YOLIO – You Only Live in Italy Once. That sure has been our motto for this trip! After planes, trains, and automobiles, we feel that we have truly conquered Italy within a period of four weeks.

Last week as a class we traveled to Rome to visit St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican. As part of the SMU study abroad program, we were able to have a private tour of the museum as well as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.  The guards even let us admire the ceiling of the chapel while lying down! In addition, I loved viewing Raphael’s School of Athens within the museum. It is amazing how grand this painting is!

As for drawing class, we spent several days drawing a perspective  of the inside of the Duomo in Orvieto and finished with a watercolor painting of our choice in the city. By the time our second midterm critique came around, I was amazed at everyone’s improvement throughout the semester. True artistic talent was evident in so many of the students.

Within the week, I traveled to Capri and Positano for free days. Both of these cities are located on the Almalfi coast and are stunning to visit! Although Capri is more touristy and expensive than we thought, we made the best of the trip and spent the day tanning at the beach. Like any tourist, we had to ride the chairlift, which enabled us to see the entire island of Capri. It was a steep ride to the top, but the views were breathtaking and so worth it! However my favorite city in Italy has to be Positano, which is a quaint little town near Capri. The food and fresh fish were wonderful, and we also enjoyed lying out at the beach soaking up some sun.

Now we are in Venice finishing up the remainder of the trip. Tomorrow we have our drawing final of a watercolor scene of a canal. The next day we will finish our semester with our final in art history. Where has the time gone?!

This trip has truly been a wonderful experience, and I have made friendships that will last a lifetime. I am looking forward to returning to Italy again with a vast knowledge of history, as well as an appreciation for the Italian culture and environment. Stay tuned for final pictures recapping the trip!