It has been almost two weeks now that I have been in Florence. I cannot believe where the time goes. It has been quite an adventure thus far, the is for sure. When I arrived here it was if a burden was off my shoulders, I don’t know why but I felt at ease because I was finally not always on the go. It just so happened that it was a beautiful day when I arrived and it was warm! A nice welcome. I found my apartment and met my roommates. With a new city at your fingertips it is very difficult to stay put for too long. I was walking hour after hour trying to see as much as possible, but a lot of that time was spent being lost of course. Days past and it’s like the seasons changed! It became very very cold here making it difficult to stay outside for longs periods of time, it will warm up soon I am sure.
A few things I have learned about this city:
Everything is very old! there are no new buildings.
People are generally very friendly and are happy to help you practice your Italian
The panini place literally ten steps out of my front door is AMAZING!
Via Torta (the street I live on) was once the home of the Florence Colosseum, and also means cake street in Italian
and a whole bunch of architecture stuff that I will spare you from!
My classes are great and I have learned a lot! I have two classes that are about Florence, one about the architectural history, and the other about the history of the city. Both classes consist of part lecture but also field trips around the city every class. My other classes are Italian and Drawing. Italian is good, but review so far because I have already taken one semester, I am looking forward to later in the semester when it picks up a bit. Drawing is great. We have had two classes and I have learned more in those two classes about drawing than I have in all of my life! I feel that the classes I chose are a great fit for me.
A bit about culture:
Florence was born in the year 59 BC by Roman soldiers. But really what makes this city so famous is the fact that it was the birthplace of the Renaissance. Some of the greatest minds that this world has seen have resided and worked in Florence. To name a few (maybe you have heard of them) Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Dante, Lorenzo (the magnificent) Medici, Raffaello, Machiavelli, and the great Filippo Brunelleschi!
Along with great minds this city was a city, and still is, a city full of artists and shop owners. Its major industry in textiles and clothing, as well as jewelry. Brands like Dolce and Gabbana, and Giorgio Armani, and Gucci all over the place. Of course money as well. The Medici family basically ruling over the entire city being in control of most banks and being responsible for a major currency throughout Europe, the Florin. I could go on but that is just a bit of background of what I have been learning!
This past weekend I took a trip with one of my roomates Tommy. We went up to Switzerland to the Alps! I was in awe when I saw how incredible those mountains were. So we decided to go for a hike…to the top of Europe! Yup, that’s right with a little help from a gondola, we made it to the top in about 2 Hours. At the top we got a chance to descend the mountain by sled, and let me tell you that was incredible! We also got to see the lakes of Interlaken and polished off trip with a little about olympic curling! An amazing sport that is a lot of fun to play.
I miss and love you all at home. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I do writing it for you!