Making Florence Your Home Away from Home

The Lorenzo de’ Medici events are great opportunities that enable foreign students to become more integrated with the Italian way of life.  There are many cultural differences that a person encounters when they’re in a foreign country and sometimes it’s difficult to grasp the diversity.  In particular, body language and sense of space are very different among the American and Italian culture.  Since it is a commonly known stereotype that Italians use hand and body gestures when they converse with each other, I attended the “I Gesti degli Italiani” seminar to learn and understand these various gestures.  Within this entertaining seminar, I was able to see and even practice with other students the various ways Italians use gestures to communicate.  I learned the different formal and informal gestures as well as the verbs that described these actions.  Before this seminar, I had no idea which gestures were considered formal and respectful and which were informal and vulgar.  Now as I walk around the city, I’m able to visualize these gestures and understand the context of different conversations without even hearing the conversation.  It was important to me to understand what I see on a daily basis and now I feel like I can use these various gestures when I speak to locals.  Any insider’s secret on becoming a local is very difficult to find.  However, at LdM, here was a seminar at my fingertips that enabled me to feel that much closer to becoming a local and that much closer to feeling like Florence is my new home away from home.


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