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An Italian Winter Break

One of the huge perks of spending a semester studying in Europe is how easy it is travel around and explore all of Europe.  I love Aix (my home base for the semester), but there's something so special about all of Europe, and studying abroad here gives you a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore so much of what Europe has to offer.  With how good and cheap transportation is on the continent, it's so easy to jet, train, or bus off for a weekend or week (we're lucky enough to have two week-long breaks this semester) and experience so many different cultures.

On our first break at the end of February, myself and four friends from the program here in Aix caught a quick flight over to Italy and spent the week touring the country, spending days walking around cities whose artistic, political, and social contributions to western culture cannot be overstated, while also enjoying the delicious gelato, cappuccinos, pizza, and pasta that Italy has to offer.

It was a fantastic and action packed week, yet unlike often on normal vacations where one is not looking forward to returning to their normal life, we found ourselves happy to return to Aix; ready to hear stories of travel adventures from all our peers and continue exploring our little slice of Provençal paradise.

 Taking in the view of Florence from above most of the tourists.
 
 Ruins in the Roman Forum.
 
 A spectacular sunset over St. Peter's Dome after a full day exploring Rome.
 
 Enjoying a beautiful afternoon in the Forum.
 A panoramic view of Florence and a dramatic evening sky from the Piazzale Michelangelo.
 
 Looking up the Arno River towards the Ponte Vecchio.
 
 Enjoying some delicious Italian gelato over the Arno River.
 
 After rain and cloudy skies earlier in the trip, the sun came out to play in Florence. Here's Libby soaking up the sun with Ponte Vecchio behind her.
 Inside the skin of the Duomo on the way back down from taking in the views from the top.
 
 Enjoying life on top of the Duomo.
 
 Taking in the views from the top of the Campanile in Florence.

Satchel Cronk is the Spring 2015 MOJO Photographer in Aix-en-Provence, France.  He is currently a junior at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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