The Roppelts and I in the coliseum in Rome, Italy.

In the summer of 2006, I had the opportunity to go to Italy for almost three weeks. I went with the Roppelts, very dear friends of my family. The four of us started in Venice and worked our way south, visiting all the major cities that I had always seen in pictures, but never experienced in person. We began our adventure in Venice, then traveled to Florence, continued to Rome, and ended our journey on the Amalfi Coast. I am so thankful that I was able to travel to this exquisite country. I am proud to call it the home of my ancestors, and I hope to one day return and immerse myself even deeper into the Italian culture.

The magical city of Venice, Italy.

Venice is unlike any place I have ever seen or experienced. Some cities, no matter where they are in the world, look alike. Venice, however, is one of a kind. The majestic canals and antique buildings make you feel as if you're standing in a dream.

Out of all the places we visited in Italy, my favorite was a small town that exists at the very end of the Amalfi Coast. It is called Ravello. The town consists of nothing more than a church, a monestary, few homes and shops and one hotel. The rest of the land is covered in vast greenery and gardens.

The breathtaking view from the Ravello monestary, looking out to the sea.

The monestary is the town's claim to fame. It is built off of a cliff that overlooks the sea. When you walk out onto the terrace you are over 1,000 feet above cerulean water. If you look out into the sea, the line dividing water and sky becomes faint and the two blur together into endless azure space. It is unreal.

I hope to study abroad in Florence, Italy this spring. If all goes well, I will be living in Firenze for an entire semester while interning at a publication over there.