This blog has been created to share the College of Staten Island (CSI) students’ experiences around the world. Dolphins across the Seven Seas provides the opportunity for CSI students, staff, faculty and beyond to gain insight into the study abroad experience. Additionally, Study Abroad Peer Advisors provide reflections upon their experiences as well as advice to potential study abroad participants. CSI is the single senior college of the City University of New York (CUNY), located in the borough of Staten Island.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Amanda Ciaramella - Second Time’s the Charm: Feeling at home in Florence

        This year, I had the privilege of returning to Italy for a second study abroad experience.   I also studied in Florence last year, but as my first experience on my own in a foreign country, I had difficultly feeling comfortable.  After reentering Florence for the second time this past June, I was hit with a gust of nostalgia.  I remembered where my favorite gelato shops were, and I knew my way around confidently.  By the end of my trip, I did not want to leave!  Last year, I had felt very homesick, and although I loved Italy, there was no place like home.  This year, Italy became my home, and now, I desire even more travelling around Italy and the world.

Cinque Terre, or “Five Lands,” consists of a beautiful beach and scenic view.  This is one of my favorite sites; I highly recommend taking the hike to experience the full beauty!

I was reunited with my friends whom I met in Florence last year!  It is so exciting to hang out with local Italians!

I LOVE Venice!  There’s just something about being surrounded by water that feels so Italian to me!  The gondola ride is cute, but make sure to have a group of five or six since the boats are expensive.

When in Rome!  The Coliseum was probably my favorite part of Rome.   

I also went horseback riding in Tuscany!  Unfortunately I could not get a picture of myself since I was too focused learning how to ride a horse for the first time!


I was reunited with my Art Restoration professor from last summer!  He was like everyone’s adopted Italian grandfather!  

Lastly, here are my creations from my Sculpture class this year!  I took one of the cups home with me.  Unfortunately everything was very heavy so I was unable to bring it all.


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