Ciao Florence

It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later

Francesca Giordano
April 30, 2015

It was my first day, and my roommates and I had gone out to explore Florence. Wandering around aimlessly, we stumbled upon the Duomo. Although night had fallen, it was lit up beautifully. It almost seemed as though it was fake, as if it were a part of a movie scene and if I were to do so much as tap it with a finger it might all collapse. But it was real, just like my new home was really Florence. In that moment it sank in that this was going to be my home for the next four months; I wasn’t just on vacation. 


As I sit here thinking about how fast the time has gone by, tears almost come to my eyes at the realization that I only have two short weeks left in this remarkable city. My friends and I joke about how many days we have left as an initiative to get someone to go somewhere, and every time my heart skips a beat. Words cannot begin to describe how badly I want to stay.


My dream has always been to travel the world and for the past four months I have been fulfilling it. I can’t imagine leaving and going back to America to the same routine. I have made a life for myself in Florence, a life that I’m not quite ready to give up. Although that time must come, for me to say goodbye, I will always remember what Florence has given me.


Prior to studying abroad, I was always worried about the next step in my life. Florence has taught me to enjoy every moment in the present and not to worry about where I’ll be in a year from now. The world is too beautiful not to stop and take a look around.


Walking home from Santa Maria Novella rail station, after a weekend trip, I am always grateful to come back home. Every time, my eyes light up at the beauty. While being abroad I have visited 10 countries and 25 cities, yet every time I come back, I am always reassured that my favorite city is Florence. The culture, character and art that fills the streets is something indescribable; it’s not something you find everywhere.


During my time in the Tuscan city I have met people from all over the world, pushed myself beyond my limits and had experiences of a lifetime. I have learned much about the world and myself that I would have never done so had I not chosen to study abroad. It makes me eager to learn more and see what else is out there, waiting for me to discover.


Florence, I have you to thank for that. It’s not goodbye; it’s ciao cara, see you later.

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