Well, hello, hello! Or should I say “Ciao!”
It has been quite some time since we last spoke… Too long, in fact!
As some of you may know, I spent the semester abroad in Florence, Italy! It was the trip of a lifetime, and one that I really wish I could have brought you along for (as I had planned ).
Unfortunately (or should I say, “fortunately”), I was craaazy busy with exploring Florence, taking classes, and traveling all around Europe. It was a truly incredible, life-changing experience that I am beyond grateful for.
That said, having such a jam-packed schedule (in the best way possible) meant the first thing I had to let go of was blogging. I was devastated to have to do this since this would have been the perfect place to document the amazing ride I was on.
Luckily, not posting on here certainly did not mean I forgot about my blog, or all the exciting changes I was ready to make to it! Noooo sir. Throughout the four months I spent in Europe, I journaled about my adventures, continued writing ideas for posts (lots of WIAWs!), and took a gazillion pics (for my own albums and to share with family and friends, but also to share with you guys)! Oh, and I don’t know if you noticed, but I did manage to Instagram quite a bit!
So, even though I wasn’t able to update you on all my trips and daily happenings as I had dreamed about doing (and still wish I could’ve done)…
I am b a c k and ready to tell you a l l about it!!
So get ready, because it’s about to get a whole lot more fabulous around here. (Did you miss my cheesiness? No? Didn’t think so…😉)
Anywho, to start off I’m actually zooming ahead to my final week in Florence. The following post is a reflection piece I wrote for a class about my experience as a whole right before leaving in mid-December. Since being home, I changed it to the past tense, since I am obviously no longer there :(.
Without further adieu, I hope you enjoy this slightly different version of What I Ate Wednesday! As always, thank you Jenn for hosting – I am so glad to be back at the party!
Stay tuned for more abroad recaps – there is plenty more food, Florence (+ 8 other countries!) photos, fashion, and fun stories where this came from!
“Ciao belle! Panini, insalate, or tagliere per tre tonight?”
“Tagliere per tre, grazie mille!”
We partook in this (almost) daily dialogue as we stepped foot into our favorite restaurant in Florence, where we were known as “the girls who laugh,” “the girls who drink wine,” and “the girls who eat a lot.” I guess those aren’t the worst things to be called, right?
After walking past the newly refurbished, adorably decorated front counter where they cut delicious dried meats, assemble gorgeous plates of crostini and assorted cheeses, and create flavorful panini and salads, they gave us our usual “half liter of red, to start” and we headed to our typical table in the cozy back room.
We took our seats, poured the wine, and the conversation began the way that it had every night that week. One of us said how we all felt: “I’m actually going to cry. How is this already over?”
As it neared the end of our time in Florence, Italy, we couldn’t stop wondering how we were supposed to leave when we’d been in pure bliss for the past four months.
As we dove into our perfectly crafted plate of prosciutto, salami, aged pecorino, honey, crostini, and fresh bread, we began recapping some of the highlights of our abroad experience. The wine flowed, and so did the conversation as we shifted from discussing our hilarious memories and amazing travels to describing the things we love about Florence.
In less than one week, we’d have no choice but to pack our bags, a dreaded task that we knew would be done with lumps in our throats and tears in our eyes.
We liked to think that we always took the time to truly soak in our surroundings, but now that the days abroad were dwindling, doing so was more important than ever. The already vibrant place felt even more alive as we noticed every sight, sound, smell, taste, and detail of the spectacular city we spent the semester in.
From the pervasive fragrance of freshly baked cannoli and biscotti in nearby bakeries, to the whiff of strong espresso shots on cafe counters, to the floral aroma of Chianti Classico, to the sweet scent of nutella crepes and tiramisù ready to be devoured, the smells of Florence make every mouth water.
From the perfect fresh tomatoes and basil atop homemade pastas, to the overwhelming flavor selection of creamy organic gelato, to the delectable aged cheeses and savory meats, to the full-bodied Brunello di Montalcino reds and crisp San Gimignano whites, the tastes of Florence are the best in the world.
As we ate the last piece of bread and sipped the last drop of wine, we looked at our empty plates and felt that disappointed, yet satisfied feeling you get after finishing something delicious.
In just one week’s time, when we’d zip up our suitcases and close the door to our apartment, we knew we’d look back at the Ponte Vecchio and feel that sad, yet content feeling you get after ending something incredible.
After our routine shot of limoncello with “our boys,” we started the walk home feeling melancholy that the meal we looked forward to all day was over, yet pleased about our choice for dinner.
We could not have picked a better place to be regulars.
We knew that after we’d make our way through the narrow streets of Florence to the airport, we’d begin the journey back to America feeling heavy-hearted that this picture-perfect adventure was complete, yet happy about our decision to study abroad, and eternally grateful for getting the opportunity to do so.
We could not have picked a better place to call our home.