Jake Ezell ’11 – Saturday morning we arrived in Florence following a 2-hour bus ride from Assisi through the beautiful Italian countryside. It’s truly amazing, as it seems every turn heads way to a picture perfect Kodak moment. Following the distribution of rooms and dispersal of luggage, we made our way to San Marco, home of some beautiful frescoes. Unique to this monastery are individual frescoes painted specifically for each monk’s cell.
Around 2:00, the group traveled to Palazzo Antinori for a delicious and large, no monstrous feast of Italian food. The 4-course meal was delicious and perfectly prepared. The steaks we were served were, as a guess, around 1 pound each and grilled to perfection.
As we pulled ourselves away from our gigantic meal and slowly walked through the streets of Florence, we found ourselves face to face with a monster: the David. No picture, remake, mold, virtual program, or other type of media can do true justice to the brilliance of the David. It literally is the type of artwork that stops you where you stand when you first see it and leaves you deep in thought long after you’ve left. It was the second time I had seen Michelangelo’s masterpiece, and regardless of what the Florentines say, I could not get tired of it even if I had to see it everyday.
This trip has been a good reflection on my time abroad with Dr. Cook 3 years ago (I was a sophomore) on his immersion course on Saint Francis of Assisi. For me, it was my first time on an airplane and my first time leaving the United States. Since then, I have studied abroad and visited several other European and Central American countries. Traveling is always adventurous, but there is something special about traveling with Dr. Bill Cook. He is one of those people who found what he was supposed to do in life and has never looked back. The passion that follows truly lights up a room and brings all the details that would otherwise be overlooked to the forefront. It’s been a real pleasure traveling with him.