The past few weeks have been some of the most memorable times I have had this semester. I have had my family visiting for the past three weeks and having them here with me made me feel even more at home than I already have felt here in Florence.
My first visitors were my sister, Nonna and Aunt Debbie. They came to Florence and I had the chance to show them around some of my favorite spots including the Boboli Gardens, The Duomo, The Bell tower, Piazzale Michael Angelo, The Uffizi Gallery, and of course the delicious Italian cuisine. Spending time with them in Italy will be a memory that I will always cherish. A few days later we met up with my parents in Cinque Terre which truly felt like a dream come true. I have never experienced a place quite like Cinque Terre. It was incredible. Every picture I took looked like it came off of pinterest. My family and I stayed in the town of Monterosso, only a short five minute walk from the beach. It felt so unbelievably comforting to be able to sit and talk with my family no matter where we were or what we were talking about. The next week, my sister and parents came to stay in Florence. I had so much fun showing them where I had been living the past four months. Hearing my parents tell me how proud they were of me was an indescribable feeling. It brought me so much joy to have them here with me.
This past weekend, we all took a trip to Abruzzi which is on the opposite coast of Italy than Cinque Terre. Abruzzi is where my Nonna was born. She came over to the United States when she was only 18. We met up with all of our family who still reside here in Italy. The last time I saw my family that lives here was seven years ago. It was so interesting to see them again since I have grown up and have gained different perspectives. My Nonna and I have always been close but this past weekend brought us even closer to each other. Spending some alone time with Nonna gave us the opportunity to have conversations that we otherwise would not have gotten the chance to have. I learned so much about my Nonna’s childhood and the life she lived in Italy when she was younger that I was not previously knowledgeable on. Hearing some of the things my Nonna has gone through has given me a new respect for life, relationships, and a different perspective overall. I have learned how important family is. I am so beyond thankful to have had these experiences with my Nonna, and I know how lucky I am to still have her here with me. The relationship I have with my family truly means the most to me.
At the end of our trip, my sister, dad, and I spontaneously got matching tattoos that symbolize the most important thing to us, family. The tattoo is written in script and reads, “Il sangue e piu denso dell’ acqua.” It means “blood is thicker than water” in Italian. I will never forget this experience we shared together and I will forever have a reminder of what means the most to me.
I was so sad to see them go home, but it is comforting knowing I will get to see them in just two weeks. As I prepare for finals, I have to prepare to return home as well. It is going to be so hard to leave the place I have made my home these past four months but I will be forever thankful for the memories I have made here.
Ciao for now,