One of my favorite holidays, I plan my costumes out no less than nine months in advance. I love to Pinterest my life away for weeks before, planning parties and fun drinks to make, plus helping everyone else plan their costumes. If you saw how many of my friends from Kent posted Throwback Thursday pictures on Instragram with captions saying how much they would miss me this year, you would know I’m not making this up – I live for Halloween, and have not had one that wasn’t completely crazy.
I was thrilled to find out that Halloween has become a huge night in Florence in the past few years. Once we heard the happy news, my friends began planning bar crawls and small parties to fill the weekend as the city slowly became covered in orange and black decorations.
We all scrambled to find costumes within our own closets, not wanting to spend any more money than we had to at this point in the semester. Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve had some pretty great costumes the past few years, all of which I put together for relatively cheap, including leather-clad Sandy from Grease, Madonna and my alter ego, French Amanda. This year I picked the stereotypical mouse costume, not my proudest moment, but it only cost me 10€ for a pair of sequin ears and fake eyelashes that I put with a black dress I already had and a bow tie I borrowed from my friend Jaron. Olivia grabbed a tutu set from Accessorize and was a pumpkin one night and Rosie the Riveter the next, Taylor got a neon tank and pink eyelashes from H&M to be a unicorn, and Micaela just threw on a bunch of random clothes and accessories and turned into some kind of Lana del Ray meets Barbie pumpkin fairy. Really, anything goes when you’re on a budget.
We decided to make up for Taylor’s birthday flop from London and host a small surprise party with the Jaron, Mikey and Greg before going out for the night, complete with wine, appetizers and an ice cream cake. Several bottles of cheap wine and many fake eyelash mishaps later, we managed to get out the door and go to a friend’s apartment across town for another pregame by 10:30. Once we said our hellos and goodbyes, we left the crowded apartment to meet up with more Kent friends at a small bar they frequent for some cheap drinks. That 5€ for two drinks and a shot, plus a full performance of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance dance by Mikey and Paulina, ended up being the only money I would spend all night.
From there it was a typical Amanda Halloween. And because I give this link to hopefully future internships, that’s really all I can say about it.
But just know it was, by far, my most epic night in Florence.
Some tips for future study abroad-ers:
- Stay in Florence for Halloween. Seriously, do no travel. Plan a day trip or something if you must.
- Don’t bring a costume with you, because they really aren’t that big a deal except with American students. H&M had tons of fun accessories, but just plan to do something simple. My costume required one accessory and some eyeliner whiskers, too easy.
- You will get lost from a huge group because the streets are filled to the max. So keep with one buddy at all times.
- All the clubs will make you pay a cover, even if they usually are free. Just be like Paulina and I and fight with the bouncer, telling him how much the club sucks in front of the entire line and maybe he’ll let you into VIP.
- You WILL be out late. Locate the nearest Secret Bakery or kebab place to top off your successful night.