Marte Eggleston is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2016, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A journalism major at the Indiana University, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.
In this week's post, Marte talks about doing something that made her feel more at home in Florence: Going for a run.
I can honestly say that finding a way to work out while in Florence was not high on my priority list at all. I grudgingly packed the essentials if I was ever in the situation that would require more athletic effort than walking aimlessly around the city; I did not think I would have the kind of time to commit to a serious workout, and I knew I would not be spending my precious hours and euros on finding a gym. There was also a secret fear of getting lost or some type of situation a la the movie franchise Taken. However, the weather is only getting warmer and warmer, and it turns out that I do have a bit more free time than I expected (which is NOT a bad thing!).
So, in light of the weather and time, a few days ago I put on the clothes I did not think I would use and went on a run around my new stomping grounds. I had trepidation about being hit by a car or scooter along the way, but I had already made up my mind. I’m happy to say that I did not get hit on my run, and it turned out to be more than enjoyable. I was able to navigate a quick 25-minute route around all of the places I knew, and as I was running the loop I knew that I was feeling at home. I could go out without fear of the people around me or of getting lost. It was freeing to be able to do something that I would normally do at home. It allowed me to discover more about my own neighborhood like a little park that was only a few blocks away from me that I had not seen before or a little teashop down the street. The neighborhood surrounding the park reminded me of New York, which is completely different from any of the other buildings I had seen in Florence.
The crowds and the cobblestones made it a little more challenging than most runs, but it was all in good fun. Besides, there is a kind of solidarity between the runners as we weave in and out of the pedestrians. After the last two weeks of learning new things constantly, it was a nice change in pace to do something completely common. The run as a whole made me realize that I didn’t feel like an outsider anymore. I was a part of the community, participating in something that a tourist wouldn’t normally do. As my travels will start to become more frequent in the coming weeks, I am glad to have found a real sense home in Florence where even the small things will seem normal, and I will feel like I’m really coming home after a weekend away.
Marte's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned.