Jacquelyn O’Malley is a student at The College of New Jersey and an ISA Featured Blogger. Jackie is currently studying abroad in Florence, Italy on the ISA Summer 3 program.
Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely in love with Italy. Florence has managed to steal my heart faster than Ryan Gosling in “The Notebook.” But I have to admit there are some things from home that I miss, besides my family and friends of course:
1) Central Air
Italy is still new to the air conditioning system, and many buildings go without any form of central air. It’s not unbearable here, but it definitely makes you realize how fortunate we are to have air conditioning as a standard amenity.
2) Cell Phone Service
You never truly realize how much we depend on our phones on a daily basis. Now that texting and phone calls have higher rates, it’s a lot harder to stay in touch with everyone on the other side of the world.
While many people in Florence are able to speak English in addition to Italian, there are still many people who do not. Sometimes this makes it difficult to know what you’re ordering in a restaurant, or buying at the food store. However, this isn’t completely terrible because it forces you to take risks and expand your Italian vocabulary.
4) Good Hair Days
While the voltage in the US is 110, in Italy it is 220. In other words, your hair dryer probably won’t work without an transformer (which I learned the hard way when my dryer nearly went into flames). So ladies, its best to buy either an adapter at home, buy a hair dryer here, or just stock up on some good Italian hair products! And don’t worry about your laptop or cell phone charger because those work fine without a transformer, all you need is the two prong adapter.
5) Ice Coffee
I was really surprised to find out that ice coffee isn’t very common in Italy. Coffee to go is pretty uncommon as well because the Italians treat drinking coffee as a social event, rather than a quick caffeine fix