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Duke v. Florence

It’s crazy to think that I’ve been in Italy for a month now! In my last post, I promised to compare the different ways Italians and Duke students view love. I’ve decided to save that for another time, because I think understanding how the cultures relate is an important first step.

Comparing Duke and Florence is an almost impossible task because both places seem so incredibly different. Obviously, Florence is a famous historical city, whereas Duke is a prestigious college campus. But they might have more in common than you think! Let’s take a closer look.

The Architecture

Duke is famous for its gothic architecture and Florence is known for its impressive Renaissance style. Because we all hold different preferences, it’s unfair to say that the Duke gardens are prettier than the Boboli Gardens (even though I happen to agree with this). The bottom line is that both are beautiful, relaxing, and filled with impressive structures and sights. Which you prefer is up to you!



The Boys

 If we listen to Love Lillith (check out this great article!) then there’s really no competition: Italian men win hands down. But most Duke “fratstars” and Italian guys have more in common then we would hope. Italian guys are extremely confident, believing that if they “cat call” at any girl who walks by, the girl will fall at their feet. In reality, the way this scenario typically works out is that an Italian guy will yell “bella” at every single girl walking down the street, and maybe one out of a hundred will stop to talk to him.

But, they consistently do this because they think us women like it. They think we enjoy them shouting at us and blowing us kisses. Sure, it’s nice to get some attention, but for the most part it just comes across as arrogant and superficial, which are two qualities most girls don’t find attractive in a guy. So when we compare this behavior to the Duke “fratstar,” we see can definitely how the two share some of the same qualities. Instead of calling a girl “bella,” a fratstar would tell the girl how good she looks in his pastels. But when we read between the lines we see how this connects to the Italian guy’s “moves”.

Both want one thing: a girl to be so into them that she forgets about their unpleasantness and instead focuses on his “charm”. Italian guys and Duke fratstars are more similar than we thought. So, I’m going to leave the winner up to you…pastel polos or tight v-necks?




…and their rides.

This one isn’t even a competition.



The Food
 …And neither is this.



The Sports
“All I do is win, win, win no matter what…and every time I step up in the building everybody hands go up.”

The Duke men’s basketball team dominates the court. We dress up in all blue and enjoy being called Cameron Crazies. We love our team and we love to win. Florence has a soccer team where the fans also love to win and support their team. But, the main difference between Duke sports and Florentine sports is that we actually win. And when we win, we win big.


Duke and Florence at first seemed impossible to compare and worlds apart. But after living here for a month, I’m starting to pick up on some of the similarities. Originally, I thought that each place would be completely unique from the other. But that just isn’t true! So keep checking out my blogs because even though I’m an ocean away from Duke, I still feel pretty close to home. Until next time!


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