It’s only been a week and I am already in love with this city. Scrolling through the streets of Florence on Google Maps before coming here was nothing compared to the feeling I have walking down the tiny cobblestone sidewalks (seriously, the sidewalks here are so small), surrounded by historic buildings, cafés and pizzerias. People told me Florence is great and wow, were they right. Any expectations I had for this city have been exceeded by far. It still hasn’t fully hit me that I am actually living here and not just on a great vacation.
The first few days were a bit difficult to adjust; having no idea which winding street to take, how to properly order a coffee, or going to bed at a semi-normal time. My roommates and I definitely took more naps than we should have while trying to adjust to the 7 hour time difference. Fortunately CET, my study abroad program, has helped us find our way around the city and offered plenty of tips and advice. A whole seven days in and I am proud to say that I now know how to get to class, my apartment, and the gelato shop. I’m still working on learning the rules of ordering coffee here though. I’ll let you know when I figure this out. My apartment is near the famous Duomo (the lovely building behind me in this photo), which makes finding my way home much easier considering the building can be seen from nearly anywhere in the city. Despite the multiple flights of stairs and musky basement smell of our apartment entrance, I love my little 4 bedroom home and my 5 other roommates that I share it with. Over the past week we have explored the city together, spent hours in vodafone trying to get our phones to work, and conquered buying fruit at the grocery store. (Here you have to weigh your fruits and vegetables and print a ticket for each of them before going to the checkout…it can get a bit confusing when you don’t know the Italian names for anything.)
Classes started this week and I am glad to be getting back on a regular schedule. I am still working out the kinks with my courses but I am eager to start learning some Italian and more about the history and culture of this wonderful new city.
I will be spending the rest of January in Florence and will be beginning my travels next month with trips booked to Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Rome. I feel so fortunate to be able to have this once in a lifetime opportunity to see the world while I’m here and glad that I can share all of my unforgettable memories with you. Stay tuned for more!