Our first weekend here was a big success! We had these past couple of days to just explore and hang out before orientation starts on Monday, and we did so much.
The first part of yesterday was a little rough, because I was super jet-lagged/dehydrated. I always get dehydrated when I travel since I don’t eat very much, so I feel like I don’t think to drink anything either. Plus, it’s been in the 100s here in Florence, so it’s pretty hot 24/7.
I spent most of the afternoon just resting and drinking lots and lots of water, and thankfully by evening, I felt a lot better! So me and la famiglia (my roomies) decided to be cute little Italians and make a spaghetti dinner! It was really fun! Our landlord left us a bunch of free food (Free food just so happens to be one of my favorite things, so it was pretty convenient.)
We sautéed a bunch of veggies and put them in the sauce, and boiled the noodles way over (whoops! we’re still learning). It was delicious though! Fresh tomatoes from the market are pretty much one of the best things my mouth has ever tasted. oh. my. goodness. After that, we spent some time hanging out on the balcony (everyone pretty much hangs out at our apartment 24/7 because we have a balcony. The girls across the hall moved all of their chairs over to our place and everything. It’s like the show Friends! There’s even six of us!)
Some tourists actually thought we were italian and asked to take our picture! I don’t know why, maybe it was because we were saying Ciao to everyone….but…last time I checked, we look nothing like italians. Not even one little bit.
Later that evening, a few of us decided to go for a run, which lasted all of five minutes because it was so hot. Bad idea. So we ended up just walking at a brisk pace up a zillion stairs! We had no idea where they led, but somehow we ended up on the Piazzale di Michelangelo, which is absolutely GORGEOUS. You can see the whole city from up there! I felt like I was in the Lizzie Mcguire movie, basically. So we spent some time looking at the city skyline, all lit up at night. And taking a million pictures, of course. There are street vendors there too selling artwork, and musicians. It’s so cute. It makes you want to hold hands with your imaginary boyfriend and go for a stroll. Or your real boyfriend, I guess. If you’re into that sort of thing. There is also a fancy restaurant up there, and some gelato shops. It’s my new fave hang.
Today, me and a few of the girls had been wanting to check out some local churches, so we found one that is about a fifteen minute walk from our apartment. I had been praying for a great church to go to every Sunday, with awesome people there to be friends with, and people to go with, of course. I didn’t want to go anywhere by myself without knowing anything about the city, so I was grateful that some of the girls had been wanting the same thing as well! This church ended up being exactly what we had in mind and more! It was English speaking, and everyone was so nice. We felt so welcome and fit right in. Plus, the church was absolutely gorgeous. The guy sitting in front of us introduced himself, and he was actually from Michigan! He said he was living here for about 6 months on business, and that he comes to the church every week! He told us there are usually a lot more people here who are our age, but everyone is on summer vacation right now, so next week, we should meet a lot of new friends! He also told us about a bunch of great local places that are a lot cheaper than the crazy city prices, like markets and coffee shops and things like that. It was super helpful! They charge for grocery bags here, so he said we should keep them and just reuse them every time we go to the market. Then literally, about 10 people came over to us, asking if we were coming to the lobby after the service for coffee and refreshments. We talked the whole way home about how welcome we felt there, and how it is our new home church for the semester. yay God is good!
On the way home from church, we decided to check out one of those local coffee shops, and it was adorable, delicious and cheap! We got our lunches, plus some much needed espresso, for just three Euro! Plus, the barista was OH so fine. But that’s no surprise, I have not met one unattractive italian boy yet. Not one. Side note, people are allowed to just bring their animals inside everywhere in Italy! Stores, restaurants, churches. What the heck. Anyway, it’s our new Sunday tradition…Church, then Ricchi’s Cafe.
I know this is getting long! I’m just trying to cram two days worth of info into one blog post. We went to the market later that evening to get all of our food for the next couple of days, and, not to brag or anything, but I’m a pro at italian markets. I’m basically a professional Italian these days. I just throw around ‘Buongiorno’ ‘Ciao’ ‘Grazie’ and ‘prego’ like it’s my job. I don’t really know how to spell those words, but I can say them like an Italian boss.
But seriously, we also found a supermarket not too far from where we live that has everything. I was so worried my parents would have to ship me things if I ran out, but there is everything I could possibly want down the street from me. So, no worries. A British man we were talking to about how it’s our second day here even told us we were doing a wonderful job catching on! See, the locals are noticing. But you catch on so fast, and eventually, you start to fit right in! Kind of. Maybe minus the blonde hair and ‘merican accent.
I’m sure I will have a lot more to say once orientation starts! It just still hasn’t sunk in yet that I’m actually here! I feel like I really could live here. I’m going to get home to America and be really upset that Italy isn’t just a convenient place to go every once in a while when I miss it.
Okay we’re meeting some friends, so I have to go now! Ciao!!
xoxo Lizzie xoxo
ps: gelato is the best thing ever. woah. more on that later.
Mumford & Sons