Major: Politics and History
Semester Away: 2015-2016 Academic Year
If there’s one thing students should know about the city, it is:
Once you go across the Arno, that’s where it becomes authentically Florentine. On the side of the Arno NYU Florence is at, there are a lot of museums and tourist locations. It is very touristy on this side of the Arno and honestly somewhat overpriced depending on where you go. But the moment you move across the Arno, you meet actual Florentines who live in the city and can experience an authentic aperitivo with other Italians.
What two things do you wish you had packed?
I wish I had packed rainboots/raincoat and more sweaters! The winters in Florence aren’t that cold (in comparison to NY winters), but they’re really wet. During the first couple of weeks of the spring semester it rained a lot and heavily too. It also got surprisingly chilly. By that time in the spring, I had gotten use to the Florentine climate so the temperature drop to me felt huge. So I wish I brought more sweaters and layers for the end of the fall semester/beginning of the spring.
What do you miss the most?
The food! Specifically All’Antico Vinaio. The people that run this restaurant are so nice and they have the BEST panini (also please remember: when you order a sandwich (panino) it’s 1 panino and 2 panini). I went there all the time and they give you a HUGE panino for only 5 euros! Best money I have ever spent!
What is your favorite memory of being abroad?
My favorite memory being abroad was during fall break. I was not going to travel the first couple of days and decided to explore Firenze by myself and visit some museums and cafes. On my way to the Giardino di Boboli, I got lost and had to stop by a gelateria to get WIFI so that I could use Google Maps to find my way back to Piazza San Marco. While I was standing outside the gelateria, I heard someone clicking a camera and I looked up and it was a student from the University of Florence and she told me that she was an art major. She was doing a contemporary serious on people in Florence and asked if she wouldn’t mind if she took a picture of me on my phone. We sat down by bench and we shared our stories about how she grew up in Florence and what that was like for her and how I grew up in New York and decided to come to Florence for my first year of university. It was the most surreal and spontaneous moments that has ever happened to me.
Questions for Helen and our other Global Peer Mentors? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch!