Falling in Love with Unconventionality
Olivia, Florence, Spring 2019
February 6, 2019

If I had to sum up the last 10 days in one word it would be this: unconventional. You may perhaps deem it odd for me to describe the cradle of the Renaissance with such a word whose synonym is unusual, irregular, and uncustomary. Let me explain.

RivArno, my favorite cafe

I find myself sitting in the Oblate Cafeteria when my favorite song of all time starts playing in my earbuds. I spot the top of the Duomo out of the corner of my right eye and can’t help by feel a sense of pride that my feet have brought me here, now with my espresso and apricot conetta, writing to you, dear reader.

Santa Croce

I can also express to you five unconventional things I am experiencing as I am typing this. Bottled water. No napkin holders- or any napkins in sight for that matter. A family of four playing cards at a table. Something called an aperitivo is written on a menu on the wall. A student next to me is studying a book about yoga. I can catch people talking in several different languages. I, myself, ordered in a different language. Oh wait, that might have been six things.

You see, none of these would I have found myself subject to back at home.

Riccardi Medici Palace

Unconventional. Did you know this word also means distinctive, individualistic, and free-spirited? Like that of a dinner that lasts three hours, shutting your business down in the middle of the day to nap and spend time with family, walking everywhere. Even in the rain. Heaters and lights that are on timers.

A cute, picturesque window in Florence

Nothing, it seems, is convenient, if looked at through the eyes of an American: where everything is handed to us on a silver platter, where bigger is better and easy is always the favored route. But what I am learning, dear reader, is that inconvenience and unconventionality make for an interesting party. It’s one that I find myself waking up to each and every day, along with the sound of the bell tower ringing outside my window.

The Arno River

So, here’s to embracing the unfamiliar, the unusual, and the atypical. It may be someone else’s everyday.  And this place, I believe, has a lot to teach me. My feet brought me here, after all.

Olivia is a spring 2019 SAI Florence student from Georgia State University.

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Comments

2 responses to “Falling in Love with Unconventionality”


  1. I can totally picture your life. Thank you.

    by Auma on February 7, 2019 at 4:26 am

  2. Amazing read. Thanks for taking me along ~ signed busy mom in the South, USA.

    by M on February 7, 2019 at 5:14 am

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SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.