With that being said- I'll briefly update you all on what I have been up to for the past few days! Since I last wrote, I have been able to see more of the city and I have already memorized how to get to certain places including the main center where the Duomo is from our apartment. Unfortunately, our apartment is a decent hike to the main attractions, while some students I have met live right above the Hard Rock Cafe in the main center! A little extra excerise doesn't hurt so I'm not complaining but my terrible walking feet are struggling lol! We're also fortunate to be able to explore a part of the city that we most likely wouldn't often go to if we lived so close to everything.
Thursday night I had my first gelato. We had to walk to the center at 10 pm to find one that was still open! I must say- maybe the first Gelateria I went to wasn't the best but I haven't figured out what the big deal is about gelato compared to regular ice cream. If I experience the life-altering moment that others seem to rave about after eating gelato I'll make sure to make note! Also on Thursday night we met the landlord of our apartment. He is a cute little Italian man probably late 50s who was very sweet, helpful and very welcoming!
Yesterday we met with our advisor who gave us loads of information. The Italians talk very fast even when they're speaking Enlgish so most of what she said went through one ear and out the other. We were able to explore the area where most of our classes will be which is jam packed with tourists! I'm looking forward to Autumn when suppossedly the amount toursits dies down a little. After a long morning we went to dinner at a fun Restaurant called ZaZa's near the San Lorenzo market. I had a delicious fettucini bolognese dish. Dining at restaurants in Italy is very different from America in several ways. First- water is not free. I drink a lot of water during the day and I have found myself on the verge of feeling very dehydrated often. Also- they include a "gratitude" charge in the bill. Last night we ate outside right by the street with a party of 7 and they included a €15 charge.
After dinner we experienced our first night out in Florence! We pregamed at our neighbors apartment and went to a club called Space. It took us about an hour to get there when it should have taken us 18 minutes because none of us knew where we were going! Once we got there the first floor was empty until we discovered the second floor which was filled with people from all over the world. When you arrive at the club you get a card that allows you one free drink and each time you order they punch your card. At the end of the night you pay at a checkout point for all of your drinks- definitely very different from how we go out in the US! To summarize our night at Space I will say it was a crazy experience and that it won't be our last time going but it most likely will not be a regular spot! Lol
Today and tomorrow before classes start on Monday I plan on enjoying some down time and exploring the city to become more comfortable finding where my classes are. I already have trips booked for each weekend up to October 5th so far so I'm taking advantage of the down time I have in Florence before we start school.
Overall I've felt like I was meant to study abroad in the Fall of 2013. I have already made some great friends and I feel very comfortable with my decision to study abroad. Everything happens for a reason and I can't wait to see what the rest of my journey holds! So far- I never want it to end!!
Fun fact about Florence- so many of the locals have dogs. The other day I saw a golden retreiver and a black lab and of course immediately it made me miss my Richie. I did not expect to see so many people with pets considering Florence only has a few parks in our area where they can run and play. But I'm such a crazy dog lover so I love seeing them!
|The beautiful Duomo|
|Drying clothes-Italy style!|
|Left to Right: Courtney, Me, Melanie, Kirsten, Savannah, Maria, Caroline|
|Chocolate, Vanilla & Cookies and cream!|