A visit from Asbury University students

A few months ago, a professor from Asbury University in Kentucky emailed me to see if I’d be open to talking with his journalist students if they were to come to Florence. I was of course flattered, but I wondered what I could talk to them about. David, the professor, told me that I could talk about my blog, my “Expats in Florence” column in The Florentine and the expats that I’ve interviewed.

We met today in front of the Sant’Ambrogio chiesa (church). Being Monday, all of my favorite places to eat were closed, so I decided to take them to the mercato (market) to have lunch at Da Rocco.

While we sat together in the small booth, David asked me to talk about what brought me to Florence. Like most people, my path was not straight, but each step I took led me to where I am today. It wasn’t until today that I remembered that I took a journalism class in university. The one project I loved was when I interviewed a Sacramento radio host. It was interesting to me now that I write up two interviews a month.

I brought along with me hard copies of the Florentine so that they could have them to keep. I didn’t think that in the couple of days in Florence they’d be able to find a place where they could pick up a copy. I was flattered when I found out that they had all already read many of my expat articles on-line.

I enjoy speaking to university students because they are open to listening to people and soak up what they deem important. I found it interesting that both of the students were studying journalism: Abbey is majoring in photojournalism while Ben is majoring in poetry with a minor in journalism.

After lunch, we walked down Borgo degli Albizi and via dei Cerchi to Piazza della Signoria. I took them to my favorite gelateria (ice cream shop) in via Lambertesca behind the Uffizi: Carapina.

Because so many of the musei (museums) were also shut today, I escorted them to Santa Croce chiesa. I thought they would find it interesting because so many of the important Florentines were buried inside, or at least have a tomb.

It wasn’t until I was walking home that I realized that we had only spent a couple of hours together. I would’ve liked to spend more time with them, but I had to get back to my work. I didn’t get a chance to talk to them after their visit to the chiesa, but I hope they enjoyed it.

I enjoyed my time with the three of them, and I hope each one can return to Florence for a longer time to experience even more.

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