Living Abroad (Florence): La Dolce Vita
We have been in the beautiful city of Florence for a little more than a week, and I am already overwhelmed by the incredible culture that surrounds me here. The first time I turned a corner and saw the “Duomo”, or main cathedral, here in Florence my breath caught for a moment. It was a masterpiece—someone’s life work preserved for us to see and try to appreciate.
Already, we have ventured to Fiesole, Siena, and San Gimagnano. We have seen these city’s duomos, we have picked grapes in a Tuscan vineyard and we have seen more works of art than we could ever properly appreciate.
This country has plenty to offer aside from the impressive sights, though. The food here is considered as much a work of art as any statue or painting. Each meal is something to be enjoyed, each bite is made to be savored and appreciated. Some meals last for hours as the Italian people relax and talk and enjoy their several course meals one bite at a time.
The people, too, are something to behold. Much to the contrary of the rude Italian stereotype, we have met nothing but kind people here. Local students came to help us learn the language for the first week, and we quickly learned how very similar we are.
True, the men are a bit more forward than their American counterparts, but they don’t mean any harm.
Every time I discover something new—a park tucked behind a corner, the best gelateria in town, a sweet native in a caffé or an incredible work of art in the middle of the street—I have to remind myself that I really do live here. This is home now. Every time I turn that corner, the Duomo will be there. For the next eight months, every time I walk through the city, I will have to remind myself that this is mine, too. I get the most unbelievable opportunity to share in the beautiful history of this place and it’s just now becoming real.