It’s official: I’m not going home. Sorry mom and dad I’ve decided to stay in Italy and live here indefinitely. Italy is everything I dreamed it would be when I was planning my trip, from the food, to the culture, to the history that surrounds me every single day. On my way to class every morning I pass Santa Croce, the resting place of Michelangelo, The Duomo, which is one of the largest and most beautiful cathedrals in the world, and many other historic sites. I almost forget that I’m not a local sometimes, and I get annoyed trying to navigate through all of the tourists taking pictures of the historic sites that I get to see every single day. There’s still somehow something new to discover around every corner though, whether it’s an amazing new gelato shop, or a museum I never even knew existed. Some of my courses even include museum trips into the curriculum, so I get to explore the city and get credit for going to class at the same time.
Studying in Florence also gives me the opportunity to travel other places as well. One of my favorite places that I’ve visited would have to be Lucca, a small city about an hour away from Florence by train. Lucca is a gorgeous and peaceful city known for its 100m thick protective wall. In the past this wall was used as defense against canons from invaders, however today residents ride bikes and walk on top of its tree lined path for recreation. Riding bikes on top of the wall was definitely the highlight of the day for me, as the scenery was so breathtaking, however my friends and I also managed to visit several of the churches in the town, including the Duomo of San Martino. I also got the opportunity to travel to Split, Croatia where I went white water rafting, took a boat tour of several of the islands near the mainland, jumped off a cliff or two, and visited Krka National Park, a park known for its incredible waterfalls. I had never even considered Croatia as a travel destination before coming to Italy, but I know now I’ll certainly return someday. From its white marble streets and buildings, to its crystal-clear turquoise water, and the mountains (which are basically a thing of myth when you grow up in Florida) that tower over the entire country, Croatia is the perfect travel destination.
Even though I may not want to return home, in three more weeks I’ll be boarding a plane back to Florida, so I’m not going to waste any of the time I have left in this amazing country. There’s still so much I want to do and I don’t want to regret missing out on anything, even though I know this is not the last time I’ll be coming to Europe! Ciao for Now!