My eight short weeks in Italia were incredible. Before moving to Italy, I had never even been to Europe, and that transition was a challenging, yet such a rewarding experience. I truly miss traveling every weekend, the charming cities, the unbelievable meals, and most of all – all of the great friends I made there.
From my very first week, I had gone to Moyè (my favorite café) nearly every single day, sometimes even twice a day. Moyè became my second home. Hardly anyone spoke a word of English and even with all of the cultural barriers and awkward miscommunications, I became close friends with everyone. One of the waitresses, Sofia, without hesitation began inviting me to hang out with her friends and other coworkers outside of work. We went to amazingly delicious restaurants deep in the hills outside of Firenze, we went to random hole-in-the-wall bars in the city, and we went to stunningly gorgeous and secluded beaches all over the Mediterranean Coast.
After my study abroad program ended, I moved out of my apartment and then moved in to the “Casa di Sofia”. Everyone in the study abroad program were from various Universities in California, so majority of my prior experiences were with Americans. To see Italia guided by locals, speak Italian in a different dialect, and to actually live with a local was a completely different, authentic experience. I met truly incredible people, had some of the best food and vino I’ve ever had, and saw places that most tourists would never be able to find – or even know exist. All thanks to my new friends.
It’s funny because… everyone helped teach me how to speak Italian, while I taught them how to speak English. I’ll never forget laughing so hard trying to teach Sofia how to say “Air”, “Hair”, “There”, and “Ear”… haha and of course, I still can’t roll my R’s.
I was heart broken as I sat in my hotel room on my last night writing my last Italia blog post. At 5am I would leave for the airport to take me to my next adventure. It seems like just last week that I was getting lost in the cobblestone streets of Firenze and trying my first Italian espresso. It’s a very bittersweet goodbye, but I know I’ll be back soon. Arrivederci Firenze! Grazie mille per le esperienze straordinarie!
16 June 2013 – 11 August 2013