A Letter to Florence,
Thank you. Thank you for being my home away from home. You were my little bubble of safe haven in Europe. Every weekend I traveled to another country, I would always get really excited to return to you.
Thank you for never disappointing me. You provided me with so much . There was so much art, history, and culture right at my fingertips every single day. I not only learned about them, but I also got to see so much important and historical art pieces in all the museums and art galleries. I think I climbed the Duomo around 5 times and even with alllllll of its stairs, I never once regretted it. The beautiful view from up there made all the stairs worth it.
Thank you for your food. I never once went hungry with all the food options you had, and everything was delicious! From pizza to pasta, and cannolis to gelato, my taste buds and cravings were always satisfied with your cultural and enriching food. I will forever be craving a good panino sandwich from Pino’s and some Eduardo’s gelato!
Thank you for bringing me to the best friendships. I met some of the most amazing, supportive and loyal group of girls that I would not have met without you. My friends, here in Florence, became like my family and I would not have survived the semester without them. I truly hope we will remain close for the rest of our lives.
I will miss the diversity of people there was in every street corner. I met so many fashionistas, a lot of locals who have lived there all their live lives, artists, chefs, and musicians. I met so many international students for all over the world, some travelers who are living their dreams and are backpacking Europe, tourists, and many many students like me who left home to study and live here.
Thank you for giving me a reason to come back. I may have lived here for the last 4 months, but I didn’t finish seeing or doing everything I wanted. You’re a city with so much to do and see, and you are especially filled with so many amazing restaurants… four months was definitely not enough to do it all. You are full of mysterious and hidden gems. Whenever I thought I knew you inside and out, you surprised me with even more new stuff to see or try.
Thank you for teaching me so much, not only about the world, but about myself. I learned how to become independent and how to deal with a lot of situations by myself. You forced me to be outside of my comfort zone and, to my surprise, I learned that whatever hard situation or scenario I’m put in, in the end, I’ll be okay! The decision to leave my friends, family and home was not an easy one to make, but I know that choosing to live here has made me grow up an enormous amount. This experience has definitely prepared me for what’s ahead of me in life. I had no idea how much this experience would change my entire life.
Thank you for being the best decision I’ve ever made. I will never be able to thank you enough to the people you lead me to, the new places you showed me (especially when I was lost) and the adventures you gave me everyday.
Sending you lots of love from the USA,
Esperanza is a College of Charleston student who spent Fall 2016 at Florence University of the Arts.