Memories on Villa la Pietra

Thursday, October 9, 2014

These photos are of Villa la Pietra in Florence, Italy. The villa, and the 57 acres of grounds and buildings surrounding it were gifted to NYU for the Florence study abroad program. This is where I attended school in Florence for two of the three semesters I was there. It's also one of my favorite places in the city. It's hard to do it justice in photographs, but of the thousands of photos I took of the campus, these evoke the most memories.

In some ways, my year and a half in Florence was a period of extended meditation. My first year of college was tumultuous, and it came at the tail end of two years of upheaval in my life. Florence became my escape. I know a therapist would probably have told me that running away can't solve problems. But sometimes it can. Distance can be a healing thing. It was for me.

I took these photos while wandering around the grounds of Villa la Pietra at dusk. There was no one else around, and it felt as if I had the whole world to myself. I can't remember a more peaceful moment in my life than that hour I spent taking photographs and just being.

I have so many incredible memories of Italy, and many of them are special because of the people I met there, and the moments we had together. Somehow I also felt that Italy, the country itself, was a person. As if she knew the answers that had eluded me for so long. My treasured memories are the ones of just me alone on the Tuscan soil, seeking comfort and wisdom and peace in the home of my ancestors.

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  1. How did you find studying in Florence? It's something I'd love to do!

    1. It was incredible! I'm always an advocate of any type of study abroad, and Florence is exceptionally extraordinary. The only draw back is that there are a lot of study abroad students there, and you have to be really proactive and determined to delve into Italian culture. Most programs offer home stays or cultural exchanges, and those are the best ways to get involved in the local community.

  2. Replies
    1. It's such a beautiful campus, we were so lucky to have it donated to our school! I think they might give tours of Villa la Pietra, so you should definitely look into it if you're ever going to be nearby.


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