I never thought I was going to be getting as much exercise as I have been getting in Florence, Italy this past month that I have been here.  I knew that I was going to have to walk some places, but I thought my apartment would be closer to the buildings where my classes are, but I was wrong. It takes me about a good 30 minutes to walk to my classes and all of them are in different buildings throughout the city.  Overall I have enjoyed getting a lot of exercise everyday and walking everywhere because I am not used to it.

Back Wisconsin, I drive everywhere. I don’t walk to shops, buildings, parks ect. Everyone drives everywhere because buildings are farther apart in the United States. I wish that buildings were in walking distance because I would rather walk and get exercise then drive my car. I think it is important for people to get exercise everyday by walking or biking because Americans are stereotyped as being lazy because obesity is a problem in America.

In Florence, Italy, people walk everywhere or they bike because it is an easier way of transportation. The streets are really small here and it is easier to bike or walk. A lot of people bike because they can get to their location faster and there are a lot of bike racks throughout the city. That is why everyone is in shape in Europe too because they get daily exercise everyday by walking or biking.  When I first got to Florence, I had to learn to walk everywhere. I could tell I was an American because my legs were soar and my feet were killing me the first couple of days. My flats gave me blisters and I was in pain. All I wanted to do was sit and do nothing when I got back to my apartment after a busy day of walking everywhere. I am not used to walking everywhere. After the first week, I started getting used to walking everywhere and it is kind of relaxing walking throughout the city. I wish I had brought a pedometer along to see how far I walk everyday. It would have been interesting to see how many miles I walk everyday and to keep track of that.  All in all, I am enjoying getting a lot of exercise everyday.

Megan Soukup is studying abroad at Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy.