As the semester has come to a close, my group of friends and I have begun to reflect on the past semester. This normally occurs at big dinners, where we use the “were leaving soon” excuse to order every pasta dish on the menu and multiple bottles of wine. With 10 people at a table, incredible fresh food and bottles of italian wine- we always have a fun time. These moments are in essence my reasoning when someone asks if they should study abroad in Florence. I could tell them about Italy’s central location and the ease associated with getting to other european cities. How the city is easy to navigate and everywhere is just walk away. Or about the art and florence’s rich renaissance history. But the true beauty of Florence is in the atmosphere it fosters for students studying abroad.
There are so many restaurants here, try and eat at as many as you can. Consume all the gelato you can get your hands on until you find your favorite sport. Eduardo’s happens to be mine: their cinnamon flavor is addictive. But more important then foods, bars or clubs is the mindset you have before you arrive. The only thing you need to have in advance is patience. Theres a basic understanding that once you arrive, things move slowly, and Italians are notorious for their lackadaisical attitude towards getting things done. You step off the plane from a fast paced, vibrant, semester in New York City and the cab driver in Florence takes the scenic route home and you understand, “Dorthy you’re not in New York anymore”. But embrace it, and learn to love the break from the rush. Instead of taking the bus to class, walk home and take the time to notice the beautiful sculptures perched atop buildings that are so unique to Florence. Stop and listen to the man playing the accordion in the middle of that Piazza you normally avoid because the other way home is so much faster. As my time in Italy closes I feel I can be bold enough to speak on behalf of the entire study abroad program. Florence is the breeding ground for a perfect study abroad experience. It combines the very best food, art and energy that you could ever hope for. Take advantage of this idea and utilize the city, I promise it will be worth it.
After school- I occasionally like to say hello to the David.