Art has always been an interest of mine, so when I learned of the opportunity to study art in Florence, Italy, through the International Programs, I jumped at the chance.
This is the view outside my room. It is a window into the daily life of Italians. Buses, cars, and Vespas whiz by as people begin their day. Italians can often be heard having lively conversation, a phonetic treat for someone studying the Italian language and culture.
Although the city can be walked from end to end, public transportation is a major element of life in Florence. The bus system is often very efficient, and many Florentines use it. Here is a simple bus stop next to a centuries-old building. Graffiti is also an inescapable element of the city. The snail graffiti is symbolic of how Italians sometimes do things.
This is Via Lamarmora, a street that leads to the center of the city. A glimpse of the famous Duomo can be seen in the distance.
This is Piazza San Marco, an important piazza for historical as well as cultural reasons. Nearby is a school, and this is also a busy intersection/stop for buses. Many Italians choose this piazza as a meeting place.
This is the Accademia D'arte, the world-famous school for the arts. In this photo, students are sitting along the steps, many of whom are drawing the incredible sight in front of them. Florence is a city for the arts, and students drawing or painting outside is a common sight.
This is one of many eateries with very good Italian food that can be found throughout the city. At night, this turns into a lively restaurant with many dining locals.
This is the Arno River that weaves its way across Florence. On this particular day, there is an art installation on the river itself. Piazzale Michelangelo can be seen up in the distance, which offers perhaps the best view of the city.
This building is the Palazzo Vecchio. It has been the heart of Florence's political and social life for centuries.
Graffiti in Florence can often be political as well as personal. Much of the graffiti around the city can be witty or humorous. It is easy to see the words "Ti Amo" (I love you) sprawled on many walls. This one, "Buon giorno, princepessa," meaning, "Good morning, princess," is taken from a famous Italian film.
This street leads to the Cal State school in Florence. The narrow streets in Florence allow a close-up view of people, buildings, and unfortunately, cars. However, seeing the incredible details of many buildings is an architectural treat.
This is Piazza D'azeglio, near the CSU Center in Florence. Pictured is a small soccer field where CSU students are playing. The park provides a nice respite from the hard work being done in school.
This is the CSU Center in Florence, where students spend most of their day. Like many buildings in Florence, it has its history, some of which can still be seen on the frescoed ceilings.
Learn more about the study abroad program in Italy.