I have officially been a resident of the city of Firenze, Italia for nine days and roughly twelve hours, but who is counting really? The city is amazing. Much bigger than I am used to in good ol’ Charlestown/Jeffersonville, IN/Louisville, KY that is for sure. Most of the other students in my program are from Jersey or somewhere in Cali. When people ask me where I go to school I have to repeat myself more than a couple times until I realize that I have to enunciate Louis-ville before they have any idea where I am talking about. But with mostly East/West coasters, the idea of a “country” town in the mid-west is more foreign to them than the fact that we are in Italy. To people that don’t know my name yet, I’m “that girl with the really bad accent.” I don’t mind though, at least I have some distinguishing factor.
But enough about that. I want to be able to tell you everything there is to know about Firenze, but I’m still not even sure what different things are at the grocery store right down the street. There are piazza on almost every other street, and each one has their own historical significance. I feel a little silly that I am in a city that I know very little about, but I have a while to learn I guess.
There are very few places to go to have any privacy in the city, but there are beautiful hillside landscapes in the distance. I live a block and a half from piazza del Duomo and the city center, so needless to say there is always something going on.
I have had he chance to see so many places that I don’t even know that I could tell you everywhere but…
Pizza del Duomo
This picture is not even a good visual of the Duomo’s real size. It is massive. The entire building is made of marble and looks like a 3-D puzzle. Almost like if you were to touch is it would collapse. When I walk out my front door i can see the dome and a significant section of the side. I love when I am walking through the city and the bells go off. I’m not sure there has been a time that the bells from the tower haven’t made me smile.
The bride behind me is the oldest bridge in Italy that was originally a meat market until the beginning of the Medici dynasty when the family decided to turn it into a common place for goldsmiths. Now the only shops allowed on the bridge are that of goldsmiths and jewelers.
I saw this ring my very first day in Firenze on the bridge. I fell in love and three days later I went back and got it. It is 18k white gold with white and black diamonds. Not a purchase that I expected to make but I don’t regret it one bit. It didn’t need to be sized, I think this ring was mad for me.
As for my room mates, we get along much better than I expected. Lets be serious, putting five girls in an apartment about the size of three “average” sized guest bedrooms is a recipe for disaster. So far though I can say that I truly enjoy each and every one of the other girls. But only time will tell…
From Left to Right: Shelbi, Jen, Anna, Melissa, Me, Chels
Shelbi is from Jersey but she goes to Pit. She is crazy! With out a doubt, a free spirit. She hasn’t meet a stranger yet. Everyone she meets loves her. She is majoring in religious studies and psychology, is fluent in Hebrew, and is obsessed with her Chi Omega sisters.
Jen is from Cali and is the definition of a California girl. She is a Tri Delt so it gives us things to talk about. She claims she “used to be blond” but I’m not entirely convinced that shes not still. Her and I were roomies in Rome so she was the first girl in the house that I really got to know.
Anna and Melissa were best friends before coming abroad which scared me coming into this but it has turned out that I just adore these girls! It took me until a couple days ago to figure out how to relate to them and read them because they are both from Jersey also and are very honest with each other and like true Jersey Girls, are very set in there ways. Which I think can end up being kind of perfect considering I am pretty similar, just with a different accent.
Chels doesn’t live with us but is doing a “home stay” here so we adopted her. So she is pretty much always with someone from out apartment.
I am taking four classes while I am here, and for the first time since… well, ever, I am excited to learn this semester. I am taking Wine Marketing and Communications, Intermediate Italian, Hospitality Marketing, and Global Ethics. The first day in each of my classes was a pleasant surprise.
The first thing that my professor said after she passed out the syllabus was that “textbooks were optional, but wine glasses are mandatory.” Now I could tell you that I was disappointed about this but I’d rather not lie to you. This doesn’t mean that I will be spending my entire semester abroad drinking wine and not learning. But she has a good point in that it would be hard to market a product that I am not familiar with. So I went and bought the “optional” textbook and have already started reading because I want to know more about it. Did you know that Italy has over 300 different vines growing throughout the country, most of them coming from Tuscany, while France only has roughly 30, and 7 in the States? We will be required to visit small and large vineyards throughout Tuscany and create an “throughout and effective” marketing strategy for them. I can’t even tell you how much I am looking forward to this opportunity.
After one semester of Italian I am nowhere near at the level I’d like to for living here. I hope, by the end of this experience, to become more comfortable in confidant in my ability to carry on conversations in Italian. It is such a beautiful language and one day I plan to be fluent.
The teacher for this class seems intense but it should be a good leaning experience. We are going to Milan for an international Hospitality conference so I feel like it has the potential to be a great networking opportunity.
The professor for this class has the potential to be my absolute favorite. I get to read three books that I am looking forward to believe it or not.
It is officially 3am here and I am getting up early to walk up a hill across the river to go to church. I just hope that is as beautiful a day as today.