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Study Abroad

Florence Week 12 (+Pisa + Lucca)

After a very long weekend in London and Rome, I was back in Florence for Thanksgiving week.

Since most people were leaving to travel on Thursday, we did a Friendsgiving potluck on Monday. Though it was very different from my regular family meal, it was still quite delicious. The group was a mixture of Americans and Swedes, so we had a nice assortment of food from apple crisp to Swedish meatballs. 

It was a pretty relaxed week. I went to class and spent time walking around the city as usual. We had absolutely beautiful weather on Thursday, so I decided to take some photos in my favorite spot: my roof.

On Saturday, we headed out for our last school-guided trip around Italy. Our first stop was Pisa. Lucky for us, it was another wonderfully clear day. 

Afterward, we visited a small nearby town called Lucca. I loved their central plaza, which used to be the town amphitheater. From above, the buildings form a perfect elliptical shape. 

Sunday morning I got up early to walk around the city to watch the annual Florence Marathon. It was so exciting to see the cobblestone streets filled with runners and supporters. 

In the plaza outside of my university, there was a band playing to keep people pumped up. I was already so impressed by how many older runners there were (not to mention how well they were doing), when a man ran up in front of the band, dropped a hat on the ground, and did a headstand. 

I sat in Piazza de' Pitti for a while and suddenly had a huge rush of emotions. There was just so much spirit in the air, and I loved it. Locals and tourists came together to cheer on athletes. Athletes ran with smiles and even danced a little as they passed the band. I just felt so proud to be a part of this city. Vulnerable moment- I actually teared up a bit from happiness.

I already knew how much I loved being in Europe from previous experience before I began this journey in July, but I've never gotten the chance to spend well over a month here until now. This extra time has really solidified how much more comfortable I feel here in comparison with America. Though I will have to leave in less than 2 months, I am sure I will be back soon, hopefully for longer.  

Julia Ainbinder