Monday, July 21, 2014

I miss Florence so much - leaving the city, even to embark on a whirlwind, two week trip through Paris, London and Barcelona, was a very sad experience for me. I never imagined that I would feel such a connection and feel an incredibly strong sense of belonging in a place so far away from what I've always called home. Even more than I miss the city I miss hearing and speaking Italian. The English language will never sound as beautiful to me as Italian does, of that much I am sure. Although I have always thought of myself as Italian first and American second, and am proud of the way my family has chosen to maintain Italian culture and tradition in the States, living and learning in Italy as a twenty-something pulled me even deeper into this part of who I am - and I could not be more grateful for it. 

Arrivederci, Firenze - Ti amo e ti vedrĂ² presto, lo prometto.      
Leaving my host family and their home was very sad for me - they positively impacted my study abroad experience in so many ways. However, we've been keeping in contact via email since I left, and when I inevitably return to Florence I plan to see them - they were the best family away from home I could have asked for. I miss Cristiana's cooking and encouraging me to practice speaking Italian with her, Ricardo's jokes, Tommaso's sassiness and Giulio's magic tricks already.    

At the end of our last week, Kayleigh and I took a walk through familiar places in the city that we had spent a lot of time in over the course of the past six weeks, but hadn't taken photos of yet: the Arno, Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi and Piazza Signoria.