note: Our tour guide was hilarious! We were cracking up as she made joke after joke talking about things like the poor historical portrayals of the Medici.

Finally, we climbed the Duomo. For me, there are views and then there are VIEWS. The Duomo has a VIEW. The view from the Duomo is indescribable. I have found so far that in Italy everything is even more beautiful, more romantic, and more magical than any movie or book will tell you, but I'll try. From what I could tell, you could see every single building in all of Florence and beyond. Warm brick roof tops became rolling green hills with castles perched upon them. I was so glad I made it to the top. I don't consider myself someone with a phobia of heights or small spaces, but my chest felt tight the whole way up. I knew however, that I would regret it forever if I didn't get the courage to complete the climb. So because I did, while my feet may ache, I regret nothing about the experience.

I think that's one of my favorite parts about this trip actually, I'm doing all the things I would never have the courage to do in real life. I have sung both in a gondola and an art song in Italian in Venice, and climbed 580+ terrifying steps to see a view so few get to see in their life times. I really can't wait to see what risks I'll take tomorrow :)

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