These past three and a half months have been a whirlwind, but I am so proud to say that I completed a semester abroad in Florence, Italy. There were as many bad days as there were good days, but all in all, I believe that the places I’ve seen and the discoveries I’ve made about myself, Italian culture, and academic culture in a foreign country were all rewarding experiences that I will carry with me for this rest of my life.
As a friend of mine so eloquently stated in a Facebook message last week: “Finals still suck even when you’re studying abroad”. And after finishing three term papers, studying for four exams, and presenting two presentations (one of which was for Italian class, and I must admit, my Italian is still a little rusty), I can definitely agree with this statement. However, once I finished all of my assignments and exams, I felt truly accomplished and treated myself to a few farewell activities with friends.
The first of these adventures included one last visit to Michelangelo’s David statue at the Galleria Accademia in San Marco. I must say that being able to visit centuries old art and monuments within almost every city I traveled to is probably what I will miss the most about Italy. Afterwards, I walked over to the Duomo and marveled at the dome ceiling once again before joining friends for lunch in Piazza Repubblica.
Finally on Sunday, my friend Elizabeth and I took a trip to the ‘Firenze Mall’, a premium outlet center just forty minute outside of downtown Florence that includes Gucci, Prada, and Salvatore Ferrangamo outlets. The visit was the perfect way to end my last weekend in Florence.
I am already both sad and excited to have my last dinner with my host mom tomorrow but I know that the bonds I have made with my host family this semester are certainly going to extend beyond my time here in Florence.
So Firenze, until next time, Arriverderci!