I am in love. It is an odd love that I will never forget. My time here in Florence has passed by so fast, I feel like I just got here yesterday. The thought that I only have a little more than two weeks left here breaks my heart. The last two and a half months, I have been in heaven. I have visited so many cities here in Italy – ancient Rome, beautiful Cinque Terre, charming Bologna, entrancing Fiesole – and that’s not even half of it. I have also been able to visit several countries while I have been here. Over fall break, I took a 10 day excursion and visited Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, and Barcelona. My experiences in all the places that I have traveled are irreplaceable and I would not change a thing. But home is Florence. Florence exerts a beauty that no other city can give. Despite the constant number of tourists in the city center, the roads less traveled offer breathtaking architecture and an atmosphere that will leave you feeling like you are walking on air. The friends I have made here are ones that I cherish everyday – it is so refreshing to have other students who are as interested in learning about a new culture as you are! My Italian has improved a lot, and I am no longer embarrassed to try it out on the locals – even if I do make mistakes. The locals are so nice here and once I started to become a regular at certain places, people just grow on you and you grow on them. There is one cafe close to my school called “News Cafe” which is owned by a man named Marco. He also works there, and literally every time I walk in the door he automatically yells “Ciao bella!” and makes me a cappuccino. It is such a great feeling to be a part of the community here in Florence. As the saying goes, La vita e bella! (Life is beautiful) Here in Florence, life is more beautiful than you could ever imagine.