Connor McGlone is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Marketing and Supply Chain Management major at University of Pittsburgh, he is studying abroad in Florence this semester.
In this week's post, Connor recaps his experience participating in CAPA Florence My Global City events. From discovering secret facts about historical Florence during a guided tour, to hiking a mountain at sunset, follow along on his Italian adventures!
One of the best things to take advantage of in the CAPA program are the My Global City events that CAPA organizes. A My Global City event is an activity such as a boat ride around Florence, tastes of different eateries, or a hike to certain hot spots in the city. These events allow the students to discover more about their new city and meet new people along the way. These pre-planned and well-organized events take the stress out of trying to plan something fun to do, as all that is required from the students is to sign up. This past week I was lucky enough to go on two My Global City events. Both events helped me to see the beauty of Florence while learning more about the city itself.
An example of the plaques people used to write on buildings around Florence to communicate with their friends!
Last Tuesday I signed up for the “Secrets of Florence” tour. I was just expecting to see some new sights around historical Florence, but the tour exceeded expectations. I discovered completely new areas that I had no idea existed within the city. He gave us advice on where to get coffee, go out to dinner, and even the best places to sit and watch the sunset. The tour helped me branch out of what I already know and I discovered more about my city.
This is a picture of Dante Alighieri’s home in the center of Florence.
The tour guide also told us some fascinating anecdotes about Florence throughout the tour. He showed us where Dante Alighieri, the famous Italian writer, lived in the 13th century along with many other historical facts. My favorite fact was about the written plaques along the walls of different buildings. Our tour guide told us that this is how Florentines use to communicate with each other before technology. They would inscribe on a plaque where to meet up or what they were doing for others to see. The tour was a great experience that helped me to learn more about Florence and to meet new people along the way. A group of us that met on the tour even got dinner together after it was over!
The following night I signed up to hike Monte Ceceri in Fiesole. We took the bus to Fiesole which was my first time riding the bus in Florence. Public transportation was something I was nervous about before coming to Florence but it was very easy to figure out.
Friends and I stopping to read facts about Monte Ceceri while on the hike!
The hike—though long and steep at times—was 100% worth the view. We reached the top of the mountain and could see the entire city of Florence. The view was breath taking and we were able to watch the sunset over the city. It helped to get a better perspective of how small Florence really is. The city is filled with amazing buildings, museums, and people and we were able to see the entirety of it from atop the mountain. It also helped to understand the layout and structure of Florence better. We then ended the hike by getting pizza at a restaurant in Fiesole.
The hike took us to the very top of Monte Ceceri, where we could see the entire city while watching the sunset.
I had an amazing time at both events. I recommend any CAPA student to take advantage of all the different My Global City opportunities that CAPA offers. I learned so much more about the history Florence and now know new places to explore while making new friends along the way.
Connor's journey continues every Tuesday so stay tuned.