I made it to Florence! It has been a very intense week here; I’ve seen and learned so much already!
Day 1: I did not sleep a wink on the flight, so I was awake for over 24 hours and I was bone-tired. My flight was delayed by 2 hours (!!!) and I almost missed my second flight, but I sprinted through the airport and made it just in the nick of time. I was so relieved once I landed in Florence, until I noticed that something else did not land with me…my luggage! I had brought a carry-on bag filled with necessities and a personal item with me on the plane, but my big suitcase (which had all my clothes in it) did not land in Florence when I did! I had to leave the airport without my luggage and it was very stressful and anxiety-inducing.
Day 2: Unfortunately, still no luggage, but my day was still very eventful. I went grocery shopping with my roommates and the groceries were so much cheaper in comparison to groceries in the US! I probably got a week’s worth of groceries for 33 euros! One of the first lessons I learned about Florence was immediately after grocery shopping: taxis are not always reliable. We ended up having to walk 20 minutes back to our apartment in the 102 degree heat (again !!!) with arms full of grocery bags. We then went to a very nice restaurant for dinner where I definitely put the carbs in carbonara. And I got the chance to see the Duomo Cathedral and was absolutely stunned at how beautiful it is.
Day 3: I finally got my luggage (!!!) and rode on the tram for the first time! Using public transportation wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be because it was very reliable and easy to navigate with telling you where and what each stop was. Since my phone wasn’t able to get unlocked before I left, I had to just get a really cheap Italian phone. And let me tell you…this dinosaur of a phone has become my saving grace. This was also the first day of class and it was so interesting! The library at FUA was so beautiful and really encouraged me to return.
Day 4: On my way to class this day, I did get leered at by an older Italian man. Even though it made me uncomfortable, I was able to just keep moving and got to class on time. I did get to visit a wonderful little record store that had a very diverse and eclectic selection!
Day 5: I caught up on some classwork from my room and later on in the day, I experienced some of the Florence nightlife. One thing I’ve learned about Italian nightlife is that it lasts considerably longer here than it does in the US. Most clubs don’t open until 10pm, and won’t close until well after 4am. Everything was so lively and different for me, that it did offset some of the less than desirable encounters I had with a few men this night.
Today: It was a very busy day! I did the Cinque Terre tour where I saw some of the most beautiful sights and swam in a beautifully ocean-blue beach. Our day started at 6:30am and ended at 8:00pm, so there was a lot I got to see and experience. Truthfully, I could show you better than I could tell you…
If you made it to the end here, thank you for going through this adjustment period with me! This is the completion of the first week out of six, and I can’t wait to share what I experience next!