Tuesday, February 5, 2008 | Florence, Italy

Let me start off by telling you a little about myself. My name is Jackie Batanglo and I am from the Berkshires in MA. I go to Endicott College for Interior Design and am currently a junior.

I am studying abroad in Florence, Italy at the Lorenzo de’ Medici school and so far it has been quite the ride! I am still trying to get used to the time differences which makes it hard to sleep at night, but overall it has been amazing!

I live on Via Faenza street which is really close to the school and in the center of everything. Right down the street from me is the Duomo and the piazza where the copy of the statue of David is found. The city itself is breath-taking!

The best part so far is just walking around the streets, being careful not to get hit by a scooter of course, and getting lost in all the commotion going on. When I first came here, it was nerve-racking not to have a cell phone, but we went to one of the Internet stops and we got one right away.

The apartments won’t have internet, so forget going on Facebook 24/7 like most do at home. Most places will only take cash so make sure you have a decent amount of Euro before you come.

We had the first weekend to relax and mingle with the locals, so my friends and I met up and went out to dinner and went to a couple bars. Italians can spot Americans out with no problem. Take my advice and don’t go crazy just because you are in a different country. Drunk and loud Americans are embarrassing!!

Definitely take any advantages that come your way with an open mind and try to be observant with their mannerisms and language. The only excursions that my roommates and I have done so far has been walking over the Ponte Vecchio bridge which was beautiful.

Plan ahead for trips because they have strange hours and most of the time you need to get tickets ahead of time. Have fun, Florence is awesome!!


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