We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Katie, who talks about some of her favorite things to do in Florence.
Florence offers individuals an abundance of heart and soul in every direction. From the famous museums, delicious food and hidden gems tucked away in each corner, there is truly something for everyone. Studying abroad is such a unique opportunity in the sense that you get to not just visit but live in a foreign city.
I fell in love with Florence the moment my taxi driver quickly dropped me off in front of my apartment and at, what seemed at the time, right in the humming chaos of the city center. Although I was thoroughly eager to see all the sights and try as many gelato flavors, I began to notice that how I wanted to spend my time was different than I originally planned. Simply exploring the city brought me peace of mind and happiness. I loved the freedom of walking to my destination and embraced each step as a further opportunity to experience Florence.
To leave my door and wander to new findings or stroll down my favorite streets opened up a sense of belonging to my host city. I felt I was able to learn not only about how to navigate the confusing streets but further understand the Italian culture. Florence is a beautiful city, filled with history and culture on every street. Through exploring I find stumbled upon hidden gems, beautiful music and felt connected to the city. To walk through the city is quite liberating and something very different than life back in the U.S. where we often jump in our cars for one stop to another.
Walking lets you be fully in the moment and breathe in the present. So often, especially as a college student, my mind was in a million different directions as I went from one task to another. The ability to explore by foot provided me the chance to emerge myself into my new home for the semester. Wherever you may study abroad, take the extra five minutes to stroll down a new street – you never know where it may lead you.
Katie was an SAI Florence spring 2018 student from the University of Kentucky.