Welp, week 3 of studying abroad here in Florence is officially history and now the final week is around the corner! I can’t believe it! It feels like just yesterday I flew in from Ohio (with two layovers in Boston and Amsterdam) and am still learning my way around the European city. Thankfully, it didn’t take me that long to navigate around and memorize specific locations, and I hardly feel homesick now! I’ve just been absolutely grateful for the opportunities God has given me during this trip and the experiences I’ve been having, both with myself and my friends.
Thursday was super intriguing because I went to my first ever fashion trade show! It’s called Pitti Uomo, and it takes place in Florence annually during this time of year. Like any fashion trade show, it showcases all different kinds of apparel, both menswear and womenswear, from different unique companies that are predicted to be big trends for the next year. I went with my European Fashion Study Tour class to get an better perspective of how these kinds of fashion trade shows run. I was definitely very impressed and mesmerized, along with all my fellow fashion classmates. There were countless amazing trends that are for sure going to kill the 2020 runway next year, and I’m so grateful I was one of the first ones to preview it!
On Friday, we took a train and traveled to the one and only Rome during our day off of classes. I’ve been to Rome before during my trip with my family and neighbors when I was 17, but I was more than happy to go back and see it all again in person. Looking back now, I don’t regret it one bit. Rome is a amazing city with so many things to do. We did all the important staple locations while touring: the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Vatican City, and just walked around a little bit. No joke, we got in over 20,000 steps from the whole day! That meant we could treat ourselves to some good ol’ gelato. Speaking of which, we went to the famous Giolitti and had amazing gelato. It was so creamy and cold, perfect since we were exhausted and sweating our asses off! It was so good that two of my roommates literally went back for second cones 😂🙌🏻
The following weekend, my roommates and I did two trips to San Gimignano and Cinque Terre, both through a student travel program called Bus2Alps. It was absolutely one of the best wine tastings I’ve ever been on! Drinking wine in Tuscany … not many people can say they did that! The first winery we stopped at was Fattoria Poggio Alloro, located about ten minutes outside of San Gimignano. They had great wine, STUNNING sceneries of the countryside, and adorable white cows!
Shortly after, we drove over to explore San Gimignano before the next wine tasting. It was such a beautiful medieval town. I could honestly see myself living there near the Tuscany countryside, I would never get sick of it! Unless the WiFi is terrible ... but it would still cool! After getting some gelato and shopping at the outdoor market, we headed back down into the countryside for the second and final wine tasting at Tenuta Torciano, an absolutely gorgeous winery. They shared at least eight different types of wine with all of us and gave us food to different wine, including the owner’s grandma’s special lasagna recipe which tasted AMAZING! It’s safe to say we were a little exhausted (and tipsy) by the end of the day, but I don’t regret anything!
My roommates and I spent the last day of the third weekend by spending our Sunday in Cinque Terre with Bus2Alps. Y’all, it was absolutely unreal. It was even better than I anticipated it to be. It looked even cooler in person than on Pinterest! 😂 My favorite part of the whole day trip was hiking up the Monterosso mountains over the the beach. It was extremely high up and I felt a bit nervous at some parts of the hike, but the gorgeous scenery made the sweat and nervousness all worth it.
And you wanna know what made even more worth it? Getting to layout on the beach and drink a frozen strawberry Corona margarita bucket! They legit put a Corona bottle in the bucket. I’m not a big fan of beer, but I enjoyed drinking it during my beach time! Safe to say, me and my friends got a little too tipsy two days in a row 😂 But we still made wise decisions and still had fun, that’s all that matters!
This week for our European Fashion Study Tour class, we took two field trips. The first one was on Tuesday in Prato, where we explored the textile district. On Wednesday and Thursday was a big one for us fashion majors ... Milan! It’s the trip all of the fashion students, including myself, have been looking forward to all this month! I mean, it’s basically one of the top fashion capitals of the world, so who wouldn’t be excited?!
We stayed there for one night in a hostel and spent the two days with fashion museum tours for our class and exploring during our free time. Honestly, it didn’t feel like we had enough time to explore the city because we had to be back at certain times to meet with our two professors for the next tours. But there were two major staple locations I wanted to see, and that were the Milan Cathedral and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Thankfully, there was plenty of time to see those places and they were so beautiful to see in person, so I’m very grateful! It was definitely an awesome getaway with my fellow fashion major friends. Not bad for a class field trip!
For the last week here in Italia (sigh), I’ll be spending the weekend with my friends at the Amalfi Coast and the following week in Florence exploring and living it up (and trying not to procrastinate on my final projects) before I head back to good ol’ America!
While I’m definitely excited to go back home and see my family/friends, cuddle with my dogs and not have to pay for water at every restaurant, I do feel very bittersweet about leaving Italy. Even though I think one month is a long time to be in another country, it has started to become more like home. I’ve met so many great people, learned a lot about the culture, ate whatever I wanted and not feel guilty about it (thanks to the amount of walking involved every day!), and of course, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I know that sounds cliche, but it’s true. I am more independent, confident, wise, and strong than before!
Any last recommendations you have for me before I head into my final week of studying abroad in Florence? Don’t be shy, comment down below and tell me so!