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Missing Italy

It never fails, about month after I return home, I start missing Italy. It is a terrible cycle, by the end of the summer I can’t wait to come home (Italy in August is HOT and Italians don’t really believe in air conditioning), but then, just 4 weeks later, I am already missing it and planning my return.

I have been working for a study abroad program, which is based in Florence, Italy, for several years now. I am so spoiled that I get to return to Italy every summer! Working with students abroad is an incredibly fulfilling experience. I love that I get to witness and guide them through the transformation they inevitably experience in a new culture. As I reminisce, I wanted to share some of my favorite things in, or about, Italy!
Coffee, coffee, and more coffee:
An Italian friend once told me, her identity was defined by coffee! I should have been born in Italy, because I can’t get enough coffee and it is so tasty there! Curious about how Italians drink their coffee? See my post on “How to Drink Coffee Like an Italian!”
Morning cappuccinos at Cafe Florin in St. Mark’s Square (Venice), established in 1720!
The Food:
As I am sure you can image the food is incredible! Although it is different from what Americans expect. Most of the Italian food we are exposed to is actually southern Italian or Sicilian food. Each region of Italy has a distinct cuisine (not to mention dialect), because historically these were basically separate countries.

Carbonara at my favorite restaurant in Rome, i Vascellari.
The Landscape:
For a country the size of Florida (more or less), its landscape is quite diverse–the fields of sunflowers and vineyards in Tuscany, the cascading cliffs in the Cinque Terre, the canals of Venice, and the blue water of Capri. 
Skipping through the vineyards!

The Shopping:

Shoes in Italy are second to none. I mean there is a reason Jcrew manufactures their shoes in Italy! Thanks to my time in Florence, I have fallen in love with Ferragamo. They are little works of art, and this summer, I got to take a pair home! I also highly recommend the Ferragamo shoe museum if you are ever in Florence.
Hello gorgeous!

But most importantly, the memories:

I have so many incredible memories, but the funny ones are my favorite. Years ago I started the “statue reenactment challenge.” Over the years, students have really embraced it and produced some real winners. I thought I should also share one of my best shots:
Also you’ve got to rock the Lilly in Europe!