Splendida Giornata

Camila F. is currently a senior at SYA Italy and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

Picture this:

You're standing in the center of Piazza San Marco looking up at the Basilica when a masked
couple dressed in 18th century style clothing walk into your line of view. Right when you look down to take a second look they are replaced by another couple of pig-masked figures wearing white from head to toe. Feeling feathers brush up against you, you look to your right to find two Big Bird lookalikes strolling past.

The streets, overflowing with extravagance, absurdity, and grandeur. Confetti on the ground, children, men, women and elders alike wearing elaborate masks. Gathering crowds all hoping to catch a glimpse at the most lavishly dressed participants.

It’s the Carnevale of Venezia, one of the most iconic festivals not just in Italy but the world- and I
finally had a chance to be in the center of it all. Bearing this in mind, sitting here on the train on my way back from one of the best experiences of my life, (and obviously still in my Carnevale maschera because it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever purchased) I think about how I have yet one more thing to check off my bucket list. Officially, my “firsts” and bucket list items I’ve checked off in the past six months consist of…

  • Seeing snow for the first time
  • Going to Europe for the first time
  • Traveling alone for the first time
  • Riding in a gondola
  • Partaking in the Venice carnevale
  • Trying fish and chips in London
  • Cooking an entire authentic meal from scratch
  • Visiting Pompeii
  • Eating Pizza in Napoli
  • Making wine from scratch
  • Seeing some of the most famous art pieces and landmarks in the world in real life
  • ...and so much more.

Thinking of all I’ve done in what feels like the longest yet shortest six months of my life, I feel myself getting anxious at the fact that I only have three months left both in Italy and in high school… consequently, thinking of all my firsts makes me think of all the lasts that are still to come-

My last high school test, my last cappuccino and cornetto, my last time making dinner reservations in the center on Saturday nights, my last day of high school and of SYA…It also doesn’t help hearing talk of “plane rides back home” and “it’s time to start thinking about capstone…” but alas, it’s officially been 178 days since I arrived, 85 days until I leave, and 95 days until I graduate. But I’ve come to realize that if I continue to think about these numbers in the way I have, it would spoil the time I have left here. So instead of looking at the future as my last three months, I’m choosing to look forward to my next three months, because there is still so much left to do:

  • Perform at open mic night with my host sister and friends
  • Spend 10 days in Sicily
  • Visit Napoli for a third time
  • Complete my capstone project that will reflect the time I spent here
  • Spend spring break in the south of Italy
  • Present at the GIN conference
  • Go to prom with my Italian and American friends
  • Complete the yearbook we’ve been working so hard on
  • Birthday dinners
  • Senior prank!
  • Host family trips
  • Choose a college
  • Walk across the stage at graduation
  • Actually GRADUATE!

Whether it’s spending a weekend exploring Venice during its most exciting time of year, choosing the perfect capstone project, or deciding to perform for friends and family at open mic night with my sister, clearly, there’s still a world left to conquer and a whole lotta checking-things-off-the-list to do. So, to the next 85 days- may you be as splendid0 and life changing as the past 178.

  • Campus Reporters
  • SYA Italy
Ha Sido un Placer

In her final blog, Camus Reporter Meredith M. reflects on the letter she wrote to herself at the beginning of her year abroad.

The Revolving Door

In her final blog, Campus reporter Isabelle M. describes her year abroad in France as a revolving door.

Time Travel

Melinda D. reflects on her final weeks abroad and how she and her peers have changed at SYA Spain.

Arrivederci Roma

Campus reporter Camila F. writes about saying goodbye to Rome and shares the music that defined her year abroad.

Thank You

Julia A. expresses her gratitude to her host family, friends, and parents for her time at SYA France.