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A Conversation with Maddie - Culinary Arts Intern in Florence, Italy

We sat down with Maddie, who spent 9-weeks of her summer on a Culinary Arts Internship in Florence, Italy. Maddie wanted to share her wonderful experiences with others and set expectations for what interning and living in Italy is like. Enjoy the full conversation below!

Can you tell us generally about your internship experience? 

I spent 9 weeks in Florence studying Italian and working in a restaurant. The first two weeks were dedicated to language school where I met students from around the world. I lived in an apartment with two other girls my age who became some of my best friends. I only worked in the afternoons, so I spent the evenings exploring the city, visiting museums, trying new food, and traveling to other cities.

Tell us about your placement in Florence.

I worked in an Italian restaurant in a very social plaza in the heart of Florence. Each morning I would help bring in the fresh produce of local fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses then work with my mentor to hand-make 9 different kinds of pasta from scratch. Twice a week I worked in the pizzeria. We made bread from scratch, fresh pizza dough, and prepared the pizza toppings for service that day.

What are a few lessons you learned?

In addition to learning about Italian cuisine, it was so refreshing to experience ‘la dolce vita.’ The lifestyle of prioritizing relationships and living in the moment taught me a lot about enjoying life and how to slow down and find beauty in the small things.

Best Moment?

I met several people in language school and we bought a train pass and spent each weekend traveling to other cities. We got to see Venice, Milan, Cinque Terre, Sienna, Lucca, Florence, and Rome. I loved exploring more of the country and it enhanced my internship because I got to try foods in different regions of the country.

Why World Endeavors?

My university in the states required me to complete an internship before I graduate and after much research it was easy to choose World Endeavors for an international internship. They were so wonderful to work with. From my first inquiring phone call and all the way through the completion of my internship they were responsive, helpful, and very easy to work with. I loved that they took the time to identify my goals and skills and placed me where I would thrive the most.

What’s next after your time in Italy?

I returned home to graduate from university with a degree in Health & Wellness and am currently working on a startup business inspired by the fresh fruits, vegetables, and sustainable lifestyle I was inspired by in Italy.

If you would like to know more about our Culinary Arts Internships or would like to receive information about our full offering of internships abroad, please connect with one of our advisors through the contact form!

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