Florence: Day 1


Friday morning we woke up and took the high-speed train from Rome to Florence.  In only an hour and a half, we were standing at the Santa Maria station in Florence.  After arriving, we checked into our apartment.  Rather than stay in a hostel this trip, we decided to rent an apartment through  Having never used before, we weren’t really sure what we were getting ourselves into.  A little hesitant, we opened the door and found ourselves standing in a beautiful loft apartment.  The frescoed ceiling and queen size beds were nothing like the hostels we had been living in.  More importantly, we only five minutes from the Duomo!   

After quickly unpacking our things, we headed to the city center for lunch.  For four euros at I Due Fratellini (, we bought a delicious sandwich and glass of Chianti wine.  Sitting down outside the sandwich shop, we people watched while we ate our lunch.   

Energized, we were ready to see the city.  Wanting to see the whole city at once, we climbed the 463 steps of the Duomo for a view of Florence and the surrounding Tuscan countryside.  We couldn’t have picked a better day to climb the Duomo.  The temperature was perfect and the sunshine sparkled off the gold buildings. 

On the descent, we walked on the inside of Brunelleschi’s dome.  We were so close to the dome’s frescos that I almost felt like I was one of the character in the painting looking down at the parishioners below. 

We left the Duomo and reemerged into the city – this was only the beginning of a fabulous trip!  


Michaela Meyer, Pepperdine University

Happy Backpackers

I studied abroad in London for the 2015-16 academic school year. We had long weekends for travel and my friends and I planned out dozens of trips on our own, which can be exhausting. For our last travel weekend in Europe we decided to give WSA a try. It was perfect! Everything was planned...

Michaela Meyer, Pepperdine University ~ Pepperdine IP, London, Spring 2016

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