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It’s been almost an entire year since I’ve returned home from my semester abroad and I’ve been feeling quite nostalgic lately. I decided to take a look at the blog posts that I wrote last year as the Official CAPA Florence Blogger — partly to see how my writing has improved and partly to relive some of the best memories of my life.
When I came across this post, where I listed the six things I was going to miss the most about Florence, I thought it would be interesting to look at what I said I would miss and compare it to what I really miss today when I reflect on my time there.
Though everything in that list still holds true (I mean, how could I not miss the mouthwatering food?), I’ve come up with an updated one that more accurately represents what causes the nostalgia to hit me hard.
1. THE LIFESTYLE. In Florence, and Europe in general, the lifestyle is a LOT different than it is in America. People take their time with their daily activities, such as eating, drinking their espresso, and walking down the street. In other words, you don’t see anyone speed-walking with their Starbucks cup to get to work or school on time. In general, it’s a lot more laid back and stress-free, which I thoroughly enjoyed. In America, people generally are always on-the-go and don’t take time to appreciate the present moment that they’re in — everybody you see walking down the street has a device in their hands, not wanting to be bothered by their surroundings. Being the anxious person that I am, I tend to prefer the Florentine/European lifestyle, as the slower pace of life helped me relax and enjoy the present moment.
2. THE CONSTANT EUPHORIA. Even though I was in Florence for an entire semester, I was exposed to something new every single day, and that was exhilarating to me. Constantly encountering new sights, sounds, and smells caused me to be in a perpetual state of awe, which is something I truly miss. Whether it was a street artist showing off his work or an old Italian man playing the accordion, something new caught my eye each day as I explored the city and I sincerely miss waking up and having no ideas or expectations about what I would encounter that day.
3. THE BEAUTIFUL SIGHTS. There’s no denying that the city of Florence is filled with some of the most mesmerizing sights in the world. I miss walking down the quaint little cobblestone streets, strolling past the Duomo while looking up in astonishment, and, of course, I miss the view from Piazzale Michelangelo. Sorry, Pittsburgh — though you do have some wonderful sights to see, I think the views in Florence may be a tad more picturesque.
4. THE CAPA CENTER. I couldn’t help but put this on my updated list as well. Stepping into that old building on Via Pandolfini each and every day became a routine, and CAPA grew to be like a home to me. It is where some of my most valued relationships formed, between myself, my classmates, my professors, and of course the CAPA staff.
Though it’s safe to say I reminisce about essentially everything related to Florence and my study abroad experience, I find this to be a pretty comprehensive list of the aspects of Florence that I miss the most