“Florence Syndrome is a psychosomatic disorder that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to an experience of great personal significants, particularly when viewing art and beauty.” Now, I’m not saying I have a psychosomatic disorder but this place is intoxicating. Florence has already surpassed my expectations, and its only week one. The food, people, art and natural beauty of Florence and Tuscany really is unparalleled.

Hi, my name is Sarah. I am the Program Blogger for the Fashion Events and PR course based in Florence this July. I am so excited to share what I have been getting up to in beautiful Italy this week.

I was lucky enough to start my trip with a few weeks soaking up all that the European summer has to offer. Starting in Barcelona, along with a new friend I made through the Aim Facebook page, we toured along the coast from Spain through the South of France and Northern Italy to arrive in Florence a couple of days before the rest of the Aim students.

By Saturday I was just itching to meet everyone, and my new friends did not disappoint. After an aperol spritz, or two and taking advantage of the aperitivo we were all laughing and getting on like we had known each other for longer than the couple of hours.

The following morning, I woke up early and took the opportunity to get out and see the city minus the heat and hordes of tourists. At 7 am, the streets were empty bar a couple of nuns on their way to morning mass and the locals getting their expresso fix. I strolled past all the major monuments, and ended up down by the Ponte Vecchio. I sat there and watched the perfect reflection of the city in the river which was only disturbed occasionally by an early morning row boat or two.  

The rest of my Sunday was spent getting acquainted with the city of Florence and my new friends. That evening we journeyed up to Fiesole for one of the most spectacular sunsets I have ever seen. We ate pasta and drank wine, we got lost, found unexpected gems, and had our second gelato for the day. When in Italy right?

I almost forgot I was here to study but when Monday morning rolled round but I was ready to see what it was all about. The staff at IED blew me away with their enthusiasm, for both the content and the region. On the first day we jumped straight into forming groups and were addressed by our client for our major project, a Tuscan based shoe company. Applying what we are learning for a real company makes this course very exciting and engaging.

Lessons this week focused on an introduction to fashion writing, branding, communication strategy and events. I must admit It as hard to focus with the insane view of the Duomo from our classroom. Classwork also entails excursions to the Gucci Garden and the Ferragamo Museum. My time at IED has been so enjoyable so far I forget I’m studying. 

I blinked and the weekend is here again. Time to get out into Tuscany for some wine tasting I think?