Week 1: Florence, Pisa, Tuscany

Ciao Ciao!

Reporting to you live from Via de’ Bardi where the pasta is just as amazing as the view from my apartment (see above photo). After spending a full 2 weeks packing and unpacking to the point where 90% of my wardrobe is still sitting at home in my room, I finally arrived to the promised land (Florence). Lucky as I am, all I had was a puny carry-on bag because the airline lost my luggage. No worries though, by night 2 I had a clean outfit to wear for my first night on the town.

On day 3 of orientation we took a trip to Pisa to see the leaning tower. I can assure you that it really does lean (which may or may not have been the first thing I said when I saw it). Despite my brutal hangover and “minor” bus-sickness, we started out the day with the best plain plate of spaghetti I’ve ever had in my entire life. We then took the classic pictures in front of the tower – stay tuned for Facebook uploads in the near future. After the embarrassment of looking like a basic tourist, we had a walking tour of the area which included a giant church and a baptistry. We got a “special surprise” in the baptistry as a guy who worked at the church sang a holy song and there was a really cool echo (there is some proper name for him but I’m a superjew so I forgot, apologies). I guess that can be considered my first baptism. So yay for learning about other cultures and religions! We then went to the church where we saw a real person’s sarcophogas which was cool but a little creepy. Aside from that, the only other notable thing was the street vendors who called every single American girl Lady Gaga and loved to say “shacka lacka boom boom,” which was bizarre.

Aside from Pisa and boring orientation activities, on Saturday we had a day trip to the Verrazano Castle in the Tuscan Mountains, where we had a wine tour and an amazing meal with the most incredible bread and olive oil and the OMG Balsamic as they call it, because when you taste it you can’t help but to say OMG. I would’ve bought a bottle, but it was 48 euro for balsamic which was just irrational to justify buying. During the tour we also learned how classy people drink and taste wine and how it’s made and all that jazz. Lets just say that after 3+ glasses of wine I had quite an incredible nap on the way home.

Obviously if you are interested in my life enough to read this, you are probably very anxious to learn how the food is here in Italia. Obviously it’s amazing – duh. Just to get your mouth watering a bit, my favorite meals have included 4 Cheese Gnocchi, Cream of Asparagus Pasta, Penne alla Vodka and Gusta Pizza which is NOT overrated – I promise you that. Aside from the food, my roommates have been doing their best to get me to like wine. So far that’s not going great but check back next week for an update on where I am with that.

While we’re on the topic of drinks, let me just say that one thing I was NOT educated about was how the nightlife here in Flo works. Then again, I don’t think anything could have prepared me for leaving at 12:30 and returning at 4am every night (sorry mom!). Space is the only place I’ve had fun so far, and it’s basically like a club that I would’ve gone to in PV (take that as you like). All of the American students buy tables in the VIP section and are brought sparkling bottles of champagne and vodka with firecrackers or whatever the exploding candles are on top. We quickly learned that it’s imperative to befriend a promoter so they can get you in. Shoutout to Marley & Brian for the awesome hook up even though I did get “escorted” out of the VIP room last night.

Aside from the money I spend on food and drinks, I also bought a leather jacket yesterday which I am beyond in love with. It’s olive green and gorgeous, and makes me feel a little bit more Italian. While it may seem ridiculous that I went in between classes to buy a real leather jacket, that’s just how it works here in Florence. I also needed a break after our ridiculously long 2 and a half hour classes, which are as unbearable as they sound. But everything else makes those brutal few hours bearable.

So basically to sum it all up, my first week was full of everything it’s supposed to: carbs, wine, historical places, hangovers, leather, a few new Italian words I can add to my dictionary and most notably a lot of getting lost and not understanding anything in Italian other than words for food.

That’s all for week one! This weekend I’m traveling to Prague, so czech (lol) back next week for some more exciting stories and adventures.

Ciao for now!




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