I am so happy to be back in Florence. Although it seems like it has been a year (in reality it has only been 4 months since I left). After spending all last year living in Florence, it is a bit surreal to be back.
I am living on the opposite side of town, which makes it feel like a completely different world. Everything is the same but different. Of course, that is what Tampa felt like when I returned last December.
Working with students again has been exhausting but exhilarating. I forgot how much fun it was to experience Florence through their eyes. I think the experience of being abroad has already rocked their world, we even had one student who had never been on a plane before (you can read why I am such a fan of study abroad here). Some of them are really into taking photos, which is basically a dream come true for me.
The group is large (60+ people), but so fun (one of my students even joked that he was going to start a blog Museums and Manpris, as in capris for men lol). They have great attitudes and are generally excited and interested in seeing and learning about everything. We have been here less than a week, but we have already climbed the Duomo, ventured into the countryside (more on that soon), visited some churches, hiked to Piazzale Michelangelo, and sampled lots of local food and wine (you can follow our adventures on Snapchat – HinHH).
The group had a bit of trouble adjusting to traveling in such a large group at the start, but they are coming around nicely (you can read my advice for traveling in a group here). Our schedule for the month is intense. The goal is to give them a taste of everything Italy has to offer. That means we are go, go, go — Siena this Friday, Amalfi next week, Venice the week after that, followed by day trips in Montepulciano and Pienza before heading to Rome (all with classes in Florence sprinkled in between). I am already tired, but it is so worth it. They remind me why I love teaching and working with study abroad.