I woke up stressed out because we were supposed to take a placement test for our Italian language class. Some people said we didn’t have to do it even though it says mandatory in the papers we got. I was torn and ultimately decided not to go – but Molly and I were already up and dressed so we went out to get a coffee. We walked down the street to a coffee bar and decided to pay the sitting fee so we could actually enjoy our cappuccino. It was 1.40 for the cappuccino itself and just an extra euro to sit so it was still cheaper than coffee at home! It even had a design made of chocolate powder. Stopped by our grocery store Conad again to grab conditioner on the way home.
Headed to another orientation meeting at 10:45a about student services. LdM has some nice clubs and faculty lead trips available. I’ll have to do some more research on trips, I haven’t had time to do much of that yet. After the meeting I decided to go to Mercado Centrale yet again to get some fresh lettuce greens to make a salad for lunch. I think I will get most of my produce there because our neighborhood Conad is a little limited.
I made myself a simple salad with the amazing greens from the market! I got the misto (mixed) greens and they were fresh out of the ground. I had to wash them several times and cut the roots off but they were great for a simple salad. As good as the Italian food is here in Florence, I really enjoy cooking for myself still. I have been eating pretty well at home because I have only bought healthy food and have been too busy to stop and snack.
Lots of walking
After lunch, Jordan, Molly and I decided to go walk around because for the first time we saw the sun! The weather has been very springy and it was at least 60 degrees. Something funny is that even in this 50-60 degree weather, the Italians all wear down coats even with fur. We didn’t have any agenda for this walk but it was productive. We left the apartment around 2 and walked the opposite way we usually do. We ended up in a more residential area and everyone was out walking their dogs! Saw someone with two greyhounds and completely freaked out. Turned around and accidentally walked upon the Basilica di Santa Croce and Palazzo Vecchio. We explored the other side of the river and sat outside the Piazzi Pitti and watched pidgeons for awhile.
Next, we met up with one of Jordan’s friends and decided to grab some snacks and hike to watch the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo. On the way there was a fancy Conad so we went in to buy some wine, brie and crackers. The hike up was a lot harder than anticipated because we accidentally took a back way where it was just straight stairs. We were sweating by the time we reached the top and Casey had come to join us! The lookout was amazing of course. You could see the Duomo off in the distance and it all looked way further than it really was. Once the sun went down we were freezing because when we left the apartment it was very warm. On the walk home we always walk along the north edge of the Duomo and there was a man there playing the Game of Thrones intro song on the cello… we stayed and listened to more songs and all dropped money in his case because it was so beautiful and chilling.
At the apartment, we cooked something simple and shared because we were completely exhausted. It was past 7:00p by the time we got back so it had been a long day walking on cobble stone and up the steps. At this point I already had 21,000 steps. We all had things to catch up on on the computer and for me I took the time to upload all of my pictures from the day and write for this blog.
Noa and Tori came over around 10 because we wanted to try and plan some trips together within the next couple weeks. No one from study abroad tells you how stressful it is to plan something as simple as a weekend trip. Maybe it was because there were so many of us throwing things around, but they didn’t leave until around 1:30a and we only booked one trip to Venice. And it was a day trip so it didn’t even include sleeping accommodations!
In orientation today we talked a lot about culture shock. The only thing that has really shocked and irritated me about Italian culture so far is that nothing really goes according to schedule. It is very much a plan as you go type of thing. For every meeting we’ve had to go to it hasn’t started until at least 30 minutes after getting there and they didn’t give us any information about the meeting beforehand. It is definitely something to get used to.
Today we also learned how to take out the trash, which is a simple thing but also an accomplishment. Florence has a surprisingly sophisticated trash system where you throw away your trash in receptacles/chutes on the street.
Today I realized how lucky I am to be in this city. There are so many monuments in such a small space that just roaming around without an agenda you will run into something every couple blocks.
Lastly, this has been a lot of work to write down my daily adventures because each day is so long and we get so much done! But it really needs to be done daily to remember the important stuff. Once I get into a routine I won’t need to journal everyday thankfully.