Savoring Every Moment
Laura, Florence, Fall 2013
November 21, 2013

Streets of Florence

Streets of Florence

Italy is finally beginning to feel like home. My Italian is still minimal, yet slowly improving. I am realizing how easy it is to live abroad—you just have to recognize the differences and enjoy the changes! Florence really is a small town; you can walk anywhere within a matter of minutes. One of my recent discoveries is the flower market. It is every Thursday morning in Piazza della Repubblica. I also visited Biblioteca Marucelliana; a library that looks what I imagine the West Wing in Beauty and the Beast to be like. One of my favorite things happened just this week: I had the chance to go to a soccer game! Fiorentina played Napoli. It was such a cool experience to watch a rivalry game in a packed stadium. The atmosphere was so alive.

Zurich from the sky

Zurich from the sky

Over fall break we traveled to multiple cities via both plane and train. We even took an overnight train at one point. That was an experience I will remember for a long time. The door didn’t lock, AC was broken and the beds didn’t fold out correctly to say the least. We started in Edinburgh, Scotland, then made our way to Belgium, visiting Brussels and Bruges. I had the chance to stay in a Bed & Breakfast while in Bruges. It was the closest to a five star hotel I’ll have all semester! It was so much fun to stay with a local, get fantastic dining recommendations and enjoy the city through the eyes of a native rather than a tourist. From Bruges we ended our trip in Paris. I’d loved going back to this place that is so dear to me. This is somewhere I would move in a heartbeat.

Ruins of Pompeii with Mt. Vesuvius

Ruins of Pompeii with Mt. Vesuvius

Over two months in to my stay in Italy, I have seen and done more than I ever imagined. I know the second half of this journey will go by just as fast. I am thankful that the tourist season is finally slowing down—It makes enjoying the city so much easier! One of my favorite ways to explore Florence is to take my camera and just start roaming. It’s a good way to get lost, find new areas, experience local life and just observe Florence. I have also found some of my favorite areas when running. Although it tends to be a hard city to be active in, Florence definitely has its quiet corners.

Beautiful view of Tuscany from Villa Petraia

Beautiful view of Tuscany from Villa Petraia

My goal for the second half of the semester is to be as eager to learn as I was when I arrived. I want to continue to grow throughout the next few months while savoring each and every moment I have abroad.

Port in Capri

Port in Capri

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Laura is a student at Lipscomb University studying at Florence University of the Arts during the Fall 2013 term.

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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.