A Week With My Family in Europe

I am not the type of person to get homesick, but let me tell you, when my family came to visit it was one of the best weeks I’ve had abroad. My mom, aunt, and sister came to visit me in Barcelona the third week of March. With a month left of the program to go, it was great timing. The itinernary was as follows: Barcelona, Florence, Tuscany, Venice, and Rome.

When they all got to Barcelona, of course we did all the touristy things that I have already done including Sagrada Familia, Casa Batillo, el Borne, Las Ramblas, La Bouqeria, and more. La Bouqeria was the highlight for everyone because we all love to eat, cook, and try new things so this was the perfect place for us to spend some time experiencing new foods.

We also hiked Monsterrat where we took a gondola up to the mountain and then walked and climbed a thirty minute trail afterwards. Then, we got to go inside of the church which was absolutely beautiful!

On our last day, I got to pick out everything to show them so I brought them to CEA, Bo de B for lunch, the port, walked around the city, El Nacional, and of course, Opium. Just like me, everyone was obsessed with the chicken sandwiches from Bo de B and this place is somewhere I am going to miss the most eating at.

After a great three days in Barcelona, we flew into Florence. I was so excited to go because a lot of my friends are studying there so I was able to see them. We definitely didn’t get enough time to spend in the small city but we did have amazing pizza, pasta, and gelato of course. My mom loves history so she booked us a three hour walking tour of Florence where we saw The David, Ponte Vecchio and other neat buildings and hidden secrets.

On our second day, we had a private driver take us to Chianti Winery in Tuscany which was great. They served us four differnt types of wine, olive oils, balsamic vinegar, and a light snack. Also, they toured us around the factory and we saw how they produce the wine and some of the history and facts behind the process. On the way back to Florence we stopped at Piazza Michelangelo where we opened a bottle of wine and watched the sunset. It was beautiful site that overlooked the entire city.

The next day we took a train to Venice. There, we didn’t have anything planned except seeing the glass blowing factory in Marano and taking a gandola ride. We mostly just walked around, ate, relaxed, and took a bunch of pictures.

The last stop was Rome! Wow, this city was absolutey HUGE, I had no idea. However, compared to all of the other major cities I’ve been to, I didn’t think there was as much historical sites to see here as expected. We went to the Coliseum, Trevi Fountain, and The Vatican.

Since my mom is the Vice President of Sales for Fendi Timepieces for the Americas, we were fortunate to get a tour of the Fendi Headquarters right there in Rome. It honestly made me appreicate the time, labor, production, and cost of all of the products.

My favorite part of Rome was the five hour cooking class my mom signed us up for! There was twelve people in the group and we all got to evenly participate..not to mention that the chef was so funny and friendly. It was really exciting to learn new preparation and cooking techniques in the kitchen and I am definitely going to use them from now on. The first course was a cooked artichoke in a cream of broccoli, followed by greens, meatballs, handmade pasta, and a limoncello dessert. Since my family wasn’t going to be here to celebrate my birthday, the chef lit a candle for me and the entire group sang me Happy Birthday!

I had such a great week of amazing food, drinks, and entertainment and am so thankful for everything my mom does for me and the opportunities she gives to my family. Thanks to my mom, aunt, and sister for a great week! Ciao, see you back in America.

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