Visiting the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens was enjoyable because the location was so grandiose and full of history. My favorite part was touring the palace. This is partly because it’s the only monument I saw that day, but I also really appreciated the intricate murals that decorated the ceilings. I found it interesting how the painting in each room told a story. It was a perfect example of how art was used to communicate messages. In this case, the artist used greek mythology to symbolize the grand duke and his rise to power.
We also had the honor of touring the Misericordia Museum. I really enjoyed learning about the foundation of the now vast and influential organization we know today. I love the core values they uphold and how everything is centered around serving the less fortunate. I truly admire how humility was and still is a central part of the organization. During our tour, we learned that the former volunteers would cover their faces and shoes to remain anonymous while helping during the plagues. Equality was also of importance within Misericodia’s value system. The organization was founded by the rich, but over time rich and poor people alike came together to serve those in need. Each participant worked together in the absence of hierarchies or cast systems, the organization instead was defined by mutual respect and honor.
A key component that really stood out to me is that their organization is supported by volunteers. It’s fascinating to see how passionate Florentine citizens are about their city. They take so much pride in their city’s history which makes them willing to invest back into their community in any way they can. This kind of charity and service is always inspiring to witness, I’m so grateful that I was fortunate to volunteer at such an amazing organization this summer.
Our last tour consisted of visiting the Medici Chapels and Palace. This tour was most enjoyable because of the information our tour guide provided about the history of the Medici family. I found each of our tours to be valuable. Not only did we visit many historical monuments that were pivotal in world history, but we also got to learn about the significance of these monuments. This allowed me to appreciate the sites all the more. There was a moment when we visited Michealangelo’s Chapel when it dawned on me that I am attending Lorenzo De Medici Institute. I didn’t really understand the magnitude of attending such an institution prior to learning the history of the Medici family and how influential Lorenzo Medici was. After learning about the family, their power, and, their influence, it dawned on me that I was studying at a historical university founded by one of Florence’s most influential citizens in history. Having learned this background knowledge from our tours has allowed me to appreciate my study abroad experience even more.