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Ciao Bella!

February 01, 2017
by Samara Rosenthal
Ciao Bella! For those of you who do not speak Italian, Hello Beautiful! Yes, I am referring to Florence, my new home and the most beautiful place I have been thus far. I arrived here just a few short weeks ago and I instantly fell in love with the city and all that it has to offer.
 Locals walking the streets near the Ponte Vecchio.

My Journey Here

After somehow packing four months of clothes into two bags, navigating through three different airports and making some friends along the way, I made it to Firenze! For many years I had dreamed of spending time abroad and I am now so glad that I chose Florence to study in. The incredible history, breathtaking art and mouthwatering food make this place so special!

 The Santa Trinta Bridge on a cloudy afternoon.

First Thoughts

As I stepped outside the airport into my taxi, so many different thoughts ran through my mind. First, there was no way I was in Arizona anymore. I have lived in the desert my whole life and I am used to wearing shorts year-round (The temperature in Florence at this time of year is around 35 degrees Fahrenheit yikes!). Second, all I could think about was what I wanted to eat for dinner. Pizza? Pasta? Maybe just a huge serving of gelato? The possibilities are endless in Florence and everything is delicious. But, most importantly I could not believe that this was real and actually happening. I was more excited than nervous to start my journey.

 The carousel outside of the Piazza della Repubblica. CEA is located in the building just behind this.


I live with seven other girls in an apartment located in the Santo Spirito Neighborhood. You may think wow eight girls in one apartment, that is crazy! Yes, it is crazy but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My neighborhood is about a ten-minute walk from where I attend classes. It is a straight shot across the Ponte Santa Trinta Bridge.

Adapting to the Culture of Italy

It didn’t take me too long to start to adapt to the Italian culture. There are many differences as you can imagine, but nothing that you can’t get used to after living in Florence for a couple of weeks. Taking a semester of Italian before I arrived here in Italy helped me to get around a little easier than many of the other students. As the days go on, I learn more and more about this amazing city and the people who inhabit it. I cannot wait to see where my journey abroad takes me, the places I will see, and the people I will meet. Ciao Bella!

 A beautiful sunset in Florence.

Samara R. is the Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger in Florence, Italy. She is currently a Junior studying Retailing & Consumer Sciences at University of Arizona

Samara Rosenthal is the Spring 2017 CEA MOJO Blogger in Florence, Italy in Florence, Italy, and is currently studying at The University of Arizona.
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