Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bikes, Football, and Cinque Terre

The 2013 UCI Road World Championships took place in Tuscany this past week, where cyclists from over 75 nations came to compete in varies events for men, women, and junior competitors.

Thursday night at Teatro Verdi, a group of students from the university went to watch the “Alto Sui Pedali”, an orchestral performance matched to video of various UCI Road World Championships, which have taken place in Italy. The Orchestra della Toscana preformed the conducted by Cristian Carrara. It was quite the experience.

Maddie, Mary, and I at the Symphony

Some talented musicians

Friday we were also able to go watch the race and see some of the bikers come though the Piazza del Duomo where they would turn a corner and ride straight towards the Baptistery and, of course, the Duomo.

Faster, faster, faster! 

View of the Baptistery and Duomo

On Saturday, Maddie, Jenn, and I hoped on a train at the Santa Maria Novella train station at 6:01am to head to Cinque Terre. 

Jenn met a new friend :)

Cinque Terre is a collection of five small towns along the coast of the Liguria region of Italy. They are known for their beautiful landscapes along the rugged coastline of the Italian Riviera. Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare are the five towns that make up Cinque Terre.

View of Manarolo from Corniglia

Corniglia was the first town that we stopped in. We climbed the 365 steps—the locals say that there is a step for every day of the year—that lead from the train station into the town, where we admired the views and ran into a few friends.

Cinque Terre

Myself and some GIF students exploring the towns

Next we headed to Monterosso Al Mare. After a quick lunch and some espresso, we decided to head down towards the water. I took a quick nap and then decided to float for a bit in the salty waters.

Un caffè correcto, por favore

The beach...the rocky beach

Maddie and I swimming in the deep blue sea

After swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, Maddie, Jenn, and I walked around the town and went to explore. During our exploration we stumbled across a few of the shops and couldn’t help but “window shop”.

Maddie, myself, and Jenn

Too cute...maybe I should keep him

Once the sun had got to us, we decided it was good time to head over to Riomaggiore to enjoy some the Cinque Terre’s best gelato. On the train over to the town we meet a girl who is also studying abroad in Rome. Her mom was out visiting and they were spending the weekend in Cinque Terre. After talking for a bit we found out that her best friends son just graduated high school with my brother. It’s such a small world.

I so loved Cinque Terre! It’s a place that takes you back to a time where lives are not lived according to schedules, but rather according to the lure of the Mediterranean.


After a wonderful weekend exploring some of Italy’s beautiful towns, it was time to hit the books and begin a new week of classes. Mondays have gained a bad rep, but in Florence Monday meant there would be a football game (aka soccer in the US).

Sam and I are pumped for the game

...and so is everyone else!

Dressed in our best purple and white, some of the students at GIF went to go cheer on the Fiorentina! Unfortunately in the game ended with a 2-2 tie against Parma. Although the ending was not ideal for the fans of the Fiorentina, the energy of the crowd throughout the entire game was insane and invigorating! It was a blast! 

Score! Fiorentina Score!

A wonderful Monday night

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