End of the year dinner, Final Weekend and Cinque Terre
Classes were wrapping up, the bags were starting to be packed up and last minute things were being checked off the list as we approached the last week of our semester with Gonzaga in Florence. The reality came to everyone at the end of the year dinner, which was hosted at a restaurant about a block from school. Everyone got dressed up, took a huge group picture, and loved the open bar and food everywhere. It was so fun to unwind and socialize with everyone and our professors outside of school. The tears were unavoidable and the speeches were heart felt as everyone realized that time was rolling by and we had to savor every moment!
|Gallo d'Oro Spring 2011|
|Roommates and Massimo!|
Classes were done on Wednesday and finals started on Thursday leaving us with an awkward finals break over the weekend. On Friday night, the beyond fabulous owners of Gallo took all of us up to Fiesole for an end of the year dinner! It was so fun going out with the pensione and seeing the Gallo staff in a completely different setting. They food was delicious and of course, the wine was fantastic! Some people liked the wine too much and there was a 4th person in megabed that night even though he didn’t realize it until the middle of the night. I was so blessed to be in Gallo and have a family within my study abroad living situation. Our pensione got ridiculously close and it was really more like a little family that just got each other. Our dynamic
worked somehow the five very patient and incredible guys put up with the 13 of us girls.
|Gallo love on Mega Bed|
On Sunday, we of course, got our Il Centro sandwiches and that afternoon, Sarah, Courtney, and I went to the Fiornetina football game. We were able to get tickets at the stadium where we met a lady from Vancouver who hosted a basketball clinic that Rob Sacre, who now plays for GU, attended when he was younger. Zag fans all over the world!
|And the 4 hour hike begins|
|Our view at lunch|
|The cutest hike of my life|
I am currently on the plane from Frankfurt to SFO looking back at the past 109 days of my life. Everyday has been unique, memorable, and regardless if it was good or bad (even though I can only think of one bad day all semester), has created my study abroad experience. I chose Gonzaga for Gonzaga in Florence and have always known that I wanted to study abroad. The goodbyes in Spokane were difficult, but I knew then and still do that I am lucky to have so many special people in my life to have to miss! It wouldn’t be normal for me to leave my home in Spokane without any sadness and I cannot wait to pick up where we all left off when I return to Spokane in two short weeks.
My travels, new friends, unique experiences, and memories have created a semester of a lifetime. Leaving Florence and GIF was difficult, but almost inspiring at the same time. I will look back at these four months as some of the best times of my life, but my life is far from being over and I have the power to create many more moments and amazing times like this in my life. Gonzaga in Florence helped me prioritize my life, opened my eyes to the fact that travel is worth it and something I hope to continue to do throughout my life, and realized that you can make friends with anyone and time goes by way too fast! I am a SENIOR in college? Was I not just a high schooler who didn’t even know what Spokane was yesterday? I am so ready to take on this summer and my last year of schooling and make it beyond memorable. There is no reason to not take up any and all opportunities that come my way and let things happen when they are meant to. I have more days when I just decided what I was going to do when I woke up this past semester than I have all of college. I like plans and itineraries and I haven’t had either for the past few weeks and have loved it! I hope I can keep the pressure off myself to have everything planned, especially as I enter a time of nothing but uncertainty. Hopefully this time next year, I will have some plans for my post grad life, but I just hope that they are plans that make me really happy. Plans that make me want to get out of bed everyday. I want days to have moments worth remembering. I want to have reasons to take pictures everyday. If nothing else, I want to carry on my happiness and self-appreciation through the rest of my life. I have 4500+ pictures to remind myself everyday of four months of borderline bliss and to prioritize in a way that brings me happiness. I refuse to fall right back into a routine. Even though I have a summer of set hours, I also have a huge list of places around Spokane and the Pacific Northwest that I want to explore! There is a lot to be seen in America and its time for me to see and appreciate my wonderful country! I have become close friends with people I never once thought I would ever even talk to. GIF broke down many of the walls that are up in Spokane. Spokane isn’t cliquey, but people have their groups and it is easy to get comfortable in that. I cannot wait to see the faces of my Florence friends in Crosby or Jack and Dan’s (or at LMU!). I could go on and on and on about GIF, but I am going to leave it at this. It’s not like I wont be talking about this for a very very long time. I know my room next year will look like Europe vomited on the walls with all of the souvenirs and pictures I will have for decoration. CHEERS, PROST, SALUT TO GONZAGA IN FLORENCE SPRING 2011!
Since January 3, 2011, I have visited...
|I still have A LOT to see!|
Cities (34): San Francisco, Florence, Rome, Fiesole, Siena, Prague, Interlaken, Bern, Verona, Montepulciano, Pienza, Montecino, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Venice, Edinburgh, Highlands, Dublin, Cork, Cobh, Connemara, Galway, Positano, Sorrento, Naples, Pompeii, Capri, Anacapri, Munich, Nice, Aix en Provence, Monte Carlo, Cinque Terre- Monterosso
Countries (11): United States, Italy, Vatican City, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Spain, Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, and Monaco
When in Florence…
- Climb the Duomo (do it as early as possible- that line gets long!
- See the David
- Visit the Boboli Gardens
- Shop at the Leather Market and Mercado Central (get the dried fruit!)
- Café Cavour (enjoy a cafe latte and wonderful pastries! This was my favorite place to start off the day!)
- Watch them make paper at Il Papiro
- Stay at Ostello Gallo d’Oro
Eat at: Baldovino, Dante’s Pizzeria (free wine for students), Yellow Bar, Il Gatto e Il Volpe (get pesto gnocchi and enjoy the most delicious balsamic vinegar) and Gusta Pizza (BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD!)
Get gelato at: La Carria, Perche non, Vivoli, Carabe
|View from the Duomo|
- Fiorentina football game (wear your purple!)
- Dragoon at Kikuya
- Boobs shot at Shots
- Nutella cappuccino
- Drink wine on Piazza San Michelangelo at sunset
- Browse jewelry on the Ponte Vecchio
S Some clubs: Astor, 21, Twice, Space
- Il Centro (2, 50 euro sandwiches!)
- Happy Hour at Mosto Dolce (get a Martelina)
- Nutella bomboloni
- Get lost
- Secret bakery! (opens at 1 am)