This past weekend, my friends and I decided to take a trip to Florence. We planned two nights, bought our museum passes, figured out the bus system, and headed off for a girls’ weekend. When we arrived in Florence I was shocked by how much it reminded me of New York. There were cars, busses, and motorcycles everywhere. Crowds of tourists were everywhere we went. It was strangely comforting to see a McDonald’s right across from the train station. Of course the American girls had to go get some McDonald’s fries after two weeks straight of pasta. We knew it was ridiculous to eat McDonald’s in Italy, but we needed it in a way. Yes, I know Italy has some of the best food in the world, but sometimes you just want to eat something that reminds you of home. For us, those greasy McDonald’s fries were all we needed to be happy.
We did a lot more than just eat McDonald’s in Florence. We went to Il Duomo, one of the most impressive churches in the world, walked across the historic Ponte Vecchio, did lots of shopping, spent time in the Bargello enjoying priceless art, and had the incredible opportunity to see The David in person at the Accademia. Being so close to priceless, world treasures gave me chills. It reminds you just how amazingly talented mankind is.
Being a typical tourist in Florence made me realize that I made the right choice to study in Siena. I felt more comfortable right away in Florence because it reminded me of New York and I could hear people speaking English everywhere. But this is why I chose to not go to Florence to study. It would have been too easy to just be a tourist. In order to be a better person at the end of this study abroad experience I felt like I needed to challenge myself more than I would have in a large, international city. Siena is challenging me more than I could have imagined, but it is definitely worth it. So even though Florence was wonderful to visit, it was great to come home to Siena.
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<p>I'm a sophomore from George Washington University majoring in Communications and minoring in Italian and Journalism. I love traveling, art, and food. I am so excited to share my experiences with you, especially my quest for the best bread in Italy.</p>