Welcoming in Florence.

DuomoFirst off, this was taken from inside the restaurant of my hotel. And to me this is what makes this experience real. I’d dreamed of going to Italy for 10+ years, and now I’m really here. But more so than just “wanting” to come here, academically I wanted to gain a greater concept of Art in all of its styles for my major in Studio Art, not just paintings, which is my concentration.

Today was my first full day in Florence, I’m already close friends with my roommates and have seen SO MUCH. After the API meeting, I went with my roommates to explore city, the first being the Duomo, which is literally right around the corner from the hotel we’re staying at for orientation. Words are beyond all comprehension right now, that building alone is just AMAZING, and so intricately detailed on the outside (we didn’t go inside) it is incredible.


Close upThis how close we got. And I was also trying to do this without getting anything stolen (’cause I saw a pretty “shade-y” character close to where we were) , so that was the one drawback of this.

And since I’m a bit lost on words right now, here are some more pictures:


street art




I’m more than aware that I will need to STUDY and go to classes, and I have to walk twenty to thirty minutes to get everywhere, but outside of the class, I’m hoping to visit as many museums as I can, climb to the top of the Duomo to see that view, and just absorb the environment.

What else can I say really? I came to explore the art for my major, and the culture, the wonder and adventure of being in a new country, while also gaining a clear understanding of how people interact with each other, and I couldn’t be any happier that I’m finally here.

My biggest fears really are getting lost in the city left and right, primarily if I’m alone (which hopefully won’t be a lot) as well as going out on personal excursions that the program isn’t offering (whether or not I have enough money to get back to Florence, or my stuff gets stolen, etc.) But otherwise, I’m proud to be here, and have great friends and staff to help me.




4 Responses to Welcoming in Florence.

  1. Katie M January 30, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

    Ciao Clara!!! You did it!!! You made your dream become a reality!

    Soak up the sights, the sounds, the tastes and the special moments during your semester in beautiful Florence!

  2. Brianna H February 13, 2015 at 10:38 pm #

    Hey Clara!

    It is so great that you’re finally in Italy after years of dreaming about it! I did a year in Torino and fell in love with everything about Italy. I was amazed by the beauty of Florence and all the art there. It sounds like you’re already in paradise.

    Don’t be afraid to get lost though! I totally understand how it can be unnerving, but sometimes getting lost is the best way to help you explore the city, find your way around, and see amazing different places that you might not have stumbled on before. Of course don’t go too far off the beaten path, but sometimes it is fun to put the boundaries of comfort and through that you’ll learn even more about yourself and find magical parts of Florence.

    I wish I could go back to Italy every day so make the most of it! Travel and see as much of Italy as you can, it is all new and breathtaking.

    – Brianna

    P.s. Eat and drink your heart out! You’ll never experience better food and wine 🙂

  3. Erin Chiocchio February 14, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

    Hi Clara!

    My name is Erin and I studied abroad in Rome last semester, so I know what it’s like to have art and iconic landmarks everywhere you go! I was in Florence for one day last year and the Duomo was incredible! I couldn’t believe the detail involved with it. I made it out of Rome without getting anything stolen from me, but I know plenty of people who’s phones got stolen, along with some wallets. As long as you keep your hand on your zipper when in a crowded area and make sure your phone is always with you and you have a good grip on it when taking pictures you will be fine! I thought I would get lost a lot more than I actually did, especially on weekend trips in brand new places. Just make sure you figure out how to get to your hostel or apartment from the airport before you get there, then once you get there and get wifi you can use your phone for directions and screenshot! The traveling on weekends was my favorite part, so I hope you can take advantage of that and being in Europe!! I had the time of my life and met some amazing people, and I hope you will come back feeling the same. Have an amazing semester! (I am super jealous)

  4. Ashley Bourque February 15, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

    Hi Clara! I felt like I was back in Florence after reading this post! I completely understand your fascination with Florence its a magnificent city! If I could give you one tip it would be to always look up. Most of the time when people walk in a city they keep their head down, instead look up and take in all the sights you can!! I can’t wait to hear more about your adventures!

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