As the Italians put it, Mama Mia! What an eventful time we’ve had over here in Florence.

Adjusting to the Italian life has been a surprisingly difficult process and there have already been a couple bumps in the road. Classes have begun, and it has become painfully obvious that the Italian language will not come easily to me. I have only practiced a couple times in real life while exercising extreme caution…

Booking trips has been the focus most days. Budgeting and scheduling seems to be more important than sleep as we all try to hit the most countries in what seems like a very short amount of time. Our apartment has already booked a trip to Germany for Springfest in April, and it seems crazy as we all sit back watch as our calendars fill up.

My roommates and I have had a rough start to our stay here in Florence. This past week has been a test as our apartment turned out to have a gas leak. We were moved to a hotel for a couple days to pass the time until we would be allowed back into our residence. The displacement led to more uncomfortable and tiring week than we had hoped, but we finally have moved back in and are getting back to normal.

As for trips, I had visited Venice for the famous annual carnivale, which was an amazing experience. I have never seen a more crowded area and some of the costumes were just breathtaking. Along with that adventure, I also traveled to Rome for the day with one of my best friends from home…and we walked over 15 miles that day! If my legs have recovered by then, I’ll possibly be looking to travel to Pisa next weekend.

My friends and I quickly were brought to reality when we realized that eating out every night would deplete our funds…quickly. We have taken accustomed to making trips for assorted types of pasta and sauces for some homemade dinners. As my roommate Sam often says, “We’re ballers on a budget”.

I have never been too fabulous in the kitchen, but I’m grateful to my roommate Brianna who has been showing me the ropes. Brianna has been teaching me everything from a homemade Panini press to what can and what cannot go into the microwave. I’m excited to become a better chef with her help…or at least someone who can be self-sufficient with a stove.

Well…I think I have stuffed this post with a lot of scattered events, which seems only appropriate, as that’s how my life feels right now.


So here’s my ending story…

On the train back from Rome on Saturday with my best friend Katie, we sat and talked about the exciting day that we just had. Katie looked at me and said, “I can’t believe we were just in Rome.” I couldn’t believe it either. The thought that we actually saw the Sistine Chapel that Michaelangelo painted, and the Colosseum where Romans would go see the gladiator fights. It was just so surreal. And then I remembered thinking, “it was a good day, but I just cannot wait to get home and lay down.”


Clearly Italy will never be my real home with my family and friends, but I was taken aback by my association with my apartment as my home base and my place of comfort.

It excites me to think that Florence is finally beginning to feel like my home away from home and a place that I love to be and explore. And what’s even more exciting is the fact that I have only just begun.


enice, Italy

Colosseum: Rome, Italy

revi Fountain: Rome, Italy

Cassandra, a biology major with a minor in creative writing at New Paltz, chose to study abroad to quench to her crave for adventure and search for understanding different cultures.

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