The flight from Stuttgart to Florence was very nice! I sat looking out the window the entire time! The green plains of Germany suddenly turned into the Alps and then into the golden hills of Italy. The Alps were just amazing! The rough peaks held lakes and little villages on its slopes.
After a quick one-hour flight, we landed in Florence! Instead of taking a taxi, I decided to be adventurous and navigate the bus! CSU had booked a hotel for all 120 students and I found it easily. I was assigned two great roommates (just for the week in the hotel); Carl is from SD State University and will be studying art at Florence’s Accademia. Madel is form SF State University and is studying History and Classics.It was great to meet two new people right away. Madel and I have continued to do things together because we both enjoy discussing history and movies (like King Henry XIII and “The Tudors”).
Our hotel is very cozy but we do not spend much time here! We are too busy exploring!
26 August 2011: Friday
Friday was the first day of orientation! We met many of the advisers and staff at our school and were sent on the hunt to find our apartment! My two friends from CP Architecture, Sar and JC, and I are going to be roommates. After exploring many apartments, we have not found the perfect place yet.
Activities involve exploring this beautiful city and getting accustomed to the crooked streets that will spit us out at Santa Maria Novella Train Station when we are trying to go to the Ponte Vecchio!
27 August 2011: Saturday
Gelato: Coconut and Banana
It’s Saturday and we found an apartment!It is the cutest place! We will live only three blocks from the Duomo and just on the edge of the ancient, Roman center. The apartment is on the 4th floor (3rd in America) and we have 88 steps to climb to our large and brightly lit apartment. There are seven of us total, including JC, Sar, Kat, Ale, Han, Sta, and me! Our place is very large, with five bedrooms, allowing us to have our own spaces. We move in on 01 September!
28 August 2011: Sunday
Gelato: After 8 (Chocolate cookies in Mint Gelato!)
Today, Sunday, we went on a walking and history tour of Florence. Our school director walked us around the historical points and also explained some of the interesting cultural habits of modern Italians and Florentines, like hand gestures, gypsies, and political parties. Florence is a unique city with a very old past. The Arno River flows east to west with the city radiating out. The old center, including the Palazzo Vecchio (town hall), Ponte Vecchio (old bridge with the gold shops) and the Duomo (Santa Maria de Fiore) sit just above the river. I live and go to school on the east side, towards the church Santa Croce.
30 August 2011: Tuesday
Tuesday was the first day of Italian class! I found out that Sar, my apartment roommate, and Madel, my roommate form the hotel will be in my class. My professor is very cute and is very good at explaining all of Italian’s complicated grammar. I’m a little worried because I don’t really have a background in any of the Latin languages. Sar has taken six years of Spanish and is picking up Italian like nothing! I’ll get it eventually. I still have 9 months to learn it!
Tonight, we went to the Accademia. The last Tuesday of every month, Italy’s state museums are open to the public from 7-11pm. The first thing we had to see was Michelangelo’s David. It was absolutely amazing! Originally sitting outside of the Palazzo Vecchio, David’s marble statue was moved into the Accademia to preserve it’s beauty. Jacy and I sat staring at it for about half and hour. Brilliant!
01 September: Thrusday
Gelato: Pera (pear)
Move in Day! It’s Thursday and after class, we finally got to move out of the hotel and into our spacious apartment! It is so nice to unpack and relax. We have a great view of two courtyards where we can hang our laundry and watch our neighbors. I feel like I’m in the Alfred Hitchcock movie “Rear Window” with James Stewart and Grace Kelly. I get to sit in the kitchen and eat my breakfast with a live “show” going on just outside of my window as I watch my neighbors get ready to start their days. It’s better then TV! JC and I are sharing a great room. It has a very rustic feel, with white plaster walls and exposed wood beams that support the exposed brick floor from above. I just love it!
Ciao for now!