Italy #1: Gladiator Challenge

We can’t believe it’s been 10 days since we began this journey. It was only last Tuesday when we flew out from JFK but we’ve seen soooo much. Milan, boat rides in Venice, walking up the Leaning tower of Pisa, Gladiator training, Slovenia and so much more!!! While we still have a lot to see, here’s an update of what we’ve been up to over the past two days.

Wednesday:

Hello!! Yesterday was Wednesday, July 3rd. We woke up in our hotel in Tuscany and got ready for the day. We got on the bus and drove about an hour to Florence. I loved the drive because the mountains were so pretty to look at. The first thing we did in Florence was that we went to the Great Synagogue. We had to put on long skirts to cover our knees but I didn’t mind because we were being respectful. The tour guide took us into the main shul, and she explained to us the history of the shul which was very interesting. The shul is BEAUTIFUL and I love all of the details. After the lady explained everything to us, we went upstairs to the museum section and my favorite part was looking at all of the different yads which were so pretty. We also saw the women’s section which was very nice. After the synagogue, we got money for lunch and I went to get pizza with my friends. We got about an hour and 15 minutes for lunch. After we finished lunch, we had some extra time before we had to be back so we went into some boutiques and got cute dresses. 

Next, we went to the Galleria del Academia to see the art. I love art, so I had been looking forward to this all day. Looking and staring at each painting was the highlight of my day. when I turned the corner and saw David, I got even more excited. it was so amazing to see him in real life and not just in a picture. After my friends and I finished looking at all of the art, we went into a leather store and bought purses. Next, we climbed a million stairs up to the top of the duomo. Yes, there were too many stairs but the view was totally worth it!! The walk back was really hot but the most important thing to do was to keep drinking water. Once back on the bus, we had another hour drive back to the hotel.

When we got back, we went to dinner in the hotel and the food was okay but after dinner and before curfew, I hung out with my friends and talked and it was really fun. It was a really great day filled with art and sweat.- Rebecca Rubin (also hi mom and dad love ya)

Thursday

Hi everyone!! Today was the 4th of July and we had an exciting day. We started the day by eating breakfast and packing and headed onto the bus. We drove for about an hour to Pisa! Seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person was incredible. We all took pictures and admired the beautiful tower. Next we climbed all the the way to the top! The view was spectacular and it was so cool to be able to go to such a famous monument. After that, we headed back on the bus for a long ride to Rome. We stopped along the way at a rest stop, ate lunch, got snacks, and got back on the bus. After around 6 hours total on the bus, we finally arrived in Rome! 

First, we went to “Gladiator for a Day” training. It was actually so fun and everyone got super into it. We learned to fight like real gladiators and faced off against each other in “battles to the death”. My favorite part was watching the staff go against some of the the kids. Next, we got back on the bus and headed to the new hotel. It seems very nice! Finally we went to a restaurant for a yummy dinner. We are all looking forward to spending the next few days here in the beautiful city of Rome!Ciao,- Ashley Kanter (p.s. hi mom and dadmiss u guys)

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