Oct 21, 2013

The Florence Experience (Cross Cultural Communication)

"This picture was from the Fiorentina vs. Parma soccer game. I grew up playing soccer and played until senior year in high school. This, however, was the very first professional soccer game I have ever attended. The excitement and enthusiasm that surrounded me was incredible. Even though it was my first Fiorentina game, I felt invested. I was amazed at the constant chanting and cheering and loved the dedication of all the fans. It was a night I will never forget and I can't wait to go to another one, sporting purple, red, and white!" (Sarah Stinn).

"I saw this photo today on Facebook because one of my teammates from this weeks basketball tournament posted it. It made me happy to see this picture because since I have been in Italy, playing basketball has made me feel the most at home. It also filled me with joy because I remembered how great it was to meet and play with all of the Italian girls (Lauren Jagels)".

"I had the fortunate experience of going to Corfu, Greece, this weekend. From our balcony of our hotel room, we had the most beautiful view of the Agios Gordis Beach (shown below) where we got to kayak and swim while the sun shined down on us. When I was kayaking in the vibrant blue water, I thought sarcastically, "I have a pretty rough life." On our way back from Corfu to Italy, I was happy to return to the lively atmosphere of Florence and all that accompanies it" (Sean Brennan).

"I love the availability of art in Florence, with the many museums and churches. I feel like it is easy to take for granted the opportunities to see this art. I have never lived somewhere where there is always something to see and do. It is overwhelming but also exciting to know the endless amounts of history and art that are within Florence. This picture is outside of the Uffizi Gallery, which I have yet to go inside of. But will most definitely spend a lot of time in. It makes me feel as if there should never be a unused minute here" (Sophia Henager).

"This weekend I went to the Ponte Vecchio for the first time. We have walked through a lot of different places in Florence and even taken a few tours. But it hit me this weekend taking 'selfies' on the bridge. We are in a place that is known in history as one of the culturally richest that the world has seen; so many artists and great thinkers lived and made a mark in this town.On the other and you also have modern history, like the world wars that took place on the same streets. It just boggles my mind to think that I am able to live and study in a place like this!" (Ashley Swanson).
"It is a picture that depicts a scene that I found interesting this weekend. I always am interested to watch the street artists paint and interact with potential customers. I often wonder how they make a living off selling these beautiful works of art. Also, I wonder what the artists' opinions are of the street vendors that sell cheap replicas of famous painting that don't involve any skill on their part to recreate. What is the artist community like and how is it perceived in a place like Florence where old art often the focus? I hope through my travels around Florence I will learn more about various street artists and even buy a piece" (Jess Nevins).

Running in FlorenceDuring our second week in Florence, after having been overwhelmed by the amount of pasta I had been inhaling, I decided it was time to get back into my exercise routine. So one morning, when it was not so bright but definitely early, I went for a run. I left my pensione, Hotel Nazionale, and ran in the direction I had heard the river Arno would be. I had yet to venture far enough to see the river, one of the key aspects of the beautiful city of Florence. I was running and running, getting distracted by side streets and the early morning work rush when I came around the corner and was instantly left breathless. This was not because I had been running so hard, or because I was out of shape, but because the sun was just barely beginning to rise on the eastern side of Florence, the glow was just beginning to shine on the buildings, and the river Arno actually ran smooth and still. The light had not given away to its mucky nature yet and it truly looked magical. I ran back and forth across the bridges until I came to the last one, it was there that I truly realized I was in the city of Firenze, in Italy, so many miles away from home. It was here that I realized I was about to embark on the greatest adventure I’d had in my life thus far, and this was only the beginning” (Dominique Scott).

"This photo is of a sunset in Florence last week that I took on the balcony of Hotel Cordova. I really love this photo because it reminded me how lucky I am to be here and that in that peaceful moment, how much I love Florence" (Brigid Dunn).

"One of the first weeks in Florence, a few friends and I went to a panini place called Pino's Sandwiches to grab some lunch before going to explore the city. We walked in, and Pino, the owner, immediately and warmly welcomed us, encouraging us to take pictures of the food (as we were already doing), and even invited us behind the counter to take a picture with him. He was very talkative and eager to both learn about us and share about himself. He emphasized the importance of relationships with his customers, and wanted us to definitely come by again" (Cecilia Vollert).

"On Wednesday last week I took a cooking class in which we cooked a full three course meal. We were given all of the recipes afterwards to take home at the end of the semester. For me, this made me think about how I want to enjoy myself here, but I also want to be able to change and improve myself as a person through my experiences in a different culture. The opportunity to cook an authentic Tuscan meal for my family will allow me to always keep a piece of Florence with me and I will know that I got more than some crazy nights and great friends out of this study abroad experience" (Adam Wells).

"I chose a picture of the 5th floor balcony of my pensione Cordova because this will be my new home for the next year. Our balcony has an incredible view of the city and is a place where all my friends get together and eat or hangout during our free time. This picture gives me a feeling of belonging in a city that is completely new to me, a sort of home away from home. I haven't felt homesick yet because there has been such a strong community here and the balcony is a symbol of that community and coming together to spend quality time with one another" (Maria Black).

"This his picture was taken when I went to go visit the archaeology museum in Florence, I went with my Florence of the Medici class. We saw was the secret room of the Medici Princess Maria Maddalena. I had read a little about her before I took this class, and knew she was handicapped and that her palace had to be adapted to fit her disabilities. I had no idea that she was so deeply religious and required her own handicap accessible room to worship in. Going into the room was one of the most inspiring things I have ever done. It was so amazing to get to be able to go into a room that was so important to someone who was such a big part of shaping history. I thought it was interesting that her balcony was hidden to the rest of the public, not sticking out in the middle of the church drawing all the attention to her, like the theater seats of kings and queens of this time. She wanted a place to worship but she also did not want to take the attention away from the church and from God. I thought it was interesting that it was a big and comfortable room so she could fit friends in easily, like a place to hang out that just happened to be connected to a church. Going into her secret room is an experience I will never forget and definitely one of the highlights of my trip to Florence so far" (Audrey Jackson).