When I woke up this morning I was ready to leave Firenze. Partially because I was ready to not be surrounded by tourists and stuck with my mother all day, and also because of a bad personal experience I had with a Florentine friend Saturday night. I was so ready to get on the plane and leave Florence behind me, I even spouted off a 10 minute list of reasons why I wouldn’t miss Florence.
Then a trip to the market and a conversation with a guy I’d met several times through out my trip brought all the positive things about Florence to the forefront of my mind. All the amazing people that I’d met outnumbered the sucky ones, the good food, the awe inspiring places, and the fond memories all outweighed the bad and suddenly I was hit with a huge brick to my heart.
I was leaving Firenze. The place I’d called home for almost 3 months and learned to love and hate. And then I was wishing for 3 more months, 3 more months of sitting in piazze soaking in the sun, people watching, and eating great food, going to the marcato and getting clementini, and above all meeting new people and trying out my molto cattivo italiano.
I will miss Ponte Carraia, the bridge at the end of my street where I walked every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday to get gelato (my favorite in the city) before drawing class. I will miss our crazy British drawing instructors who always seemed so exasperated with us. I will miss family dinners with my host family, many of which were better than restaurant quality, and my host brothers bickering at the table about which James Bond actor was the best. I will miss the wonderful ACM people that I met and became friends with, whether we argued or not and the professors that were not only teachers, but mentors through out the whole experience. I will miss walking everywhere, thinking everything is just a 10 minute walk away, and wondering around the city at all odd hours. I’ll miss the shopping trips that always ended up at Zara and H&M because everything else in Firenze was just so expensive and the walks to class that always led me past all the stores I would die to shop in (they change the window displays every week.)
There are so many happy memories that I will take with me back to the states. As I sit here in the CDG airport, reflecting on the last time I was here waiting for a flight, I feel like I’ve come full circle. I can’t imagine my life without this experience, and I hope that all the things that I’ve done and the people that I’ve met stay vivid in my mind and don’t just fade away to a dream like haze.
I know adjusting to life back home will be a challenge, it already is a challenge and I’m not even there yet. Just knowing that all of these things are in the past, that Florence will never be the same as it was in these past months, and that what my future holds may not involve these people that I’ve met makes my heart sink. We grew to be like a family, and even in that short time I really came to care for the ACM group.
So, for all of you that might read this, I hope you have the time of your life whether you are going on to London or going back home. I hope that you look back on Florence with all the fondness that I do, and that at some point we shared some great memories. And above all I wish you great luck and success in your future, and that your lives are filled with more happiness than sorrow, and more amazing experiences to come!
Voi voglio bene,