A Permanent Home in Florence

I’ve reached about the end of my semester at this point and it still doesn’t always feel like real life when I am out and about in my home here in Florence. I often find myself wondering if I could see myself staying here forever, and all things considered, there really aren’t many places in Florence that I couldn’t see myself living. If you asked me in the beginning of the semester where in Florence I’d live if I could choose, I would’ve said without question- near Santa Croce. With this location, my walk to class in the cold winter months would be quick! Now that the weather has warmed up, I enjoy my longer walks to and from class and work. It’s nice to get out in the sun and watch the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I love the location of my home, near the San Lorenzo market, Mercato Centrale and close to the Santa Maria Novella train station. If I were picking where to live knowing all that I know now, I just might pick exactly where I’ve been living this whole time! The other area in Florence that I think I would really enjoying living is the Santo Spirito neighborhood. While this section of the city is across the bridge making it a bit of a longer walk to and from most of the places I go, there is nothing quite like the view down the Arno and the local atmosphere of “the other side of the river.” I love spending time near the river because it’s one of Florence’s sunniest spots, but it’s a bit out of the way from my daily paths so I don’t get to hang out there as much as I’d like. Living over here would be a great way to ensure I spend more time there!

Along the lines of where I would live if I could stay here permanently, I often find myself trying to place myself in the work force here. What would I do if I could stay in Italy forever? Could I come back and work here after graduation? Many different thoughts have crossed my mind when pondering this question. The best conclusion I’ve come to is something in the field of customer service. Traveling throughout Europe in addition to living in Florence has opened my eyes to how interesting the world really is. Small conversations with people in the midst of their vacations, their daily workdays and varying other circumstances can tell you so much about a person and their culture, making every little interaction a different kind of learning experience. Working in a role that allows me to do this at the Leonardo da Vinci Museum has also shown me how comforting it is for people traveling from various places to find someone that speaks their language. All of the museum employees come from different places and speak different languages. When customers come in speaking French and my Belgian coworker speaks back to them in French their moods are instantly lifted. Seeing this in travelers all around the world has given me the desire to provide this comfort in a foreign location. I have been able to do just this at the Museum and I love talking with new people because of it! If I were to have the ability to live full-time in Florence, I think I would thoroughly enjoy working somewhere that allowed me to have these interactions with all different types of people. I don’t necessarily see myself selling tickets to a museum as a full-time occupation, but a career that allows me to interact with all different types of people sounds like the most appealing job to me.