A Dream of Tuscany

Sunset in Fiesole

Ciao a tutti! My name is Nico Marino and I am a junior Finance and Marketing major enrolled in the certificate program for leadership and ethics at the University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration. Being raised by an Italian-American family, I have always wanted to reconnect with my roots in Italy, and now this is finally possible with the opportunity to study abroad in one of the most beautiful places on earth! Immersing myself in the culture of my ancestors will be an amazing way to connect with them in ways I was never able to. I am super excited to explore Tuscany and heighten my global perspective by living in another country.

Coming into the program, I didn’t think it would be too much different from life back in Pittsburgh. Scheduling was slightly different, food and living situations would be a little different, and I’d be in a foreign country with a language barrier, but I didn’t think much of it. In a way, I was right, but I underestimated exactly how much different life would truly be. Three-hour classes are a far cry from the (now) seemingly short lectures in Pittsburgh and learning Italian is proving to be trickier than anticipated. This being said, adaptability is the mark of a good business person, and adapt I have. Learning how to live this new lifestyle has been interesting, even fun most times. Moving from a college town to a residential neighborhood has also been surreal. This means coexisting with people that have their lives straightened out while I’m still forming the foundations of mine. It’s interesting to see the families that live near my piazza and frequent the same cafes and shops that I do. Meeting new people has never been too much of a struggle, so bonding with my new roommates was almost instantaneous. It has been a great time meeting people in CAPA from all walks of life from all over the United States.

Overall, adapting to a completely new lifestyle has been very enjoyable, but challenging at times. Being allergic to gluten in the pasta capital of the world has its challenges! I have found myself cooking now more than ever before in my life and thoroughly enjoying it! Working through the adaptations is made easier with friends, so I’m glad I was able to quickly find friends here to help me out. Ciao!