Ten Books to Read Before Coming to Florence

Saving_ItalyBooks have played a large role in my relationship with Florence, Italy and I wanted to share my some of my personal favorites. Here are ten books to read before coming to Florence, while you’re in Florence, if you miss Florence, or if you always wanted to go to Florence.
 
1. Saving Italy, Robert M. Edsel, 2013. By the author of the popular (and adapted for the big screen by Mr. Italy-loving George Clooney himself) Monuments Men. Saving Italy narrows his focus in this compelling read. He looks at the repercussions of war in a new way and pays respect to the unsung heroes who protected and saved Italy’s greatest artistic treasures during World War II.
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Travel Tips: How to Prepare in Case Your Luggage is Lost

travel_tips_by_CarrieAftera summer full of travel and adventures in Italy and at home, I was reminded that even the most confident and prepared traveler has lessons to learn. As a former Girl Scout, I do my best to adhere to the official Girl Scout motto “Be prepared.”
I arrived to the airport early, carefully packed and weighed my luggage, and made sure my passport, laptop, and quart-size bag of liquids were placed in convenient and easy to reach places. Despite my best efforts to plan ahead, I hit an unexpected bump in the road. Actually, I hit the same bump in the road twice. My luggage was lost both on my way to and from Italy this summer. Thankfully, I had taken a few precautionary steps to ensure a smooth arrival with or without my checked luggage. Unfortunately, there are also things that I only wish I had done or thought of. In honor of my temporarily displaced luggage, here are some tips on how to prepare in case your luggage is lost.
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Travel Tips by Carrie: What to Pack

travel_tips_by_CarrieWhat to pack…
This question seems to plague many even when taking a trip as short as two days. Imagine a month or even a semester in Italy! I, on the other hand, love to pack. If you don’t believe me, see my Top Ten Tips for Packing Luggage or my Favorite Things series. At the end of my last vacation, I spent the evening with a friend packing her suitcases.
 
One of my very favorite things is the PACK THIS Packing List (see image below). It really is the ultimate travel and packing list, leaving nothing out. Well, okay, I think it leaves a few important things out. There are some items that are rarely included on standard packing lists and that I believe can make all of the difference. The good news is that you likely have all of these items at home already and they are all also light as a feather (AKA won’t contribute to that critical weight limit).
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Tips for Traveling with Jewelry

travel_tips_by_CarrieTraveling with jewelry can be a tricky task, even for the most seasoned traveler. Deciding what to pack, how to pack it, or what to pack it in may leave you frustrated.
 
It has happened that (in a mad dash to get out the door) I have opted to travel only with the jewelry that I had on and nothing else. As Julia Roberts once proclaimed, “Big mistake. Big. Huge!” Look, I’m not the girliest of girls and I don’t have piles of sparkly things lying around (I mean, they’re medium-sized piles), but I do love jewelry. I love the way a colorful necklace can take an ordinary outfit and make it a conversation starter. I love the way I feel when I switch from simple studs and flats to chandelier earrings and heels for an evening out. There’s no reason why you or I shouldn’t be able to enjoy our favorite jewelry and accessories when we’re away from home, right? Follow these tips for traveling with jewelry and I guarantee you’ll save yourself time, money, and the regret of under-accessorizing.
Jewelry-travel-box Continue reading…

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Study Abroad in Florence with Select Study Abroad

We’re proud to present our brand new (and very first, ever) Select Study Abroad program video! We hope you don’t mind if we debut it right here on the blog. We’re just so overwhelmed with love and appreciation for cameras and film and the internet! Extra special thanks to Heather Longerbeam and her amazing team at Invisible Children for helping put this incredible piece of movie magic together for us. We continue to be floored by their talent and are eternally indebted to them. Balls of mozzarella are on the way!
 
So without further adieu, we present our newest video. An ode to what we do and why we love it and why we think you, yes you, should be spending your summer abroad with us in Italy.
 
With endless gratitude,
 
The Select Team.

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