Written by Angela, High School/Pre-College Student Correspondent for CET Florence: Italian Food, Art, and Society, Summer 2019
Ciao! Mi chiamo Angela. Sono di Texas.
My teenage dreams have final come to a reality! Ever since I found out there was thing called studying abroad, I immediately took interest. Back in America I have been fortunate enough to travel and explore the United States with my family. We have experienced unique qualities from each state that we visited. This amplified my desire to travel on my own someday and go out to explore more than just The States, I wanted to travel the world.
When I came across this program, I took serious interest. I went to my mom with a handwritten list explaining what experiences the program could offer and how I should definitely go. It took me by surprise when my parents agreed on it and showed nothing but support. I understand how scary it is to let your child go to a foreign country on their own. They were letting their first born into the world all by herself. I’m so glad they had the confidence and faith in me to travel across the world on my own. I pulled it off! I made it to Italy!
So far, this experience has been filled with so much beauty. The language is like a melody you never want to stop listening to. Italians speak as if they’re singing a song which is what makes the language so unique. I’ve learned a few Italian phrases and words for the time being here and I’m very eager to continue going to Italian communication class and practice my Italian speaking on the streets.
The buildings and architecture are eye opening. It’s such a nice feeling to be comfortable to open the windows in our apartment in the morning or before we go to bed. It’s a wonderful change from what we’re used to back home.
Don’t get me started on the food. The first gelato that I had in Italy was a cone full of happiness. After having that gelato in my hand, it reminded me that I’m here in one of the most beautiful cities in the country and I’ll be waking up to it for the next 4 weeks. Also, el cafè (a cup of coffee) is so important here. It’s typical for locals to drink at least once a day no matter the time of day. I don’t drink coffee very often but have allowed myself to walk up to nearby cafes and ordering a cup. Following that, every dish that I’ve had has been incredibly delicious and authentic. My favorite so far is “Pici” which we recently learned how to cook. I can’t wait to get back home and share what I learned with my family and have an authentic Italian meal in Texas.
From celebrating traditional events in Florence and Siena to exploring Duomos and museums, we’ve done so much over these past couple of weeks. The amount of knowledge I’ve retained from being here is amazing, I love it so much. On our down time we usually take evening strolls, explore different neighborhoods, schoolwork, window shop, or just roam around the markets. The weather is nice and toasty just like Texas which is why it’s always important to carry sunscreen and water around. I enjoy having to walk around everywhere we go since it allows us to take in the beautiful scenery the city has to offer. Waking up every morning and walking across the bridge that forms over the Arno river is the best part of my day. The view never disappoints, especially looking over your shoulder to notice the famous historical bridge, “Ponte Vecchio”, is right there!
Overall, my time in Italy has been successful and life changing in so many different ways. I send all my love and gratitude to my parents who have helped me accomplish one of my goals. I can’t wait for what else this program has in store for us.