Posted by: francescacoviello | August 30, 2010

Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy the Flight.

Today is the day, departing for Europe in t-10 hours! So, I guess I should begin my introducing myself, Hello. Or should I say… CIAO!  Born and raised on the great Long Island, I’ve always been curious about the world outside of the “bubble.” Thanks to the International Program at UT, I will be spending the next 4 months living in Italy, getting in touch with my roots. This is my first blogging experience, which is perfect because I finally found something worth sharing with readers, whoever you may be, thanks for following. Normally I would be struggling out of bed to make it to class on time on this first day of school in Tampa. But instead, I am taking my communications education and expanding to Europe to play and complete some elective courses towards my major. It won’t hurt that I have a Wines of the World course on Thursdays to kick off my weekend, that’s the best part of studying abroad as a senior 🙂

It’s been a relaxing summer spent in south Florida, and right now I am back home in New York anxiously awaiting my send-off from JFK. After all this talk about traveling to Italy for an entire semester, I cannot believe that it’s actually happening. Surreal would be the perfect way to describe my current state of emotion, along with lack of sleep. Traveling overseas can be stressful and frustrating, I’m not looking forward to the inevitable jet-lag, or my aisle seat! Flying to Tampa from home, the window was an essential way for me to (possibly) nap during a 3 hour flight. Now, when it matters the most, my window seat dreams are over and the person to my left better have a comfy shoulder. Swiss Air will be accommodating me from NY to Zurich, then ‘finalmente‘.. FIRENZE. I shall arrive tomorrow in the afternoon, which is confusing to think about with all the time changes and layover, but eventually, I’ll get there.

I haven’t been brushing up on my Italian so I’m a little apprehensive about speaking to natives without sounding like an idiot. Thank goodness I am enrolled in a language course, but I have a whole week before school to practice and get familiar with my new surroundings. My schedule this semester is a dream come true, as I will be fully immersed in the culture by exploring with my senses. The classes I chose will encourage me to discover and examine the rich environment that is Florence, during my last fall semester as a college undergrad. I am most looking forward to the seasons changing, and as much as I enjoy sunny Florida year round, Florence is one of the top destinations to visit during the autumn months.

From an MSNBC article:

“The center of the Italian Renaissance art movement, Michelangelo’s adopted hometown, the birthplace of modern politics, the source of modern-day credit . . . . Florence is all of these and more. Enjoy it come September and October, when the crowds diverge, the days are wonderfully mild and sunny, and the gems of Florence are left to be discovered by in-the-know travelers.”

With that said, this online journal will be a source for me to tell my story and share the upcoming adventures of living in Florence. Eating, cooking, and food in general are a passion of mine, so be prepared to feel your tummy grumble while reading. I will be studying at Apicius International School of Hospitality, in the department of Food Communications & Publishing… aka I will be writing about everything I taste and smell in the food capital of the world!  Visiting other major cities in Italy as well as all over Europe will provide a special insight learning about the world around me, and myself as a person.

But as of this moment.. I am frantically packing and trying to get organized before I get in the car, avoid rush hour, wait in the airport for 3 hours, hopefully board on time, get to Switzerland, transfer, fly to Florence, find my bags, transport to school, receive my keys and cell phone, arrive at my apartment (WHICH IS RIGHT NEXT TO THE DUOMO), lug 2 massive suitcases up 5 flights of stairs, and meet the 5 girls I will be spending the next 4 months with.

…Sounds both exhausting & nerve-wracking. But exciting to say the least, I’ll be sure to let you know how it all goes. Arrivederci!

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