The opportunity to study abroad carries with it much excitement but perhaps an equal amount of apprehension. Prior to leaving for my summer abroad in Florence, Italy, many pertinent questions inundated my mind: Where would I live? Who would I meet? Would my Italian language skills improve as hoped? Are the pizza and pasta really better than anywhere else? When I fall in love with gelato, will I find it when I return to the U.S.? And perhaps most importantly, how would I spend my July birthday away from home? Luckily most of these things worked themselves out. I found my apartment without too much trouble, I met many interesting people from all walks of life, I spoke the language daily, the food is indisputably delicious, and gelato is indeed available in the U.S. (and easy to find thanks to WhyGelato.com!) As for the last pressing question, this picture says it all. I blew out my birthday candles over scoops of gelato at "Perche" No!, a small gelateria in downtown Florence. It was a birthday to remember, and I cannot imagine a better way to start a new year in life than with your favorite gelato flavor in hand.
- Lucy Colavincenzo