Florence Has A Pisa My Heart

For the over two-thirds of Luther students who study off campus during their four years here, the world will never look the same again. Off-campus study is a life-changing experience, resulting in broadened perspectives, unforgettable memories, and a more comprehensive and nuanced view of the world.

Several Luther students pursue in-depth and immersive study by participating in semester and year-long programs off campus. These blogs are meant to help friends, family, and future Norse experience life alongside our students around the globe.

Blog Highlights

Check out these highlighted posts about unforgettable adventures, lessons learned, and life-changing experiences!

After spending last weekend in Rome, our group split up for another adventure out of Malta!

I went to Florence with a few others to visit a friend from home, another group went to Germany, Wyatt took a solo trip to Athens and our Professor went to London. This was my first time being in another country on my own. Although organizing various details for this weekend was a little stressful, I enjoyed having the freedom to plan my weekend with what I wanted to do.

We left Saturday morning and arrived in Pisa before dinnertime. Thankfully, the Pisa International Airport is only a thirty-minute walk to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I felt a little foolish dragging my carryon through the cobblestone streets but was so happy to have made the trek to the Tower. We ended up having a full photo shoot in front of the Tower (yes, the poses included holding it up and kicking it over) and met other American students studying abroad! The funniest thing about being around the Leaning Tower of Pisa is watching tourists pose for their photos. The scene resembles something similar to Michael Jackson's Thriller music video or a mannaquin challenge on youtube!

To get from Pisa to Florence, we took a train and felt the temperature slowly drop as the night went on. Due to the chilly weather, we spent all of Sunday in the Accademia Gallery and the Uffizi Gallery. My jaw dropped when I rounded the corner in the Accademia Gallery and saw Michaelangelo's David! The statue was so much bigger than I expected! Right after leaving the Accademia Gallery, we visited the Uffizi Gallery. The Uffizi Gallery is filled with Renaissance art. We ended up staying until closing!

By far the coolest thing we experienced this weekend was going to a "secret bakery". My friend studying abroad in Florence convinced us to stay up until 1:30 a.m. to walk to a random street with a baker hard at work inside. When the baker saw us outside he opened up the door and asked what kind of fresh crossaint we wanted — plain or chocolate. Once giving him a euro for each crossaint he filled the fresh pastries right in front of us! We had to be quiet because there are certain Italian laws about selling pastries like this. It was so worth staying up and losing sleep over!

This weekend was something I will never forget. I loved seeing a familiar face from home and eating the best food in Italy! Although I'm not extremely eager to wake up for class tomorrow, I am excited for the upper sixty-degree weather coming this week. It is so nice to be back home in Malta.

Erin Hocker in front of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence
Erin vs. Erin at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
View from Michelangelo's Piazza (the 30 degree weather didn't stop us from making the hike!)