1 Month. 5 Cities: Milan, Rome, Florence, Chicago and Boston

It has been quite a long time since I’ve taken a traveling vacation (that did not involve my relatives..!). On breaks, I often head back to my parents’ house and chill, but there is something quite different about traveling vacations. Before these trips, I hadn’t left the country since 2007.

March and April can be such cruel months for medical students. Many are studying for boards frantically in anticipation of their examinations at the end of April and in May. So, while my peers are in the library, why was traveling? As mentioned in my previous post, I’m taking a year of school. Alternatively, I would have been doing research over the last month, but since I am doing an entire year of that, I decided that it would be great to join my parents on a trip to Italy to visit my younger sister who currently is studying there.

I also thought I needed a break to really reset before throwing myself into board study (granted, I did study over this month), but I thought a vacation could do me some good. During undergrad, I took the MCAT while I was a junior and still taking classes. It was so difficult for me to balance everything, and I think that was a huge reason why the process was so draining, and I could have done better. This time around, I’m glad that medical school gives us time to study with no distractions (if you are considering medical school make sure they give 6-8 weeks+ of study time!!). I am also glad that I personally had a bit more time to relax as well.

1 month. 5 cities. In this post, I’m going to show you my favorite shots from Milan, Rome, Florence, Chicago and Boston.

MILANO: the Fashion Capital of the World

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Armani, Versaci, Gucci, Prada etc… this is what many people think of when they think of Milan. There is certainly so much more to the city than fashion, but I’d be remiss if I neglect to mention how AWESOME the galleria was. Of course, could not buy anything here.
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The Milan Cathedral. Magnificent. When I first walked into the square where it sits, I was actually breathless. This photo cannot do it justice. This was the first of many buildings in Italy that took my breath away.
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More of Milan Cathedral. They started  to build this structure in the late 14th century and it took about 600 years to complete. It is the 5th largest church in the WORLD.

ROMA: Beautifully Ancient and my FAVORITE city in Italy (so far!)

 

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Colosseum!!
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Circus Maximus. As a huge Ben-Hur fan, I was excited to not only be where the great chariot races took place, but also where the film was shot! They really transformed this space.

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Remains of the Old Republic.
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The Mouth of Truth! Once again, excited to do this touristy thing and also think about Roman Holiday too! Imagine. Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck were here!

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The Pantheon. “Temple of All gods.” One of my favorite structures in Rome. I was sad to be there for less than 15 minutes (the downside of tours)
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This structure was commissioned around the time of Christ in the reign of Augustus. It’s lasted so well because it pretty much went from being a pagan temple to a Christian one overnight. No time for looters.
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St. Peter’s Basilica. Wow. just wow. Fun fact: lots of the materials to build this basilica were taken from the Colosseum.
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Laocoon and His Sons. All these statues had me wondering if everyone from 200 BC was ripped!
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Statue of Apollo. This definitely inspired Michelangelo’s David and the face of Christ in the fresco, the Last Judgement in the Sistine chapel. Also from 120 BC. I am amazed that I could look at the same art that Michelangelo studied.
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Inside St. Peter’s. Such opulence.
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Truly breathtaking. The alter over St. Peter’s presummed burial site. 

FIRENZE: Villas and Tuscany

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The most breathtaking views in Florence.
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At Pontevecchio in some vintage Yves Saint Laurent glasses I got from vintage market.

Then, after Italy it was back to Chicago for a few days. A LOT of studying happened along with good family time. I was able to hang out with my older sister a bunch, see some Chicago friends, watch Happy Valley, and check out the Van Gogh’s Bedrooms exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago!

CHICAGO:  My Town

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To be reunited at the ACSA Show!

BOSTON: My Future Home

In a whirlwind trip to Boston, I was able to meet my new PI, many of the researchers in his laboratory and look at my apartment (it’s actually a house with 5 other people living there). I’m so excited to join the community! Everyone I met at the lab was friendly and knowledgeable, and I look forward to learning from them! I stayed with the wonderful Charis too and was able to meet up with Anna, a friend from undergrad.

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My badge to visit the Daley Lab
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A picture of my new home!
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Hey! It’s me at Harvard Medical School
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Karp Building where I’ll be doing research
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Boston Children’s right across the street!

This post really should be called 1 month. 6 cities, because I am back in Cleveland. It was a great time traveling the world and meeting new people, but now it’s time to settle down and get back to work!

Thanks for reading!

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