European Union Policy Studies

Calling Palazzo Capponi Home


Palazzo Living

Before even arriving in Florence in the Fall of 2013, I was enamored of Palazzo Capponi - its high and sloping ceilings, Florentine tiling, and fascinating charm. I looked at pictures of the Palazzo throughout the entire summer before enrolling in the program. I went on Google Maps to look at the street view multiple times each week. I would show pictures of the Palazzo to my family and friends, just so I could share the excitement. I couldn’t wait to call the Palazzo my home. Of course, I did not know at the time that my future classmates and I would be the last cohort of EUPS students to live in the Palazzo.

The first day in the Palazzo, our cohort was eager to get to know one another, and just as eager to explore our surrounding neighborhood. We went to a nearby restaurant for dinner and stayed there for hours. We continued talking with one another in the kitchen and recreational space when we finished dinner. Everyone in the group that I talked to and got to know had an optimistic and forward-looking energy – the feeling was akin to reuniting with a group of friends, but friends that you never even knew you had; making the Palazzo feel more and more like home. 

Once the routine sank in, the adrenaline wore off, and the intensive masters courses began, many of us came to realize that the image of living in the Palazzo and actually living in the Palazzo turned out to be different than expected, in good and bad ways alike.

The Good: the commute to class was the shortest commute I ever had the fortune of experiencing. The administrative offices were easily accessible because they were right downstairs. I lived in the old section of Florence with many other Italians (as opposed to many other tourists or study abroad students), and I was constantly surrounded by my group.

The Bad: the kitchen got really messy, we shared the space with undergraduate students who could be distracting, and I was constantly surrounded by our cohort.

In case you didn’t notice, “I was constantly surrounded by our cohort” fits in both “The Good” and “The Bad” categories. If you had a great cohort and you got along, then there were many positives of living with your peers. Even with the great cohort that I was lucky to be a part of, it is always important to branch out. Unfortunately, living with a set of your closest friends in Florence is not always conducive for meeting new people in a city with so much personality.

Regardless of the trials and tribulations, I loved living in the Palazzo, and believe it will remain one of the most unique experiences I have the privilege to call my own.  Being able to come back from an aperitivo in Piazza Santo Spirito, open the old, heavy wooden doors, and drink a glass of wine with some of my closest friends in our 16th century home is a feeling unlike any other. The Palazzo brought our cohort together and gave me a home in one of the most beautiful cities there is.

Written by Abby Ware

Published: Sunday, November 1, 2015

Last Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018

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