10 Surprising Ways That Studying In Florence, Italy Will Change You



1. You’ll become addicted. There are few people who study in Italy and think to themselves, “Meh, whatev, Ohio is way better.” Once you’ve lived in Florence there will probably be a small part of you that always wants to return. You’ll develop a permanent sort of nostalgia for the place.

2. Your friends will be totally annoyed with you. “In Italy…” for the five-millionth time will get old and everyone will want to slap the shit out of you. Instead of talking about Italy, just gaze longingly at your scrap book. Eventually you’ll resort to hours on blogs about living in Italy.  <—-Winning!

3. When you return to the US you’ll be appalled by how the guys dress (with the exception of NY, of course). You’ll probably get all judgy about outfits and demand that your boyfriends dress better or, if you’re a guy, you’ll probably get teased for not dressing like a basketball team member anymore. You’ll open your closet and lovingly stare at your skinny jeans and v-neck sweaters that you want to wear but can no longer muster the confidence.

4. Anytime someone makes pasta or pizza it will remind you of how much people suck at making pasta and pizza. Everywhere is terrible except for your beloved Italy.

5. Florence will become a perfect place in your mind. “That would never happen in Italy,” or, “In Italy the men actually shit rainbows. Real rainbows. It’s like Rainbow Bright in every bathroom.”

6. The rest of university will seem lame especially if you’re studying architecture, art history, fashion or anything that’s better in Florence. Going back to Minnesota or wherever will suddenly feel like your education is being stolen from you. How can you possibly learn about Di Vinci like this?

7. If you’re a woman, you’ll be so resistant to cat-calling that you’ll no longer notice college perverts. Is that guy screaming, “WHATSUP LADIES!?” You hardly noticed, you’ve been getting screamed at for months, in Italy.

8. Back in Merca’ at least once you’ll  attempt to buy booze you’re not old enough to buy. Or, if you’re over 21, you’ll try to skip down the street with a bottle of wine, only to be tackled by your friends as they wrestle the jail sentence out of your hand and toss it into a bush. You’ll forgive them as you lay crying on the sidewalk.

9. You’ll feel larger than life and probably become a little cocky. Living in another country is hard. Once you’ve mastered that it’s impossible not to feel like the master of the universe.

10. You can make a game out of confusing the shit out of your parents and childhood friends at home. The entire experience will change parts of you that you don’t even notice were changed. Everyone else will notice. They’ll probably talk about it behind your back while mimicking you with large hand-gestures.

15 thoughts on “10 Surprising Ways That Studying In Florence, Italy Will Change You

  1. Some blog posts I wait for eagerly, kinda like lurking by the mail-box waiting for the postman to come and leave stuff. Your blog is one of them. Keep up the good work, woman!

  2. Pingback: Homesick for Italy? and how to deal… | TarMichelle

  3. Amen, sister! I can relate. I miss Italy so much I want to curl into a ball, cry in a dark corner, and hiss at anyone who tries to touch me. I’ve been going to Italy since I was three, lived there for two years, and visit almost every year. Loving your blog. Keep it up! (There’s a highly inappropriate joke I could throw in there, but I digress for the moment.)

  4. Number 4, defiantly number 4. We went to my mothers for Sunday dinner, I had told Mrs S that my mother makes a mean Sunday dinner, I said there will be Yorkshire pudding, fantastic gravy and a huge roasted joint. My mother decided to surprised us with her rendition of Spag Bog.

  5. This is me. I studied abroad in Florence almost 20 damned years ago and I still can’t stop thinking about it. I bug the crap out of my husband and kids with all my Italy comments. Just last night I was showing them photos on my iPad of the X-mas decorations in Florence. “A permanent sort of nostalgia for the place” is exactly right!

  6. Great list! My friends are sick of hearing me go on about how the pizza/pasta/arancini isn’t right. Or worse, they cook something “Italian” and ask me if it’s authentic and I have to be diplomatic. I miss aperitivo so badly, three years on and I still can’t help pouting when my cocktail doesn’t come with free food!

    But I was totally underwhelmed by Italian fashion, it was so dull! Yes, the average Italian looks chicer than the average Brit, but I missed London so much because it gets boring seeing neutrals and classic tailoring all day every day. Give me a city where people experiment with colour/prints/length/shape any day! And no-one in Milan dressed for the actual weather, but “the season”. Heatwave in late March? Doesn’t matter, multiple strangers will ask “Non ha freddo, signorina?” if you braved the 25C heat in a cardigan instead of the leather jackets everyone still clings to because “it’s March”. It’s a crime on a par with cappuccinos after breakfast!

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