Piazzale Michelangelo

The past few days have contained school work, walking, eating and more walking. On Wednesday I had two classes with the same teacher, then Thursday is an easy day with only one class in the afternoon. On Saturday me and my roommates walked around and went to the Piazzale Michelangelo – it’s has the best views of the city! I took some pictures but then my camera died so I had to take the rest with my iPhone, which actually probably takes better pictures than my digital camera anyway. It really felt like being in a postcard because the views here are what comes up when you Google “Florence, Italy” for the most part. Besides the incredible views, we walked a little farther up hill to an old cemetery and church. Inside the church was so beautiful and peaceful. There were a lot of people, but you couldn’t talk or take pictures with a flash. The pictures from there are a little hard to see because it was so dark.

It got cold out really fast so after about an hour of sightseeing we left to go back into the city center…but we obviously had to stop at the chocolate festival! Luckily, the festival is right near our apartment and is going on for 8 days, so I’ll be a frequent customer. There were a ton of booths set up all with different themes and I got this amazing freshly baked donut filled with chocolate and rolled in cinnamon and sugar. Michelle and Kayla got waffles on a stick dipped in chocolate fondue and then Hannah got a cup of strawberries with hot chocolate and whipped cream. We learned that “hot chocolate” in Florence isn’t a drink like in America. It’s basically chocolate melted and you eat it with a spoon. OH and also there was a group of people in tights that were throwing flags around JUST like in Under the Tuscan Sun. I took a video of it and will try to post it on here!

We also found a place that we can take out pizza and we get a discount so it’s only 5 euros and I found a bottle of red wine that was actually really good for only 2.50 euros. I’ve been trying to mostly eat my groceries and so have had a lot of fruit! Something I don’t usually get enough of at home. And I’m basically living on Frosted Flakes and PB&J. The jelly is weird in that it has little grapes in it. Tomorrow starts the first week of classes where I’ll actually have to take notes/listen/and do homework so that’s a bummer, but whatever because I’m in ITALY!

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Classes Started

Two days of classes have already passed! I am obsessed with all my teachers and I can already have a conversation in Italian (an easy one!). Yesterday was Monday and I only had one class – Italian. I was kind of nervous going to it because I heard the professors speak only Italian, but my roommates reassured me that wasn’t true because how else would you know the simple words they were saying. Well they were wrong.

My professor walked into the room the first day and handed out the syllabus, asked “has anyone taken Italian before” and 10 heads shook “no”. Those were the last English words I’ve heard from her. I was absolutely mortified that first class when she just kept speaking Italian and I was so confused it like hurt my brain. I’m not used to being confused in class! But somehow, I got it. And now, two days later I can tell you my name, my age, where I’m from, the months, days of the week, seasons and tell time. WOW. I guess this really is an accelerated class! On Tuesday we had to stand up and talk about ourselves and that was only the second day! I’m so excited to learn so much more. I have this class every day and I’m really glad. Side note – my professor is the trendiest, coolest lady ever! She has the best shoes and makes a funny noise when someone slips and speaks in English and I laugh every time.

I found out today that Tuesdays are my busy busy day. I have class 9-11:30, 3-4:15 then 6-8:30. It’s not too bad because they’re all spaced out, but that many hours of classes in one day, even in Italy, is a loooonggg day. I started the day with Travel Writing, another class I was really looking forward to. It was really early in the morning for me (because I’ve been sleeping in so late…maybe I’m still jet lagged?) and the teacher had a British accent, which I obviously wasn’t expected so I was really thrown off from the start. We didn’t do much in class today, but overall it seems like a class I’ll enjoy and we get to walk around the city a lot and journal. It does have a bit of an “english class” vibe to it and by that I mean we were talking about narratives and themes (dislike) but whatever, I’ll live.

After that class I came back and napped and it was amazing.

Then I went to my Italian class again where we did our little speeches about ourselves and proceeded to not say anything in English. Rough life! Before my final class of the day I finally made it to the grocery store. I picked up eggs, oranges, bananas, grape jelly, turkey, bread and green tea all for 13 euros, which I would consider to be a deal but I’m not really sure.

My food & wine pairing class aka THE BEST CLASS EVER I CAN ALREADY TELL, was at 6. I made a lot of friends in that class right from the start! YAY! One girl was from Newton, MA – small world. The professor was wearing a purple shirt, purple eyeshadow, eyeliner and glitter so I knew I’d like her right from the start. She told us we’d be cooking every class and then eating and pairing wines. Amazing. This first class she prepared for us the poor man’s meal of pasta with onions and chile powder and I don’t like 2 out of those 3 ingredients but surprise, surprise, it was delicioso. She paired it with a rosé which was great too. Then we went on a walking tour around the city, stopping at all the best chocolate, gelato, wine etc places. We also went to the top of a department store (I forget the name but I’m definitely going back since I didn’t have my camera because who woulda thought that is where I’d end up on my first day of the class) where you get a whole view of the city and it looks like you can touch the Duomo it’s so close! We finished the tour early because it was raining but nothing could put a damper on that class (pun intended).

So Tuesdays may be my busiest days, but they’ll certainly be the best! Tomorrow I have Italian Culture & Society to look forward to, along with more Italian. Oh, and it’s the same teacher for both classes who I’m obsessed with so that’s a plus.

CIAO!

Pics from the first few days!