Letters from Abroad CPH: The Home Away from Home

Melanie Singer ‘17 , Abroad Columnist

I was told that my time abroad would go by fast and now that I’m done with my 3rd travel break and getting ready for final projects and papers I still can’t and don’t want to think about how I only have a few precious weeks left in the loving, beautiful city of Copenhagen. But before I get ahead of myself, this past 3rd travel break a few friends and I ventured to Lugano, Switzerland, Florence, Italy and even Bologna, Italy. My friends and I wanted to make this last travel break more relaxing where we didn’t feel rushed to see every bit of the cities we were visiting. With that being said, we did a weekend in Lugano and the rest of the time in Florence, with an overnight trip to Bologna to visit some of our fellow Dickinson friends.

Why Lugano you ask? Initially the plan was to go to Bled, Slovenia, a hidden gem for a travel destination. This was going to be perfect for hiking and sight seeing but unfortunately that fell through, which is when Lugano came into the picture. Lugano, also known as the Monte Carlo of Switzerland, was pretty expensive, even more so than Copenhagen, which at times seems hard to beat. Regardless of the prices in this city, or country, the view of Lugano lake was incredible, and truly an example of how a picture cannot capture the beauty of this place. During our time in this hidden Switzerland paradise we hiked Monte Bré, which gave us even more spectacular view of the city below us. It was a breath of fresh air and everyone we encountered was friendly and pleasant. I also found it interesting that Lugano is very Italian as it’s right next to Italy. All you need to do it cross over a bridge and you’re in Italia. This was only a brief introduction to the delicious Italian food that we’d be eating in well, Italy.

My friends and I then hopped on a plane to Florence. I of course started this portion of our vacation with some homemade fresh pasta and meat sauce. Being a foodie and all, this was my kind of vacation. There was such a difference between this incredible, yet simple pasta in comparison to any pasta I’ve had before. After our first successful meal in Florence, the following day we ventured to the Academia Gallery to of course see Michelangelo’s David. The art in the museum was also wonderful, but more importantly, the walk to the Gallery was a struggle as the Pope was in Florence just for the day so the streets were packed with people. Luckily the Pope’s visit didn’t get in the way of our sight seeing and eating, as we crossed over the Ponte Vecchio for the famous Gusta Pizza. I’m not much of an Italian food fan, with the exception of pizza from time to time, but this was possibly the best pizza I’ve ever had. The crust had great flavor and I was truly in pizza heaven.

Overall, the eating experience and of course the sight seeing was quite enjoyable. There were a few differences between Italy and Denmark though. Without even thinking twice about the weather, as it was high 60’s in Italy and the typical cold and rainy weather back in Copenhagen, the people in Florence were different. Men treated women differently, in a more demeaning way, whereas cat calling is less of an issue for women in Copenhagen. Pick pocketing was also something to be aware of when in Florence, whereas I feel comfortable in Copenhagen to not fear my belongings being stolen. This of course brings me back to sounding bias, but I can’t help it as Copenhagen will always be home and there’s nothing better than coming back after these travel breaks to wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen.