Select Study Abroad & ADPi: Week Three in Florence!

This week was a doozy, in the best of ways. Where do we even begin? First, Venice, the floating city. Arguably the most magical place on earth, in our humble opinions, and it did not disappoint. We saw the gorgeous Byzantine Basilica of San Marco (where many of us were required to purchase extra “coverage” to get in), a glass blowing demonstration, WE WENT ON GONDOLA RIDES(!!), visited the Venetian Island of Burano (aka, candy land of Italy) and Murano, visited the gorgeous church known as the Frari and the Jewish Ghetto (ok, and maybe did a little shopping too). Then this week since we thought, hey, we’re on a roll, we saw the gorgeous sculptures by Michelangelo in the Medici chapel, ogled some amazing gowns in the Costume Gallery in the Pitti Palace, got in on a killer jewelry demonstration, went to most famous museum in Florence (also in Italy, and maybe even the world), the Uffizi, and even caught Italy’s Word Cup game. Up next? Cinqueterre, but that will have to wait until next week… Enjoy!Venetian_FansSan_marco_veniceSan_Marco_shawlsGlass_blowing_demoVenice_backdropwe_love_venice_2we_love_venezia_2We_love_venice_!We_love_veneziaGondola_rideGondola_fansGondola_princessesADPi_veniceVenice_via_gondolaGondola_veniceBurano_veniceBurano_islandVenice_islandsBridge_power_pointJewish_ghettoJewish_ghetto_veniceMichelangelo_medici_chapelPalazzo_pittiJewelry_demo2Cesarino_dinnerUffizi_gallerybirth_of_venusForza_azzuriItaly_game

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Select Study Abroad & ADPi: Visiting the Ronald McDonald House in Florence

RMHC_Firenze_2014_27Last Tuesday we made a special visit to the Ronald McDonald House here in Florence, Alpha Delta Pi’s philanthropic partner since 1979. The house, just over one year old, is the most recent addition to the Italian case Ronald, including two in Rome, one in Brescia, and one in Puglia, inaugurated between 2007 and 2013. When we talked about how we could be of assistance to this particular house, we thought, seeing as we’re in Florence–a name which originates from a latin word meaning “flowering”–a garden just seemed like the right choice. So we came to give the house a little life, leave our mark, and spread some ADPi love across an ocean. It turned into an all day affiar, which, in 95-degree weather, included a little water fight and lots of sunscreen. In the end, we were able to plant a variety of new plants, including some very special flowers under the house’s olive tree called “Bocca de Leone,” which means “Mouth of the Lion” in honor of Alpha Delta Pi’s mascot Alphie the lion. The final touch, perhaps my favorite part, was a series of garden markers made from corks that have inspirational and positive words in both English and Italian. Walking through the garden we left, we will literally lift spirits (and perhaps teach someone a little English!). Speranza. Hope. Continue reading…

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Select Study Abroad & ADPi: Week two in Florence!

Rome_diamondsWeek two is coming to a close and we are looking forward to our weekend in Venice ahead! However, we are blown away, once again, at how much we were able to do in just seven days: Rome – three days of all the favorites from the Sistine Ceiling to the Colosseum and from Saint Peter’s Basilica to delicious Roman cuisine, a cooking class where we ate FOUR courses focused around different Italian cheeses (the fourth being tiramisu, which is made with mascarpone, a kind of sweet Italian cheese made from cream), we spent some time with the David (confirmed, he is NOT overrated), visited with one of the city’s oldest and most beloved shoes-makers extraordinaire, and watched a traditional Italian paper making demonstration. Of course, best of all was our visit to the Ronald McDonald house here in Florence, which, since we are already bursting at the seams this week, will have to wait to get its very own blog post (coming soon!).
Enjoy these highlights from week two: Continue reading…

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Select Study Abroad & ADPi: Week one in Florence!

It has officially been one week since these amazing ADPi sisters arrived and we have done…well…a lot. We took one week and packed in two weeks worth of activities. It makes us infinitely happy to say that all our students went to their first day of class having already wandered vineyards in Tuscany, posed with leaning tower in Pisa, ridden bikes in Lucca, made some new friends, hiked to Piazzale Michelangelo and the church of San Minato al Monte, climbed the dome of Florence’s cathedral AND the campanile (bell tower), photo bombed an engagement, eaten gelato at least twice (in most cases three or four times), tasted real Italian pasta, enjoyed some authentic Italian hospitality and even (we think) got some sleep. A better first week there has never (ever) been. Proof featured below:
Tuscany_pisa_2014_03 Continue reading…

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Tips & Tricks for a day in Cinque Terre

Italy_coastlineSummer is around the corner and some of you are beginning to plan your trips to Italy. Many of my friends and family that come to visit during the summer months usually have one thing in mind: the beach. Excellent plan. While there is lots of “coastline” to choose from in Italy, Cinque Terre (chink-way ter-re), or the five earths (aka towns), has risen to the top of the popular spots for tourists. This is an especially great escape from Florence (which can be very hot during the summer) and can easily be done in a day!

Recently, while writing to a friend who is planning just such a day trip, I was trying to remember all the ins and outs and I realized that there were maybe a few more than the average person can just “pick up,” especially if the Italian is limited. So I thought, why not make it easy (for me and for others) and put it all in one place. Below you will find all the need-to-know info from how to get there for less to what you can skip to save time and from where to hike to where not to. Of course we’ll tackle the food, I mean, the cuisine is worth the trip in itself, but we’ll also be sure you know how to make it home without getting stranded there (unless that is part of the plan). Enjoy and see you there this summer!
Continue reading…

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