My last few weeks in Florence were bittersweet. They flew by and I was constantly thinking of how much I was going to miss this place I had called home for four months. The buildings, the food, the people, I would miss it all. The places I had been and the people I have met left an imprint in me that I could not and would not forget.
With just a few weeks left, my friends and I knew we had to do all things Florence. We decided to do the typical touristy things. We shopped at all the famous spots, ate gelato, went to Boboli Gardens, ate gelato and pizza (and lots of it), and walked past the Duomo every chance we could. As my friends and I soaked up our last bit of Florence, we imagined living in this beautiful city.
Throughout the semester abroad, I imagined living in Florence many, many times. I would love to live in Florence indefinitely (if it wasn’t half way across the world from my family) because of the amazing culture, food, and people. Everywhere you turn in this city, you are reminded of the beautiful culture of Florence. Every single building, sidewalk, sculpture, reminded me of how fortunate I was to experience this culture firsthand.
The food was a whole other story. Panini sandwiches, pasta, pizza, oh my! Everyday, food was a huge part of everyones day. Not only was it amazing in taste, it also brought so many new people together. In Italy, food is a major social factor and this proved to be true while I was there. Every single Wednesday, my roommates and I hosted Pitt kids in our program for dinner. Every person who would come would bring an item of food that would help make the dinner. Some would bring drinks, some would bring appetizers, some would bring side dishes, and some would bring main dishes. Everyone would help cook and the kitchen was always filled with laughter. The night always ended with a card game or a game of spaceteam (a fun interactive game on our iPhones). These dinners always lasted 3+ hours and reminded us of how lucky we were to study at Pitt and in Florence. We made new friends and long lasting relationships during these dinners and they are something I will never forget.
The last (but not the least) great thing about Florence is the people. From our professors at CAPA, the people working in shops, the workers at the supermarkets, to the random people on the street, I was never disappointed with the kindness showed to us. I was nervous that because I was a tourist and barely spoke the language, that the locals would not show me the kindness I hoped for, but I was so wrong. Every single restaurant, store, or classroom I was in made me feel welcomed. I met kind, curious Italians who truly were interested in my studies and hoped the best for me in Florence. I met people who gave recommendations on places to eat, places to go, and things to see. I met people who asked about my family and where I was from. I will never forget the kindness that the people of Florence showed me.
Until next time Florence,