“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” - Giuseppe Verdi
There may have never been a truer statement than Verdi’s quote above, and I’m truly feeling the heat now as I prepare for my semester abroad in the lovely Firenze. I’m Valentina Palladino, one of Medley magazine’s senior editors, and I’ll be sharing my experiences oversees with you readers throughout the entire fall semester. My goal ever since I knew I wanted to become a journalist was to bring the world to those who did not have the means to see it for themselves, and I think this semester will be the perfect way for me to do that. I hope you’re as excited as I am!
I’ve been to Firenze before. At least twice, possibly more times. The two most recent times were with my family during a summer vacation and with a group from my high school over spring break. I used to refer to Firenze as “my city,” because after a few visits and the days I spent there, I was super proud of myself for knowing the important landmarks and being able to decipher where I was just by memory. I might even be able to do that still, however, I wouldn’t bet any money on it, hah. I’m hoping after a semester living in this great city, I’ll grow to be a decent navigator!
My trip begins September 5 when I leave on a nighttime flight from JFK to Frankfurt, then from Frankfurt to Firenze. It still hasn’t hit me yet that I’ll be leaving in a few short weeks, especially since packing as only just begun today with me lugging my suitcase out from the dusty caverns of my basement and placing one, lone pile of clothes near it. I’m only allowed to check in one piece of luggage, and packing a semester’s worth of essentials into 27-inch Samsonite will be an adventure all of its own.
My hope for this blog is that readers will be inspired to move out of their comfort zones a little and explore the world whenever they get the chance, whether it be within the next year or the next ten years. While the blog will also serve as a kind of personal documentation for me about my trip, I really hope the focus is on readers and how these travels speak to them. So please, interact with me, comment, ask questions, give suggestions, whatever! I’ll do my best to post as much as I can. I hope you all enjoy this journey as much as I anticipate I will!
Until my departure, I’ll post some of my old photos of Firenze and Italy as well, just to get in the traveling spirit :)