Judy and Dave’s Excellent Adventures

Judy (Becker) Bryant shared her reflections on her summer in Europe with us.

As classmates may recall, I taught a 6-week summer course as part of my university’s Study Abroad program in Florence, Italy. We added two weeks on the front end to visit London, Paris, and a couple places in Switzerland.

Sharp-eyed viewers will note that I’m wearing the same shirt in several photos. We packed light with one shared suitcase, so I wore a few outfits in rotation and washed clothes frequently. Nonetheless, we managed to bring home exotic pastas (e.g., some dyed black with squid ink) and bottles of limoncello for our sons.

We had the opportunity to take weekend trips to Rome, Pompeii, Pisa, Venice, and Seina. But mostly we explored some of the amazing museums, cathedrals/churches, and markets of Florence, despite record temperatures.

Favorite museums? The Archaeological Museum and the Galileo Museum. Favorite gelato flavors? Lavender and fig. Favorite meals? Pizza, various dishes with octopus, and pizza. Favorite religious items: shrines to Mary on almost every street and reliquaries in almost every church. Food was remarkably cheap and the produce was flavorful. Trains (including bullet trains) were easy to book and afforded views of fields of sunflowers, terraces with grapes and olives, mountains, and villages with Roman walls and homes in earth tones. Needless to say, we took a huge number of photos.