I will never forget the first time I walked through this city. Everything was interesting, everything was worth looking at, and everything was so “European.”
For weeks I walked past the Duomo and with everyday that passed, it caught my attention less and less. Even the food started to taste different. If you saw my face after my first taste of fresh pecorino or when the waiter placed the steaming hot bowl of tagliatelle in front of me, it was love at first bite.
Forty-five bowls of pasta later, did I still love the taste? Absolutely, but I didn’t appreciate it like I did that first night. I noticed this was happening when my parents came to visit me. It was my father’s jaw dropping reaction after his plate of cabarnara that allowed me to snap out of my culture lull.
From that day, I made sure I made more time to be overly aware of my surroundings and my experiences. Whether it meant to walk home from class the long way or order something you had never tried at a restaurant that wasn’t on your friend’s “YOU HAVE TO GO TO THIS PLACE” email (we all got them).
My point is don’t let these last few short weeks slip away. Taste every bite, stroll a little slower, and be here…really here. You never know the next time you’ll be back to your temporary home.
As I (sadly) finish up my final days in Florence, I’ve been reflecting on the lessons I’ve learned and the memories I’ve