First let me start off with saying, If any of you know me, you know that going to Italy has always been important to me as I am an Italian American. Sadly, I can’t speak Italian and there are many things that have not been passed down by my family. Being able to come to Italy and study abroad has been such a wonderful opportunity for me!
Of course it is always a bit stressful traveling to a new country on a different continent. I arrived with my father about a week earlier then my check in date. My biggest issue arriving here, and so far my only big issue, was that on the first night staying in Fiuggi, a very small and beautiful Italian town outside of Rome, I lost my Lloyd Dragon on the first night ….. (I’m sorry Dr. Muich!). I was not very happy, but at least I got a picture with him. Really, it wasn't as awful as it seemed, but I spent the next day soothing myself with my first gelato (It worked).
|Capri, Italy. The water is so blue. So beautiful there.|
|Statue looking over the ruins of Pompeii|
Besides that, Everything else has been wonderful. Here is Firenze (Florence), I live with an Italian family, and it was probably one of the best choices I have ever made. They gave me such a warm welcome. Caterina, my host mommy, makes the best food I have had in Italy. She understands how much I love dolce (dessert). She is so warm, welcoming, and hilarious. She pushes me to learn and speak Italian, all while teaching me about all of the culture while I tell her about what it is like where I live (Which is not as exciting as Firenze of course). I also live with two other students which is very nice. One comes from Hawaii and the other from Taiwan! How Interesting! So I am also learning about their cultures as well!
|Sitting on the ancient steps in the Coliseum in Roma, Italia.|
|Standing at the back side of the Ara Pacis|
Yes, I have been eating as much food as I can. Mostly Gelato. If I hear any student comes to Italy and is on a diet, then we just can’t be friends. It’s impossible. I just can’t let it happen. But let me just say, sometimes I feel like I really was meant to be Italian. Why? I have a good example. Here in Italia, breakfast (La colazione) is usually sweet food. I always have sweet food for breakfast. I don’t care for bacon and eggs. Also … Nutella … Nutella everywhere … Is there any other place you can really call paradise? I think no. My sweet tooth is at a true paradise here.
|Standing at the front side of the Ara Pacis!|
|Selfie with The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, in the Uffizi Gallery. I live 5 minutes from it.|
Besides the food, I’ve already traveled to Rome, Pisa, Pompeii, and Capri. I plan to see much more. It’s just so beautiful here, where ever I go. I’ve fallen in love with Capri. It’s so beautiful. The water is truly clear and a deep, rich blue. I got to swim in the water. Truly blessed.
|look at how beautiful this gelato is. Gelato -- 2.50euro, happiness -- priceless|
|First glass of wine in Italy, Right before I lost my dragon!|
I live right beside the river here in Firenze, This is the gorgeous view from the bridge.
It’s been so weird, yet so great, for me to all of a sudden stand in front of all of these important art pieces or historical Italian monuments that I would study in class in the United States. My freshman year at UNCG I took Dr. Muich’s course “Trojan War Narratives” (Great class, I recommend). Towards the end of the semester, I remember sitting in class learning about Augustus and the Ara Pacis (The Altar of Peace). Now here in Italy, I have already found myself standing in front of it, looking at it and walking up its steps. It’s so crazy! It had the same feeling when I saw the Coliseum, Statue of David, Pompeii, and all of the other places I’ve explored.
|My first Tiramisu in Italy, Not only did it look stunning, but it tasted stunning .. amazing|
If you consider coming to Italy, please do it. Not only is Nutella everywhere, but the people here are so kind and welcoming. At Lorenzo de Medici, I am required to learn Italian, and I always test my Italian when buying anything or talking to any Italian. They are so nice to someone who butchers their beautiful language. I have never been so happy with myself. I pushed myself so hard at UNCG, and now I get to be here and live like an Italian. I plan to see so much more .. (and buy more) in the next 2.5 months. I hope to come back to UNCG with more amazing stories to tell and more pictures to show. Right now all I can say is …. Io amo i gelati (i love gelato!)
|The side view of Michelangelo's David. You can see his rib cage! How
Lorenzo De Medici