They (as in i assume a very responsible person) say it's best to arrive at the airport at least 2-3 hours before your flight sails off into the great abyss. I kicked off the beginning of my study abroad adventures with a mad dash to the airport only a little over an hour before departure. Some would say this is pretty nerve racking thing to do, but on the contrary, I say rushing=family bonding! On the upside, I was able to enjoy this great view of my favorite city, Philadelphia.


My name is Stephanie Zoppina and I am currently a junior at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, NY but I am originally from Burlington, NJ, home of the Burlington Coat Factory. I have my Associates degree in Fashion Merchandising Management and am working towards my Bachelors in Advertising and Marketing Communications.  I have travelled to Europe 3 other times in the past; however, I have never gotten the opportunity to visit Italy. So sit back and enjoy my perspective of the beautiful country and other places I will venture to throughout the next 3 months!

I'll kick off the post with a small description of how my trip semester to study abroad in Florence, Italy began: From Philadelphia, I crossed the pond known as the Atlantic Ocean to Frankfurt, Germany and met several new friends eagerly waiting to board our plane to Florence. The most amazing part of the first flight was most definitely the fact that Lufthansa only booked about half of the seats, giving me room to spread out and sleep the entire 8 hours to Frankfurt . The second flight wins the gold by far for the "best view" considering the fact that we flew directly over the Swiss Alps.

Once in Florence, I took a taxi over to my hostel, yes a hostel, where I will be living for the entire trip. Most students booked apartments but the hostel adds a little more excitement to the semester. Who wouldn't love to converse with people from all over, coming and going, on a daily basis? Unfortunately, the room was not ready when I first arrived at 11:30am so I took this chance to explore the city. My roommate and I ended up checking into our room at 5pm; however, with this slight inconvenience came the opportunity to learn our way around the city fairly quickly and also quickly discover Italy's version of boxed wine, more easily described as wine in a juice box. Which is pure gold for a broke traveling college student; only 1.65 euro!

 A very successful day to end Day 1. My motto for the semester: "Life is too short to drink bad wine and not eat enough pasta!"

My roommates and I (on the right)

The map of my school, Lorenzo De'Medici in Firenze