Meg Dillon G ’11 and Hannah Hartsig G ’11 first met while studying in Florence in 2010. Today, the two alumnae of Syracuse University’s Graduate Art History Program in Florence are busy young professionals juggling work, life and their mutual love of travel. In 2012, the duo threw one more ball into the air, launching “Florence For Free,” a blog that helps travelers explore the City of Florence without worrying about how expensive it can be. Thanks to their passion for travel, their love of Florence and their desire to see the world at little to no cost, Meg and Hannah’s “Florence For Free” was just named Best Italy Travel Blog by Italy Magazine. It’s an honor that left Meg and Hannah speechless.
In an email to readers, Dillon and Hartsig wrote, “The announcement was made yesterday, and it took us a full day to get over our shock. While few things make us speechless, we took a bit of time to quietly reflect on what an incredible group our little community here has grown to be.”
“I am so proud of Meg and Hannah and the things they’ve accomplished in the years since they graduated,” said Gary Radke ’73, director of the Florence Graduate Program in Renaissance Art. “They are doing such a service to young students interested in studying abroad on a tight budget. I love following their blog and seeing what recommendations they’ll come up with next. They offer recommendations that are a godsend for both first-time travelers and experienced visitors.”
“Florence For Free” garners more than 8,500 unique monthly visitors and features a variety of Florence destinations a traveler can experience for free. From museums to galleries, walking tours and festivals, the site provides specific details on how to explore the city at no cost. The duo’s blog was also just awarded the Top Blog Award from CAPA International Education, an international education organization committed to empowering student learning through personal choice, academic integrity, and engagement in urban environments abroad.
If you’re interested in learning more about their blog or about how SU’s Graduate Art History Program in Florence impacted Dillon and Hartsig’s career paths, click here to read an exclusive Q&A with the alumnae.