As part of the CAPA Florence program, I was placed in an apartment that has become my “home away from home” for the semester. I decided to go random for roommates because I didn’t know anyone from Pitt going on the program, and I ended up being placed with three other girls. One of my roommates is a fellow Pitt student, and the two others are from Indiana University and Merrimack College. While I was a bit nervous about not knowing my roommates, we get along very well and it has been so fun exploring Florence with them!
Our apartment is located on a street in the Sant’Ambrogio neighborhood, not far from the iconic Sant’Ambrogio market and Tempio Maggiore, one of the largest synagogues in south-central Europe. I absolutely love the location of our apartment! It is only a ten minute walk from the Duomo, Santa Croce, and CAPA, making it very easy to see some of Florence’s best sites on our daily commutes.
Inside of our apartment, we have a living room, kitchen area, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms. We were also lucky enough to be provided with all of our essential living items, like kitchenware, sheets, and even some groceries to hold us over while we got acclimated to our new living situation. We live on the third floor, so while moving all of our luggage up the stairs was no easy task, the view from our windows made it all worth it! There is nothing I have come to enjoy more than opening up our windows in the morning to let in some fresh air and sunlight while we get ready for class. I also love the decor and style of our new home; it is more old fashioned, and completely different than any apartment I have ever seen in America.
As with any new living situation, there are a few challenges of living in our Florence apartment. For one, it is taking some time to getting used to the amount of time it takes to do laundry. While we have a washing machine in our apartment, there is no dryer. This means that we have had to start hanging our clothes outside and using drying racks. Although this has been a bit inconvenient at times, I appreciate that we are doing things as the Italians do (and in a more environmentally friendly way than usual). Another challenge has been adapting to the indoor heating situation. Typically, the people in Florence keep apartments cooler so as to not use the heat all day, which has just meant that I have learned to layer up clothing when it gets colder at night.
Overall, I absolutely love my new home in Florence! The location and style of our apartment have granted me a truly authentic Florentine experience, and I feel so blessed to have this opportunity. I cannot wait to keep exploring my new neighborhood over these next few months!