A First Look at NYU Florence

Allison Chesky shares her impression of NYU Florence after the first few weeks.

NYU Florence has been around for over twenty years. The school has incredible professors, some of whom are advisors to the Italian Prime Minister, others who are simply friendly Florentines with great recommendations for activities around Florence. If you study here, your workload may not decrease but economics classes are focused on the economics problems currently facing the EU, history classes are focused on eras still very visible in Florence and everyone is practicing their Italian (reminiscent of the Chinglish frequently heard in the AB). Classes take advantage of field trips in Florence, fast trains to other areas of Italy and the incredible relationship that NYU has with the city.

Everyone will tell you that Florence is walkable and all the women wear heels, which may give you some unrealistically ideal pictures of your walks through the town. NYU Florence is about a fifteen minute walk up a large hill from the city center and Florence is fraught with cobblestone streets, so get these images out of your head. However, quiet relaxing walks to find gelato, pizza, pasta, espresso and paninis along Ponte Vecchio are, frankly, a friendly and quiet Renaissance architecture-filled rest from the congested walks through traffic-ridden, and at times dirty, downtown Shanghai.

NYU Florence is picturesque to say the least, surrounded by Stone Pine and Italian Cypress trees, home to the second biggest garden in Florence on campus (only open to NYU Florence students). The garden, Limonaia, is directly behind Villa La Pietra, a house museum showcasing the art collection and home of the Acton family who left their property to NYU. Private tours are offered to students upon request, so that you don’t even have to leave campus to be surrounded by the art history so prevalent in Florence.
The city is wonderful, the people are wonderful, the scenery is wonderful. Italian is so beautiful to learn after Chinese, classes only help to immerse you more in the culture and the variety of students on campus broadens your perspective of college life. Drawbacks of Florence? TBD.

This article was written by Allison Chesky. Please send an email to managing@oncenturyavenue.com to get in touch.

Photo Credit:Allison Chesky

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