The last day.

Julia Szeto
December 21, 2015
Today I said goodbye to Siena! It was a bittersweet goodbye as my friend and I looked out the window of the 131R bus to Florence (this is my 17th time taking the 131R this semester. Yikes). I'm excited to get home, but sad that I won't be able to walk out my front door and immediately see Siena's huge, beautiful piazza. I won't hear the Town Hall clock tower bong the time all through the night, and I'll no longer be surrounded by beautiful Italian voices. 
The other night, the IES Abroad Center hosted a nice dinner for us students, our directors, and our professors. My friends and I agreed that it was one of the best nights we've had this semester. The food was delicious and we chatted with each other and our professors for three whole hours. (Italians take their time eating.) Our professors were hilarious, and it was so cool to be able to hang out with them outside of the classroom. They're all fairly young, forward-thinking, humorous folks so they made for a good time. Afterwards, we walked around the city in an effort to diminish our food babies, and finally settled in a pub. We had our Dante professor, Daniele, take a Buzzfeed quiz on which circle of Dante's Inferno he would be in. Naturally, all of us were incredibly sinful: I landed Violence, and my friends were Gluttonous and Fraudulent. I joked that Daniele would be in the least sinful place possible and indeed, he took the quiz and got Limbo- classic, because that's where the philosophers Socrates and Aristotle reside, in a castle discussing their thoughts all day. It's the least severe circle of the Inferno. 
Last night, my program-mates and I celebrated our stay in Siena by going out for Napoli-style pizza at Il Pomodorino (delicious, honestly to die for) and getting a reservation at the bustling Tea Room for their live music night. Afterwards, we sat on the piazza together for a couple hours listening to Italian music, because that was exactly how we started the semester. 
I'm really going to miss Siena and the people I've met. I've tried to imagine how it'll feel being home, but I have no idea how it will be. I have a 24-hour long journey home tomorrow morning, so I must go.
Ciao Siena, e grazie mille per la vostra gentilezza. 


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Julia Szeto

<p>I am a junior at Bates College, where I study English, Creative Writing, and Chemistry. Though I left the beautiful forests of Portland, Oregon for snowier seasons in Maine, I&#39;ve discovered that there are valuable stories to be heard and told in ever corner, or coast, of the world. I am interested in people and the words they have to say, and I am thrilled to be in a city as rich with history as Siena. I hope to explore new perspectives of culture and life in Siena through words and photographs. Outside of story-telling, I am a varsity coxswain on the Bates rowing team, and I enjoy hiking, trail running, singing loudly in the car, and getting hopelessly lost in a good book.</p>

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