God, I love paninis. Besides my growing affinity for prosciutto and vino, my first few weeks have been quite an adjustment in Florence. Let’s just say having an exchange place right around the corner where I can take out Euros by the boatload is probably not the best thing. But, overall, it has been an unbelievable start.

The first couple of days of the trip certainly brought some adjustments. Suffering from jet lag and an unwarranted overload of information received at orientation, the fatigue was real. But once classes started and I started to develop some sort of routine (class, gym, happy hour), I started to get the hang of this VERY laid back Italian culture. Also, I am taking a nutrition course where I have to learn how to cook and I have never made anything but eggs in my life.

Once I became somewhat accustomed to life in the city, I was able to really appreciate my surroundings. For someone who has never traveled abroad before, seeing the beautiful Renaissance architecture throughout the city has been remarkable. As I try to tell others about my experiences walking by the Duomo or taking in a mass at Santa Croce, I am honestly left speechless.

The city is extremely walkable, which is doing wonders for my already impressive calves. I have gotten lost less than five times so far, a number I am actually pretty pleased with at the moment. The farthest class is about a 20-minute walk and allows me to sweat out the previous nights. And not to be forgotten, the stunning Santa Croce is a mere three-minute walk from my apartment considering I need to go to church more.

Overall, it has been a fantastic start to my experience thus far. I plan on going to Venice and Milan this weekend so I can expand my Italian horizons. In the future, I have big moves ahead with plans to go to Prague and Madrid. I look forward to checking back in soon and telling you more about my life across the pond. God bless.

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