Needless to Say, I am Loving it Here
Genevieve, Florence, Spring 2014
March 3, 2014

Lindsey Kanter and I at the Piazzo Michelangelo on a cloudy, but still beautiful day!

The four of us travelled with SAI to Lake Como the next morning. What an amazingly beautiful place!

Per usual, we each ordered our own pizza!

Having been here just over four weeks, I can finally say it is starting to feel more familiar.  The streets are getting easier to navigate, I finally know how to get to class without using Google Maps, and my apartment is feeling like a home – even with all the ups and downs that come along with it!

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We took the SITI bus into Greve in Chianti where we spent the day wine, olive oil and balsamic tasting at the beautiful winery, Verrazzano. To this day it has been my favorite experience thus far.

We made friends with some of the staff at the winery, and Gino, one of the employees, invited us over for a family dinner the following Sunday. It was a big feast with his two sons, his wife, two of their son’s friends, their son’s Russian tutor and other Americans who were also at the winery. It was a true taste of Italian culture.

We made friends with some of the staff at the winery, and Gino, one of the employees, invited us over for a family dinner the following Sunday. It was a big feast with his two sons, his wife, two of their son’s friends, their son’s Russian tutor and other Americans who were also at the winery. It was a true taste of Italian culture.

Italian culture is so much different than American culture, and I LOVE it.  I am normally a very fast-paced, excited, stressed person, and Italy has taught me, or is teaching me, how to not be any of those things, and how to enjoy it.  The first thing that stands out to me is how SLOW they walk here.  I am known to be an extremely fast walker.  One, because I usually leave just on time in order not to be late, and two, because slow walkers actually irritate me.  It is such the American way.  I just stand there, behind the slow walkers and wonder, “don’t you have somewhere you need to be?!”  And that is the glory of Italy, they don’t have anywhere to be.  Even if they did, if they showed up five minutes late, it wouldn’t matter.  Whereas in America, if you are one minute, one second late, to anything you’re toast.

Jackei Boyd, myself, and Lindsey Kanter posing in front of the beautiful scenery surrounding the vineyard.

Jackei Boyd, myself, and Lindsey Kanter posing in front of the beautiful scenery surrounding the vineyard.

My three roommates, Jackie Boyd, Julianne Horne, Lindsey Kanter and myself pose inside the castle we toured in Milan!

My three roommates, Jackie Boyd, Julianne Horne, Lindsey Kanter and myself pose inside the castle we toured in Milan!

People are calm here.  People are relaxed here.  People are laid back here.  It is amazing when I go to class and there is an assignment due and the teacher just tells us we can email it later.  That would never happen at Mizzou, but yet it makes so much sense.  The work is still being done, the project still completed; why stress over the little things?  It is what I am normally used to doing, but here, I am learning how to relax.

This is school… well at least for one of my classes! In another one we make pasta, yum!

This is school… well at least for one of my classes! In another one we make pasta, yum!

Italians focus on family life, on happiness, on healthy habits.  I have never seen so many older people walking around, so fit and happy.  I just saw a grandma casually riding her bike around town the other day.  Fitness just comes with Italian culture.  I don’t see gyms on every corner, but people walk everywhere, and that is why they are so healthy.  I am going to miss that when I go back to the U.S.  I am going to be agitated when I have to drive somewhere!  Walking is just so convenient.  Not to mention, it is also good for your mind and body.

This was in the Cathedral in Milan that we toured. It was such an amazing experience to light a prayer candle in Italy.

This was in the Cathedral in Milan that we toured. It was such an amazing experience to light a prayer candle in Italy.

Needless to say, I love it here, and I love how it is teaching me to be someone better than the person I came here as.  I cannot wait for the next couple months!

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The four of us travelled with SAI to Lake Como the next morning. What an amazingly beautiful place!

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Genevieve is a student at University of Missouri studying at Florence University of the Arts during the Spring 2014 term.

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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.