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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Lauren Morse: Independent travel to Italy

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    01 Oct

    During September I spent 20 days visiting 14 cities in Italy: Milan, Como, Venice, Padova, Verona, Genova, Florence, Rome, Palermo, Taormina, Messina, Naples, Bologna and Pisa.  Over the course of just under three weeks I sat in a gondola on the grand canal, walked up the tower of Pisa, had gelato by Lake Como, appreciated the Sistine chapel and had many more other incredible experiences across the entire country.

    I had not previously travelled alone in a country and until earlier this year I had not even taken a train on my own. This trip was a huge challenge of organisation, independence and courage. I spent weeks planning all the things I wanted to see and places to stay- not to mention booking 20 separate train journeys on sites in a foreign language. I organised everything in a few weeks before leaving and hoped the trip would go off without a hitch and run smoothly.

    The trip was more than I could have ever hoped it could be. Italy lived up to and exceeded my expectations as the beautiful country I expected it would be and it will always hold a special place in my heart after this journey. I have experienced so many new things and seen so many sights I never imagined I would have the opportunity to see; the roof of the Milan cathedral, Michelangelo’s David in Florence, Isola Bella beach in Taormina, Port Messina from the top of the cathedrals tower, the dusty streets of Pompeii and numerous other wonderful moments and places across the country.

    Nothing can quite compare to the stunning sunsets over Lake Como, or the idyllic brightly coloured streets of Boccadasse. This trip also allowed me to visit some fantastic museums, medical centres and botanical gardens that has supported and rekindled the love for my subject and fostered the same adoration for nature that made me want to study biology at the very beginning.

    If I could sum up this trip in a few words I would say that it is without a doubt one of the scariest and most difficult things I have done in my life and it was worth every second. The memories I have of Italy will likely stay with me throughout my lifetime and I hope to go back to some of the cities I visited during my short trip in the most beautiful and romantic country in Europe.

    Lauren Morse
    Natural Science (Biological)