After reading over my last post, I felt it sort of had a bitter, cynical tone towards Italy. That's not at all what I was going for and I truly do love Italian culture. Sure, I disagree with a lot of style decisions, moral decisions, and overall everyday decisions, but that's life.
Overall, the culture is fascinating. So different than the United States and I think I just love the United States because it's home. It's where I was raised; I love it there. But here is an experience. I not only had to learn how to deal with no Chipotle, no close friends, no JMU, but the language barrier was a huge obstacle. Along with the language barrier, there's a social barrier. It is hard to get to know anyone Italian. So I really learned how to be independent here, which is a big step. And through this process I found so many special surprises that I will miss everyday. Most of these things are so small and insignificant; but that's what makes up the experience for me. These little places; moments; foods, this is what Italy is to me. What makes this place special.
So here it is; my top 3 for Florence (not in any specific order):
1. My walk to school. Honestly, I didn't research Florence too much and I definitely didn't research where I would be living. I knew I was close to Gucci, which gave me some joy, although I knew I would never enter the store. After being here I realize, those stores are fun to gaze into, but add no real beauty to Florence. Crossing any of the bridges on the other hand. It's like a postcard. And I was lucky enough to have a bridge to cross on my short walk to school. The view is amazing. After a while I got used to it, but only recently, when I realized I'm leaving, have I truly began to appreciate the view again. sigh.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. The small things make a big difference.