Ciao di Italia!!!!

Ciao!! This is my 20th day here in Florence, Italy and I absolutely love it here so far. Here in Italy I live with seven other Florence University of the Arts students and one is also from U of L!! Luckily with eight people our apartment is huge! I have been traveling within Italy a lot since I got here 2 and ½ weeks ago. Last weekend all of my roommates and me went to Pisa (to see the leaning tower) and Livorno (which is one of the many beaches here in Italy). The beach at Livorno was weird, no sand just concrete and then the sea. Then this weekend we went to Cinque Terre and this was the most beautiful place that I have ever been. Cinque Terre is on the coast of northern Italy and is where five towns are connected by a hiking path. Monterosso was the first town we stopped at and then we hiked to Vernazza, which was my favorite of the five towns. The views from the town were incredible and the town just had that homely feel about it. After Vernazza we took a ferry to Manarola. After Manarola we walked to Riomaggiore. To walk to Riomaggiore we had to walk on the “Via dell Amore” Translated means the “Path of love.” Back in the 1500’s people in Manarola were only allowed to marry within their village so in order to connect the two villages together they built this walkway so people could meet and marry within the two villages of Manarola and Riomaggiore. That was a little lesson of the Via Dell’ Amore, sorry to bore you!

Things in Italy are different from that in the United States, as you would think so. One thing I noticed about how they run their businesses is that they have no set hours of store operation. They just open and close whenever they feel. Sometimes I go to a store and they will be closed in the middle of the day and they might open back up that day and sometimes they won’t so you have to learn to be patient when wanting things. Here in the United States you can just about go anywhere at anytime of day and get something that you need. Whether it be Wal-mart or another 24 hour grocery store. Being here is teaching me a lot of things about myself, and a lot of things about how different cultures work outside of my culture.

My classes here at the Florence University of the Arts are going to be pretty fun. I am taking International Marketing, International Management, an Italian class, and the one I am most excited about is my wine communication and marketing class!! In this class I get to sample wine and learn all about how to promote Italian wine. During the semester I get to go to my teachers wine estate where they have own it for 700 years!!! Then I get to go to a wine festival here in Florence on October 8th where I will get to taste wines from all over. Some bottles that I will taste will cost 500 Euro, that’s $735!!

I must say the wine and the pasta is much better here in Italy! I will keep you posted on my future travels and new explorations.

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