Spotted: Wolverines

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Last day of April 😦 Tomorrow marks the beginning of the month of return. Today consisted of laundry, finished drafts of all five papers (8 pages long), and coffee. In addition, I saw some very large men wearing University of Michigan apparel! I had no idea college football players were that big in real life; they look so small on a TV screen. They are in Italy this week for an ‘educational’ experience along with spring practices. Read more about it here.  Tomorrow’s a national holiday in celebration of Labor Day! xo ~ e.

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Friday Photo Blog

Friday, April 28, 2017

We had classes today to make up for missed classes on Tuesday in celebration of Liberation Day. My philosophy class headed to the Galileo Museum! Our eccentric tour guide told me (in front of the whole group) to stop playing with my heart, because it distracted her. That was a first! Sasha and I treated ourselves to lunch at Pescepane. We wandered around for 45 minutes in a less touristy neighborhood trying to find a place open at noon! Heading to Siena for the day tomorrow. Happy four day weekend to me! Papers are coming along nicely 🙂 xo ~ e.

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Galileo’s finger

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Park not too far from our apartment

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Great Synagogue of Florence

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Yesterday my Holocaust class took a trip to the Great Synagogue of Florence. It’s a beautiful building both inside and out! I didn’t take too many photos, but here are the ones I did take. xo ~ e.

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Can you spot the Ten Commandments?

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Memorial outside

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Month #8

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I write this blog post in complete disbelief that I am writing my eighth and final monthly update from Florence. I just finished reading my month #1 post, and it genuinely feels as though I wrote it much more recently than September 26. I am still sipping on many cappuccini, eating lots of pasta, pizza, and gelato, and loving living in Florence more than ever this spring.

You’ve been along for this crazy adventure, so you already know how happy I am to have embarked on this freshman year journey. It has involved many hours of study and writing papers, exchanges of letters internationally, planes and trains, checking in and out of foreign cities, trips to Conad and BNL, views of the Duomo, live music in Piazza della Repubblica, glasses of red wine, and memories that will make perfect stories. Naturally there’s been growth in terms of confidence, independence, and problem solving that I wouldn’t have experienced in Poughkeepsie this year.

This month makes previous months feel different, because I know Florence will be my home again someday. I’m nowhere near ready to say goodbye to it temporarily, and I tell myself that I will be back again for a longer period of time when my student days are over. Several occurrences this month made me feel as though I really belong here. For example, being asked in Italian if a woman could take an ashtray next to my foot at Cafe Murate where there were no Americans to be seen. Ordering a cappuccino at Ménagère and being asked “E cornetto oggi?” (and a croissant today?). Offering advice to people as to how they should spend a couple days in Florence. These little things make me feel as though I am a true expat. And I’ll tell you that it’s an empowering and rewarding feeling.

For the first time in 8 months, I got emotional today thinking about my imminent flight back to the United States. Don’t get me wrong; I am very proud to be an American, and I am very excited to see my friends and family. However, it is extremely difficult to think about saying goodbye to a place and a lifestyle that was once so foreign and is now so familiar. I am gearing up for yet another change, so of course I am going to be stressed and uneasy! I have to remind myself that “Life isn’t meant to be spent in one place.” So I’ll always be moving.

Looking back and reflecting on all these months though, I’ve come to the conclusion that Florence did its job. Florence reminded me that love exists, learning to make yourself happy is the best thing you can do for yourself, and curiosity is what gets you places. Grazie mille Firenze. Per tutto. A dopo. xo ~ e.

Festa della Liberazione

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Happy Liberation Day from Italy! It was a national holiday today, celebrating the end of Nazi occupation in Italy during WWII. The mayor spoke in Piazza della Signoria (where there were also protests), and there were concerts at various locations throughout the city.

It was a gorgeous spring day here in Florence. It’s cooled off a bit, for it’s been in the 60s recently. I’ll take it over hot and muggy! Everyone was out enjoying the day, and I spent a good couple hours at Cafe Murate after wandering around the city to look for a different vibe. There were so many Italians there; I didn’t hear a lick of English which made me feel like I was actually in Italy! A stage was set up too for an evening of jazz, and I heard the talented musicians warm up before taking a smoke break. Journaling (and creative writing brainstorming) with yet another caffè macchiato for an afternoon siesta was exactly what I needed to refocus.

Tomorrow for history class, we are going to the synagogue in Florence. I’m looking forward to it, since it’s a beautiful building that you can identify from anywhere in the city with its turquoise dome! xo ~ e.

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Classic Italy

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This used to be a prison

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Personagi!

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Sunday in Perugia

Monday, April 24, 2017

Yesterday I spent the day in the quaint Tuscan town of Perugia! Perugia is halfway in between Firenze and Roma. Elaine (my Emma Willard friend I went to Copenhagen with) is visiting Rome right now, and we decided to meet up in an unfamiliar town to both of us. A lot of my friends went to Perugia in October for the famous chocolate festival. Sasha and I went to Lucca that day, but I am so happy I got to go to Perugia after all! Being surrounded by the greenery of Tuscany’s rolling hills and less people was very refreshing. We spent a good couple hours just sitting on a terrace in the sun and admiring the view. Elaine’s friends, Kate and Addison, came with, and it was nice hanging out with new people. I thought it was funny they assumed I was a junior! Elaine is heading to Nice very soon during her long spring break.

One of the most memorable parts about Perugia was taking the mini metro up to the actual town itself, for the train station sits on the bottom of the hill outside the center. The mini metro was an automatic mode of transportation (perfectly timed and no driver). The little carts looked like mini silver school buses! It was so cool and felt like a tame roller coaster. I’d never seen anything like it!

I enjoyed riding on the train by myself. I passed Cortona and a pretty lake. Check out my photos below! xo ~ e.

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