Ten Things to Look Forward to When Studying Abroad in Italy!

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flew back to Florence just a few days ago after the Holidays and saw gaggles of study abroad students meeting in the airport, catching flights and talking about their upcoming semester abroad. It made me feel super nostalgic. If I could go back and relive the first time I walked through the streets of Florence I would do it in a heartbeat. You just have SO MUCH to look forward to. It took me back and I spent my flight remembering my first few days, and weeks, and months in this amazing country. There were of course some difficult things to adjust to, but all I could remember were the amazing, life changing, beautiful things. That feeling of being in the most enchanted place on earth and doing my best to live every moment to the fullest while simultaneously pinching myself to ensure it was all real. Nothing quite captures that magical feeling.

While each of your experiences will be different, I hope each one is life changing, heart wrenching and beautiful too. So here are just 10 (it was quite hard to limit myself) of the amazing things that made me fall in love with my life in Italy. Hopefully they are some of yours too.
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Tips for Taking the Train in Italy

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t happened again. For the hundredth time.
On a train ride to Livorno a gaggle of Americans jumped on and I overheard some of them say they hadn’t had time to stamp their tickets before boarding. They didn’t seem too worried, I hoped against hope they would get off safe and sound. Sadly, the conductor arrived within 5 minutes and 40-euro-a-head-later, these kids had learned a hard lesson. I felt so bad and was once again surprised at how few people know the ins and outs of train travel in Italy. I have written about it before in our Top Ten Tips for Studying Abroad Part I blog (some of which I will repost below where pertinent), but today I wanted to really get down to the nitty-gritty. Every detail. For those of you who get nervous about traveling, don’t be. Just read below and then enjoy the luxury of train travel in Italy! It doesn’t have to be painful or stressful! It can actually be fun!
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Italian Cities in Review: Torino (Turin)

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n an attempt to spread our travel net ever further afield, we grabbed our camera and boarded a three-hour train to Torino, the first capital of unified Italy and home to its once Royal family, the House of Savoy. This city has been given two strikingly dissimilar mottos: “the Detroit of Italy” and “little Paris.” While car manufacture is one of its most important industries, I think you’ll agree from the photos below that the French influence dominates in this mini Paris on the Po.
 
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Highlights From Our Final Trip: Venice & Verona

Venice_ItalyThere is no combination of cities that screams romance more than Venice and Verona. Verona, the city where Romeo and Juliet supposedly once lived, and Venice, the city where, if they had really lived, they would have spent their honeymoon. It’s nothing like anywhere else in Italy and there is no use trying to describe it in words, it simply must be seen to be believed. It’s always a favorite so we always leave it for last. With three days in this enchanting city we have plenty of time to see the sites, get lost in the winding streets, watch a glass blowing demonstration, ride a gondola, and take a special trip out to one of the smaller islands off of Venice that many people visiting for the first time never manage to see. This summer we ventured to the stunning and surreal Island of Burano. Enjoy!

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Highlights from Week Two: When in Rome…

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Week two is always a special time. Classes are underway, jet lag has worn off, and Florence is starting to feel more and more like home. This always seems like a great time to shake things up by leaving our Tuscan home for a little southern Italy adventure. What other city could possibly give Florence a run for its money? Answer: Rome. However, we here at Select Study Abroad refuse to do Rome in a day (especially in the summer). That is a particularly awful form of torture reserved for one of Dante’s deepest levels of hell. We like to take our time. Over a three-day weekend we see as much of this gorgeous city as we can, we throw in a Pompeii visit, and we break it all up with gratuitous pizza and gelato stops. You know, when in Rome…

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