Buongiorno! If you didn’t get the memo, I’m going to be spending the next nine months in Florence for school, plus traveling as much as possible. There’s so much I want to see of Europe and I want to share everything with you!
I left home on the 14th. The drive to SeaTac Airport in Seattle was uneventful. But I did listen to a few episodes of Kristen Kieffer’s Well-Storied Podcast. I’m going to do my best not to forget about my WIP – which at this point, I got it back from my line editor and this poor little thing needs some more love and healing.
Checking in and maneuvering through the airport was uneventful as well, though I have to say, for the course of the past few weeks and months, my emotions have been up and down, my anxiety has been constant, and I was more terrified of this trip than excited. But the moment I passed through security and said my final goodbye to my parents, I felt relaxed and calm. Odd feeling, honestly.
Once I reached the area of my gate, I “enjoyed” an overpriced, dry attempt at a veggie burger, salt-less fries, and water downed Sprite. My last American meal.
The 9 hour flight was cramped but I was grateful to have gotten an aisle seat, so as to stretch my screaming legs that were begging for me to walk and move. Didn’t sleep, and when I think about it now, I wish I had.
When I landed in Germany to change flights, my anxiety lit itself up, and by the time I got on the plane to Florence, I was starting to shake. Though maybe I was feeling that way because I was exhausted and just want to sleep. I did sleep maybe an hour on the plane, but woke to my ears ready to tear themselves from my head. And I’m still feeling that cracking sound every time I yawn.
Finally arrived in Florence in the early afternoon of the 15th, grabbed my luggage, and met three of the helpers at the institute. We drove to the villa while one of them gave me a short run down of the program, a little about the city, and a few of the rules. Had lunch at the villa, though my stomach was a bit messed up from the time change and didn’t know what the heck was going on. After, I settled in my dorm room which I’m sharing with two other girls (though at the time, the third one had not arrived), I finally got some much needed rest.
Later that evening, the group (the other Americans who had arrived) and I went out to the city. Florence at night is simply gorgeous and I’m a big believer in the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words.” We have taken several trips into the city and even during the day, there’s no words.
Whenever I take the tram into the city center and walk through the streets, and then turn a corner, this structure, the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, always takes my breath away.
The pictures do not do it justice. If you’ve played Assassin’s Creed 2 with Ezio, seeing this in person is just astounding.
Gelato here is so silky and smooth, I was in heaven. The food so far has been delicious, once my stomach got back to normal. It’s so fresh and healthy, and with all the walking between the dorm and classroom building and in the city itself, I may have a chance of shaving off the weight I gained over the summer. *Fingers crossed*
The beginning of the week arrived and with it came orientation, signing up for classes, classes starting, the first field trip, and food poisoning…
Yeah. I’m in Italy. There’s all this great food around and gelato and I throw it all back up. It hasn’t been pleasant. The whole sickness lasted a week. It was just horrible. But moving on because it’s thankfully over and I can eat food again. Though a head cold followed it up, but presently I am doing much better and am feeling my normal self again.
But that first field trip! We went to the Cinque Terre, to the coast and toured five cities: Monterosso, Corniglia, Riomaggiore, Manarola, and Vernazza. FREAKIN GORGEOUS! Again, pictures say a thousand words.
Am I right? Though I do have to warn you, there is so much walking and climbing stairs, your legs and feet will want to die. But the beach and the water at the end was paradise. I never wanted to leave. But sadly had to.
Classes so far are good. I’m taking painting, ceramics, Italian of course, a cultural class about the American/British views of Italy and vise versa, art history, and more grammar related classes because knowing how to speak Italian in Italy does help a great deal.
To conclude this month, this was the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. I am so blessed to be here. I am trying to push out of my comfort zone, keep an open mind, try new things, and of course leaving my dorm room to explore the world I’ll be living in for the next 8 months.
If you want to see more pictures, you can head over to my personal Instagram account hopefulpursuits.
Ciao! See you next month with another update:)