I've said it before, but no matter how many times I leave Florence and come back, I fall in love again. Just something about this town brings me back to it, and it will always be another home to me (I'm slowly accumulating these all around the world). I'm never going to forget my way from the Duomo to Pinos, and the amazing balsamic at El Gato e la Volpe, or just how stunning the never-failing view is from Piazzale Michelangelo. Read on for my 7 reasons why Florence will forever be my second home!
You're going to have so many friends on the European side of the world now.
If you leave Florence without having made friends with at least a few of the locals (we're talking about actual Florentines here), then you've done Italy wrong. Being able to call up a friend on Facetime wen you're on opposite sides of the world just to tell them that you've booked a flight back to Florence is a feeling like nothing else. Even better, sending Snaps to everyone else who will be jealous/excited and getting their response. Having friends abroad gives you places to stay, a home base, people to get dinner with, and a great time out. You'll never loose these friendships, and though you might not talk for months, or even a year or so, there will always be FB messenger to shoot them a message and get a real-time check up on Flo-town.
You're always going to remember where your first European Apartment was.
My first Florence apartment- I still miss it and love it (even though my current apartment is INFINITELY nicer) was right above Star Chicken. There was a man named Davide who lived across the street and would always be out on his balcony drinking beer in his tightey-whiteys.
We would be pre-gaming (oh to be young again) and singing and getting ready for the evening and trying to brokenly communicate with him.
Then on the way home we would drop kebab french fries (well I would at least) all the way up the stairs. The next morning on the way back from glass we would giggle as we were hungover about all the french fries.
3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and in an old amphitheater, this apartment will always be one of my favorites I'll have spent my days in. Like a first college apartment, or a first apartment or home with a partner, the memories will last a lifetime. Not to mention I had the best roommates I could have asked for, in the best city in the world.
You're going to crave the pizza, pasta, panini, and gelato.
Not to say you won't be happy to get back to American food (*cough, cough, ranch, cough, cough**) but after a few weeks you'll start to miss walking straight out your door into the arms of your favorite gelateria, strolling down the street to eat the world's freshest pizza, and having amazing espresso all the time.
You'll be missing Florence sooner than later, and like you crave your favorite hometown food truck while you're away, you'll crave Gusta pizza while you're back home.
You will have loads of jokes only your "Italy Friends" will understand.
I won't bore you with the list of amazing (and hilarious) inside jokes between me and the amazing people I studied abroad with...but man if you had been there your sides would hurt from laughter.
But these "Italy Friends" will become your best friends for life.
The group chat is still strong, and over a year in action. No, we don't talk as much as we used to, but I know they're all living vicariously through me...now only to get them over here to Florence for a reunion.
When I'm coming back home, they're the first people I tell apart from my family, and they're the one's most jealous to see me go back. I still face time with them all relatively frequently, and we've even had a few group FB messenger phone calls (yeah...that's a thing now..).
The friends you make here will understand how you deal with extreme lack of sleep while visiting 3 countries in a weekend, only to return to Florence with 3 exams and a paper due by Thursday you haven't started. They'll have seen your homesickness, and seen you at your peaks, taken your golden Instagram shots, and also seen you drunk and lost in a foreign country. They know you on a different level than anyone else, so be sure to thank them for putting up with you daily! (:
You'll be able to give solid, real, advice to friends and family who travel to Florence.
Since you lived here for so long, you'll know exactly what to tell them to do! Whether it be recommending your favorite panino place, or you're favorite patio to sit out on and drink a prosecco, you'll be the guru of all things Florence (and probably Italy) for friends coming to visit!
When you finally come home to Florence, it will be like you never left at all.
Whether it be 6 weeks, 6 months, or 6 years, as soon as you step off the airplane that rush of excitement will hit you again and you'll realize you are back in your favorite place in the entire world. Florence is always going to hold a piece of your heart, but I'm pretty sure you're OK with it.