Feeling Grateful for Daily Life as a Student in Florence

Nov 22, 2018 10:45:00 AM / by Payton Meyer

In this week's post, Payton expresses what she's grateful for—the chance to experience a semester abroad and Thanksgiving in Florence. Her daily life hasn't been the same since the beginning of the fall, so read on to see what her new routine and habits are like and how she'll be spending Thanksgiving abroad.

Ciao! This week, I thought I would describe a typical day in the life of a CAPA student, and why I find it so interesting to live and study in Florence. First, let’s talk about Mondays.

On a typical Monday morning, I wake up around 10 am and start my stroll to class shortly after. I live about a 15-minute walk (20 minutes if I’m feeling hungry and stop for a croissant) from CAPA, and make my way through one of my favorite squares in the city, Piazza Della Repubblica, preceded by alleys lined with high-end designer retail stores. The square has been under construction since I’ve been in Florence, making it a bit less picturesque, but I’ve been able to see some pretty cool Roman ruins that lie beneath the Florentine streets as a result of the excavation process. The square is a hot spot for street performers that station themselves in front of the carousel and play beautiful acoustic versions of well-known songs, surrounded by happy onlookers. I always leave myself a little extra time to stop, listen, and remind myself how cool it is that I live here.

Street Performers in Piazza della RepubblicaStreet Performers in Piazza della Repubblica.

My only class on Mondays is Beginners Oil Painting at noon, that takes place in a stylish little art/design studio a few doors down from CAPA. Usually, I’ll walk in, grab my supplies, bring them over to an easel, and get to work on my painting of Ponte Vecchio. This past Monday, however, we went for a little field trip (a CAPA staple)! Our instructor, Jamie, an American who's been living and painting in Florence for the past 30 years, walked us over to Palazzo Strozzi to view performance artist Marina Abramovic’s exhibition: The Cleaner. These field trips to various exhibitions, museums, and cathedrals are my absolute favorite part of studying with CAPA. Every one of our instructors is an expert in their field, and every week, we go on our own guided tours through some of the most famous sites in the world, like the Uffizi. These guided tours are customized to include information relevant to both Florentine culture and our classes. Best of all, the cost of all of these field trips is included in our CAPA program!

Palette and paintsMy art palette for class.

The Cleaner exhibition was like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and quite different than the renaissance art museums that I’m used to visiting in my renaissance art history and museology classes. The ticket was valid for the whole day, and since I didn’t have any other classes to attend that day, I stayed for quite a while to see the various live reenactments of Marina’s previous performances and think about how Florence is home to some of the earliest and most conventional art forms, as well as some of the newest and most abstract, like performance and street art, and how awesome it is that they all coexist here.

Marina Abarmovic's The Cleaner at Palazzo StrozziMarina Abarmovic's The Cleaner exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi.

On any other weekday I would find myself back at CAPA after my morning class for Beginners Italian, another one of my favorites, and learn how to (attempt to) speak like a true Florentine. But on Mondays, I usually pop over to my favorite rooftop cafe to get some work done—with a view, of course—before meeting up with my CAPA friends to watch the sunset, and then either cook or go out to dinner to try a new typical Tuscan dish before Monday night trivia!

My favorite cafe, Il Caffe Verone, above the Museo degli InnocentiMy favorite cafe, Il Caffe Verone, above the Museo degli Innocenti.

Every day in Florence is a day well spent, and as I’ve said a million times before, I feel so lucky to be here this semester. I’m trying to cherish every moment with CAPA, my friends, and my Ganzo! family in this beautiful city as the semester starts to come to a close. This week, I’m looking forward to the Thanksgiving Dinner that CAPA is treating our whole program to.

They even managed to find a place that would serve us turkey to make sure we feel right at home and don’t miss out on one of our favorite American holidays. Needless to say, this year I’m thankful for the CAPA staff and everything they have done for us since the moment we arrived here, as well as my family back in Colorado that got me here—who I’m missing a little extra this week.

Until next time, bacini!

Thanks, Payton!

Payton Meyer

Payton Meyer is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Strategic Communication major at  University of Colorado Boulder, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

Payton's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Florence Program

Topics: International Education, Florence, Italy