Friday, September 18, 2015
EXCUSE MY ITALIAN
To kick off the Florence 2015 blog, I will start off by saying Florence is unlike any place I’ve been before. I am extremely grateful this trip was made possible because I‘ve already learned so many new things here and this city continues to amaze me. We have been here for over three weeks now and I’m slowly adjusting the the new lifestyle that has little in common with Storrs, Connecticut. I admit to having the absolute worst sense of direction ever. So, navigating my way through Florence has been undeniably overwhelming. However, I’ve slowly started to get to know my way around, prioritizing my route to the grocery store and gelato of course. It shouldn’t be a surprise that food has been a major theme during my travels in Italy. I’m thankful to take a break from the dining halls for a semester, and have a kitchen to cook food we buy fresh everyday.
Tasting great food was a big expectation I had before moving in. However, there are other aspects of daily life here that I couldn’t have clearly predicted. Street etiquette is one thing that labeled me as an American. When to cross, where to walk, and how to swiftly maneuver around speeding mopeds and cars is something that took a little getting used to. Similarly to walking on the street, grocery shopping was a sport within itself, fighting through small isles and realizing that it is rude to touch produce without a plastic glove! These are small lessons that took some trial and error, but I can happily say that I am now getting the hang of things.
Besides a couple of clumsy weeks of trying to fit in, I have been constantly amazed by my new home. I heard all the stories and saw all the pictures but I really was not expecting Florence to be THIS incredible. Everything here is so quaint and picturesque that I cannot stop snapping pictures. So the food is delicious, the streets are beautiful, but the most unbelievable thing so far has been seeing art history come to life. My first week here I was very lost and unexpectedly popped out in front of the Santa Maria Novella. Cheesy as it may be, the sight took my breath away. I studied this church in Art History last semester, and seeing it in the flesh was so exciting. I feel so fortunate to be able to live in a city with so much history and life. I definitely need to work on my Italian a little (a lot), but I am so thrilled to get this opportunity, and I cannot wait for these next couple of months.