By: Adriana Belmonte
Traveling to another country used to be a foreign concept to me, no pun intended. Growing up, the idea of going somewhere outside of America seemed to be silly. What could other countries give me that America does not already? Then I started college. My school has one of the biggest international programs in the country but this did not faze me as I began studying. Everything I wanted was right in front of me. Yet, so many peers I would meet would talk about their experiences studying abroad. I met people who stayed in Malta, Italy, Morocco, Australia, Thailand, Japan, and more. I began to feel as though I were missing out on something, so I started testing out the waters. After freshman year, I convinced my family to do our vacation in Mexico. I felt this would be a great way to get my feet wet and start to get a feel for another country. Mexico was an awesome experience and the following year, we decided to do north of the border to round out the continent. Visiting Niagara Falls made me realize that I was ready to travel even further outside of my comfort zone. After much deliberation and research, I decided on Florence, Italy
For Twippers that are reading this, Florence is unique in several ways, one of them being that it is a city for several Travanalities.
First and foremost, Epicureans will be in heaven. The Tuscany region is known for not only excellent food but also incredible wine tours. The best part, for some reason, if you do not like the food in Florence, you can travel somewhere else and find what you are looking for. Florence is the center of everything in Europe and makes it incredibly easy to travel anywhere throughout the continent. As an Epicurean myself, I am excited for the food. Some of my favorite meals that my family makes at our Italian dinners will be right at my fingertips in Florence, such as panzanella, antipasti, and gelato.
For those who identify more with the Imaginavo Travanality, you’re in the right place. Did you know that Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance? Architecture and art lovers will thrive in this kind of environment. Artists and sculptors including Donatello, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Michelangelo are from this city as are many more artists. The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, the Palazzo Vecchio, and the Bargello are just some of the incredible features that Florence boasts of its history. As a lover of literature, I find myself excited at the idea of immersing myself in Italian novels and browsing through the works of Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, and Giovanni Boccaccio.
Soulager Twippers can escape reality not only through the culture of Florence but also through the lifestyle of the Florentines. Soulagers can relax by the Arno River with a glass of wine and a novel while the rest of the world carries on.
Other Travanalities can still find their niche in Florence too. This is what makes the city so unique and appeasing to a traveler like myself. However, it is important to remember that finding your niche in a foreign country should not be your top priority. It’s okay to lose yourself a bit in the culture and step outside of your comfort zone. While many people in Florence speak English, you will encounter those who only speak Italian. Instead of finding yourself frustrated at the language barrier, challenge yourself to find a way to communicate. Don’t run away from any obstacles. Florentines are willing to help if you are willing to meet them halfway.
As you decide where to embark for your next adventure, consider Florence. Whether it is the food, the culture, the people, or the lifestyle, you will find something to love about this beautiful city. Florence has something for everyone and once you arrive at this magical destination, you won’t want to leave.