Today, I woke up to my alarm, grabbed my running shorts, and shoes and left my Italian apartment to go running around the Fiume Arno river. The cool breeze brushed my sleepy face as I tried to take it all in. It was then, even after the fourth morning doing so, that I realized I was running not too far away from Cathedrals built during the turn of the Renaissance and in a country housing famous art pieces such as Michelangelo’s David, and the Pope. I managed to make it back to my apartment and headed for the shower, but several seconds after I shut the door I heard the water coming from the other side of my bathroom entrance.
I opened the door to what looked like heavy rain pouring down into our apartment. The 300-year-old building was having some major issues since day one, with the sticky locks, broken shower heads, power outages and lack of strong Wi-Fi, but we needed someone to quickly fix the flood that had made it’s way down from the fourth to the first floor. Needless to say, they came quickly to solve the biggest problem.
But even after all of the unfortunate housing quirks my study abroad roommates and I have managed to make things work. We explored the city of Florence together, with all of our classmates, ate delicious gelato, drank too many glasses of wine, ate amazing Italian food, and gazed up to the intricately designed Cathedral buildings, marble statues, and the most exquisite pieces of fine art in person that we have only ever seen in textbooks prior to the trip.
It hasn’t even been a week and it sounds as if everyone in the group doesn’t want to ever leave. The city, with all of its own quirks, stands proudly in a valley surrounded by lush green vineyards filled to the brim with beautiful art and culture with reminisce spanning from ancient times. And every morning, when I get up for a run around the Arno, I’m in awe all over again as I think about my adventures in Europe thousands of miles away from home.