I moved from the U.S. to Florence, Italy last month. I’ve been enjoying myself. There is an abundance of visual beauty in the city. Much is in the classical European Renaissance style but there is also some lively street art. It’s easy to get around by walking or riding a bicycle. Most of the people I’ve met have been easy going and friendly.
I’m here studying. It’s a very good place to be for my purposes. While the city has plenty to see, do, and eat, it is a much calmer and slower vibe than southern California. For me this is much needed. I walk about 10 minutes to school. I’m centrally located so taking care of errands is easy. This is good. I’ve wanted the opportunity to concentrate on my studies and craft for some time. Removing the long commutes and hectic lifestyle of Los Angeles is more conducive to productivity.
I’ve traveled to Africa and Asia in the past but this is my first time in Europe. As an English speaker with limited Italian skills, Florence is has been mostly fine in terms of communication. The Florentine people are patient and many speak English. I was concerned initially but there are enough similarities between English, Italian, and Spanish (which I heard everyday when I lived in LA) that I am getting more comfortable. I still need much more practice.
I find myself creating mental shortcuts to make life simpler. For example, in the U.S the temperature is measured in Fahrenheit but here it is celsius. I don’t bother doing conversions, all I know is anything over 30 celsius is hot and under 23 is cool. When I walk the city, churches and statues are my checkpoints so I don’t get lost. I don’t pay attention to street names. The Arno River is also a guideline.
I’m looking forward to getting to know Florence and Italy more. I’ll be visiting Milan as well as other cities soon.