Happy Valentine’s Day!

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or everyone on this day of amore, we share with you an anonymous love note left on a wall outside Florence. I don’t know about you, but I am going to pretend it was left for me.
 
 
“With my soul and my heart, an “I love you forever” to my one and only princess.”
 
Le sigh.
 

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Happy Holidays from Florence!

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It’s our second favorite time of year (first being the summer, obviously!) and we thought we’d give you a taste of the magic; lights strung from practically every street with the winter sun setting and splashing golden light everywhere. Sigh. Just another reminder, as if we needed another one, of how much we love this place. Hope to see you here soon!

Until then, happy everything and everything happy.

Sincerely,

The team at Select Study Abroad

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Photo of the Week: Florence Street Art

Photo of the Week: Florence Street Art

As the waves of summer tourists begin to roll in, the few authorized spaces for street art in Florence become highly competitive. Works of art that can take up to 48 hours to finish have, at most, 24 hours to enjoy the light of day before they are washed away and the next artist has a turn at painting their own masterpiece. It’s the ultimate ephemeral art of the city. If you don’t grab a photo (and leave some change!) right then and there, it will likely be gone the next day.
 
The two smooth patches of pavement near the Mercato Nuovo (in front of Zara) are the most popular and highly coveted exhibition spaces in the city. They get a huge amount of foot traffic and, hence, the highest turnover of artworks. Because there are two spaces near each other, artists often work in pairs to paint two images that somehow relate. For example, opposite this image of the face of Botticelli’s Venus is Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa; two stunning examples of Italian beauty that couldn’t be more different. I wonder what will be there tomorrow.
 
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Photo of the Week: Summer in Florence

Photo of the Week: Summer in Florence

Summer is officially here! On June 21st we experienced the Summer Solstice, where the sun moved to its furthest point north of the equator and we enjoyed the longest day of the year. However, I don’t think any of us here even noticed! With about 5 days leading up to the 21st hovering at a balmy 93 degrees, we got the message. Which was apparently to get our tank tops, light dresses, linen, and mesh (whatever you got!) out of the closet cause summer ain’t messin’ around. Luckily for us, it rained again (never thought I’d say that!) and the heat wave was temporarily broken. On San Giovanni day the late afternoon thunder storms gave way to an amazing double rainbow and perfect fluffy clouds to frame the festivities and fireworks. Then yesterday’s on-and-off-again showers made way to this breathtaking sunset that (with the hundreds of tourists and locals stopping to photograph it) seemed like the perfect opening to what promises to be a wonderful summer. So until the fall equinox, gelato wishes and granita dreams to all!

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Photo of the Week: Holy Capri

Photo of the Week: Holy Capri

If I had not taken this photo myself I would think it was a fake; an island shot masterly blended with moonscapes and imagined places by some unknown artist. However unbelievable, this is a real place. It is the view from the highest point on the Island of Capri, Mount Solaro, looking out towards Sorrento. In the lower foreground is the city of Capri. To the right (out of the shot) would be the recognizable Faraglioni, a word meaning “stacks” and used to refer to the limestone crags that jut out of the water off the corner of the Island.
 
Want to recreate this stunning view for yourself? I don’t blame you. Getting to the top of the highest hill in Capri is not easy, but if I can do it, so can you. First things first, get to Capri. Easier said than done, I know. It took me ten years to get back there after my first visit way back in 2003, but I am so glad I did. While you will have to change your mode of transportation several times (in my case, five times), it’s well worth it. Pack light and get ready to be mobile (all you need a swimsuit anyway).
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