My experience in Florence was absolutely perfect. It sounds so cliche but it literally was- I loved everything about it. From meals at Ganzo, to seeing the Duomo, Statue of David, Boboli Gardens, Michaelangelo, and Fiesole view- this place is unreal. Thinking about going back to America Saturday actually depresses me. I wish this could last forever. I have made a TON of friends who are from all over the US, and we have gone on trips all over the place. Four months has never flown by SO fast! I didn't travel outside of Italy due to a massive lack of funds...but it didn't even matter because I traveled ALL over Italy, and each place was better than the next. And even on the days I was in Florence... it was still just as special because this city is so magical. I learned something new every day, literally. The language barrier no longer exists between me and Italians (ok maybe a little) but I can hold a short conversation now and not feel awkward. Italians are great! They are sooo different from Americans. They dress a lot nicer too, which I really love. I also met people from Brazil, England, Scotland, Belgium, South Africa- everywhere! It was SO much fun hearing all the different accents and having conversations with people.
I'd have to say Amalfi Coast was my favorite trip I took during my stay in Italy. We had 80 degree weather, orange and lemon trees in the backyard of all of our bungalows, and explored beautiful shorelines and colorful houses. I will also say, however, that my FAVORITE experience in Italy was venturing out to Maranello to visit my dream place, Maranello, where I visited the Ferrari Museum and accomplished my lifelong goal of driving a Ferrari :) So worth the 100 euro.
Overall, this semester really shaped me as a person and made me 100% more confident in myself. Who knew I could fly 5,000 miles, adapt to a new environment, new people, new food and new way of life all by myself!? I feel so accomplished and happy with how this whole experience turned out. I will encourage any college student who has not left America to do it, because it pushes you as a person. It's hard no doubt, but in the end you feel like you can do anything. Italy has made me want to go home and be motivated- work hard, and really start establishing my career and finishing strong in school.