Day 1 in Florence and I think I’m obsessed.
After finally arriving in the city after missing my first flight, not being able to catch the second, and finally making the third after ten hours at Charles de Galle (and plenty of bonding time with my advisor, who totally rocks for staying behind with me!), I was greeted by my three wonderful roommates holding a bottle of Chianti and a container of Nutella. Welcome to Florence, Amanda.
First observation of Florence: the Nutella is outstanding. I may not be able to go back to the American kind.
Our apartment is the furthest of any Kent student housing, but we realized today that this is could make us have the best trip out of any of our classmates. For one, we are right next to an Italian university dorm, so helloooo cute Italian men. Also, the food is cheaper on this side of town, which my wallet loves. And lastly, we will be the skinniest out of all of our friends because we have to do so much walking to get to class.
After looking for a bank, which uses tube-like doors that make you think you’re about to be sucked into a vortex, we spent the day getting lost looking for this pizza place across the river. After many twists and turns and looking like tourists with our map (and screenshots of the GPS directions on my iPhone), we gave up and hit a pizza place right outside the Duomo.
Second observation of Florence: If you want to spend double the money, eat near the Duomo.
Third observation of Florence: No foursome needs a whole liter of wine at lunch.
Fourth observation of Florence: If you happen to look at the remains of the already-purchased liter of wine as a challenge, after, do your best to avoid contact with any professor you may see on the streets. Best of all, do not give them a hug.
We grabbed gelato with classmates and the professor that my roommate Taylor hugged on the street, followed by wandering aimlessly around Firenze. The best part about staying here for a whole four months is not being rushed to see anything; we have time to get lost, fool around and really explore everything this city has to offer.
Being careful to stick to my budget, my purchases today only included two bottles of water and laundry detergent from the 99 cent store, and some Florentine soap that smells like heaven. It took a lot of will power to avoid buying everything at Zara, but I figured I’ll make this trip as authentic as possible, as cheap as possible, all starting with a bar of soap.
We ended the day with a late dinner, or a prompt dinner for Italians, at a cute ristorante down the street from our apartment. We figured it was appropriate after wandering by there so many times today and seeing the same host beg for our business all day. We ended up having a great evening of no cover charge and free limoncello from our new friend Valerio, along with some great pasta and wine.
Fifth observation of Florence: If you try to speak Italian, most people are more than willing to help you struggle through your broken language skills. In the end, they might even think it’s cute and give you free things.
The roommates and I decided that we will be making flashcards immediately so we no longer look like ignorant Americans when speaking Italian, so hopefully that helps. We have 10% off our meal tomorrow at the same restaurant from our dear friend Valerio, so hopefully we can say more than “si” and “molto buono” by the end of the night.