Emily Kearns is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2015, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A communications and business major at the University of Pittsburgh, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.
In her post below, Emily says a sad goodbye to Florence and shares the six things she will miss the most.
- - -
As much as I would like to deny it, my time here in Florence is rapidly coming to an end. I would like to use this post to reflect on this wonderful, life-changing semester that I've had and think about the aspects of this experience and city that I will miss the most after my return home:
1. THE WONDERFUL FRIENDS I HAVE MADE. They say that the friends you make while studying abroad will be the friends you keep forever because this is such a unique and exciting experience that nobody on the outside will ever fully be able to comprehend. Coming into this program essentially not knowing anybody was one of my best decisions because it forced me to be more outgoing and open in order to make friends. In these last few months, I have met so many great people who I hope to keep in contact with for a very long time. Luckily, I met some wonderful people who go to Pitt, like me, but it will be very sad to say goodbye to the friends I’ve made who live across the country. It will be a big adjustment not being around this group of people constantly, since I’ve seen them every day for the past 100 days!
2. THE DUOMO. I remember the first time I saw the Duomo, in my cab ride from the airport. I was in complete shock at how big and beautiful it is. Honestly, after spending three and a half months here, I can say that each time I catch a glimpse or walk by this masterpiece, I still cannot fathom the intricate details and the size of it. Each and every time I walk by, I can’t help but just look up in awe and I will surely miss being so lucky to see this beautiful cathedral each and every day.
3. LIVING IN THE CITY. I am so happy that I chose to study Florence, a small city where everything is within walking distance. This semester I have visited plenty of big cities, where public transportation is necessary, and, even though it’s not that hard to use, it’s not as enjoyable for me as walking is. It’s so nice to go outside, get some fresh air and take in the sights of this beautiful city. The livelihood is another aspect of the city that I will surely miss - I love walking around, on any given day or night, and feeling the energy that this city has. It will definitely be a big adjustment going back to Center Valley, a small town in Pennsylvania.
4. THE ITALIAN LANGUAGE. Italian is a beautiful language and I have learned to love walking around and picking up on little terms and phrases when people speak to one another, while also trying my best to speak it. I don’t know enough Italian to understand full conversations, so generally I walk around not knowing what is being said said around me, which is sort of nice sometimes. I can walk down the streets, mind my own business and take in the sights without being preoccupied by outside conversations. It will be different to go back home and actually be able to understand and listen to everybody’s conversations around me.
5. THE FOOD. Obviously, American food cannot compare to the Italian cuisine, and while I am so very excited to have some home-cooked meals courtesy of my mother, I will definitely miss the great meals I’ve had in this city. One of the best meals I’ve had is the gnocchi from Il Pizzaiuolo, my favorite restaurant (located on Via dei Macci). Also, pizza at home will never compare to a real, Italian pizza.
6. CAPA. I am so happy I chose to study abroad with CAPA, a wonderful organization that offers so many opportunities for its students. I talked about how great the CAPA staff is in my first post and my feelings towards them have not changed. I have never met a more genuine, caring and generous group of people; they were always readily available to help with anything one may need. Thank you to Lorenzo, Vittoria, Valentina, Laura, Guido, Francesco and Stefano for all that you have done this semester. Your passion for your work and the city of Florence was very apparent and it was a pleasure working with such an amazing group of people!
My experience in Florence has been amazing and I have seen and done more than some people could only dream of. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity, one that wouldn’t have been possible without my loving parents. Thank you, Florence, for being my home for the past few months and for giving me a semester I will never, ever forget.
Emily’s journey ends with her post next Thursday, so stay tuned for one more.