It’s been a little over ten days since I’ve arrived in Florence and, quite honestly, it feels like I’ve lived here for months. It’s crazy to think that, even though I haven’t even been here a full two weeks, I’ve tasted the best truffle pasta in the world, learned how to say “Hello. My name is Allie and where is the bathroom?” in Italian (“Ciao. Mi chiamo Allie e dov’è il bagno?” just in case you were curious), experienced my first European train ride and swam underneath the beautiful grotto caves in the Amalfi Coast. Safe to say I’ve been busy. Although it took me a couple days to adjust, I’ve never felt so at home being 4,000 miles away. The villa is a beautiful and sits on top of a large hill in Fiesole, a small town right outside the city. A nice perk about being so far above is the view! I try to look down at the lit up city as much as I can because you can literally see everything. Besides providing us with the perfect backdrop for Instagram pictures, the food is absolutely delicious since we have two cooks who prepare all of our meals for lunch and dinner during the week. Oh and they wash our sheets for us. I could get used to this European culture. The people are friendly; the atmosphere is great and who doesn’t like doing homework in a cute little piazza while sipping a cappuccino?
When I first arrived, the jet lag was intense and traveling 10+ hours was no fun. But the great thing about studying abroad in Europe is that you have no time to even think about how tired, jet lagged or sick you are. You just want to keep going and going because if you don’t book London for that weekend then how are you going to go to Spain this weekend? Traveling and planning took over the villa the first few days as people panicked and scrambled to book trains, planes and hostels for the many weekends and breaks to come. But even in the city of Florence – there is so much to see and to do. First of all, there is the famous Duomo, which has proven to be the center point of Florence. Everything, especially directions, seems to revolve around the Duomo. Can’t find that train station? Walk to the Duomo and take a right. Need to know how far away the club is? About a ten-minute walk from the Duomo. Lost in the middle of Florence? Just look up and see how far off you are from the Duomo. Walking the 500 (or more?) steps to its top is still on my to-do list but I’m sure I’ll get there eventually.
Besides the Duomo, Florence is home to tons of fun attractions (like the GUICCI MUSEUM…another addition to my Florence bucket list) and we were lucky enough to get a tour of the Florence School of Leather through our City of Florence class. We watched as workers and students cut and hand stitched soft leather into beautiful bags, purses and wallets. I even snagged a small purse myself.
It’s been a crazy ride so far and it’s only just begun. This weekend, I am venturing out of Florence and traveling to Paris to see Jay-Z and Beyoncé perform. Pinch me.