This week I arrived in Florence, got settled in to my apartment, and explored the city of Florence for the first time. My program director arranged a welcoming dinner for me and the rest of the students studying abroad and it was a great opportunity to get to know one another and ask lots of questions regarding our stay. For the first few days of my trip, I got the chance to get to know where I would be living and meet many of the locals. I learned that most of the people here know at least some English, which makes it a lot easier to communicate than I thought it would be. So far, everyone that I have met here is so kind and helpful. It seems like everyone is so grateful to have tourists starting to come back and they have been treating us so good. I am truly seeing Italy in a way that many others have not and in a way that I will probably never experience again. The streets aren't busy at all and restaurants and businesses are not as crowded as they probably usually are. Traveling during Covid has not been easy, but I am very thankful for the few positives that have come out of it! This week, the API program provided a day trip to explore the city of Bologna and visit a balsamic vinaigrette farm in Modena and I also took the time to travel to Pisa and see the famous leaning tower, as well as visit some museums. All of these experiences were absolutely amazing and I learned so much about Italy, outside of Florence. My classes do not start until week two of my trip, so I had loads of time to get to know the city and the people I would be exploring it with!
For more photos, visit the week 1 gallery!