Not Quite Home for the Holidays
Maddie, Florence, Fall 2017
November 28, 2017

I don’t think I realized how much I love spending Thanksgiving with my family until that wasn’t an option. To me, the day has always been about eating good food and catching up with relatives I hadn’t seen in awhile, but it was nothing special. Thanksgiving was the first time I got homesick this semester, but also the day (or week, really) during which I most appreciated my experience in Florence.

With my roommates, Madeline and Cami, at pizza making class the day before Thanksgiving.

On Tuesday, my roommates and I joined SAI for a Thanksgiving-themed aperitivo. Not quite the food I would’ve eaten at home, but the pizza was great. On Wednesday, after an amazing pizza making class, we decided to attempt a homemade Thanksgiving dinner because most of us had classes all day on the actual holiday. We had to switch up our menu a bit, as we were unable to find a lot of the traditional American ingredients.

My roommates and I (plus a bunch of other people) at SAI’s Thanksgiving-style aperitivo event.

Our Friendsgiving featured latkes, baked brie cheese, corn bread, roasted vegetables and mini apple pies. I love that we were able to make the most of what we have here to put together our own Thanksgiving feast. None of my roommates or I had ever been so far from home for the holidays, so it was nice that we could share the experience together.

The latkes my flatmate Emily and I made for Friendsgiving.

Thankfully, Florence has now begun preparing for Christmas, and I can spend my evenings searching for new lights and displays to admire as I sing, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” to myself. The Christmas market at Santa Croce opens this week, and I can’t wait for that excuse to shop for my friends at home (and myself) after class every day.

My favorite lights in town

Maddie is a fall 2017 SAI Florence student from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

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About SAI

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.