Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ciao Italia...and so it begins

A seven-hour bus ride later, the students of Gonzaga-in-Florence arrived in the city of Firenze!

View outside of the bus, while driving through Austria

Sam and I quickly left the bus to get to our new home for the next few months, Cordova. Our room is pretty nice. We had to do some re-arranging, but everything turned out pretty great! The room is a subtle peach color with matching drapes. The bathroom is the only thing that I think with take some getting used to. When we turn on our shower, the water shoots out in one fierce and strong stream. It’s shocking at first but I have a feeling that by December we will have gotten used to it.

Sam and I trying to rearrange our new room 

Panoramic view of our new home for the next three months

Panoramic pic of our bathroom *note the bidet inside the shower*

Our first night in Cordova, the family who runs the pensione had a welcome dinner for us. The meals here often begin with a pasta dish, followed by a main dish (often meat), and conclude with a desert. Many of us did not know this, so we stuffed our faces with the lasagna (pasta course) and were stuffed by the time the second course came. But we made the sacrifice and scarffed down even more food. Jeez, the food here is delicious, which is slightly dangerous.

Thursday was our first day of classes. I have three classes on Thursdays, so I have the flexibility in my schedule to travel Thursday through Sunday. The campus, which is more of a building (equipped with a timed bell and everything), is less than five minutes away from my pensione. I have always been a fan of the first day of classes, but I am even more so now that I am in Florence. We celebrated our first day of class with a little gelato. Yum!

Enjoying some Nutella and pistachio gelato 

Courtney and Kasey with some tasty treats

After classes, Sam, Kasey, Courtney, and I all took our laundry to be done (which is actually cheaper than doing it yourself). Most of my clothes needed to be washed because when I had arrived in Paris, the rain soaked through my bag and got to most of my clothes, which is why when I received by bag in Florence I found mold. Eww. Trying to navigate the streets of Florence with our laundry in hand was yet another humorous experience. Our clothes are now clean and smell very nice!

First day of school selfie! Courtney, myself, and Sam 

Friday we had a morning orientation where we were introduced to many of the opportunities we, as students, have to partake in school, sport, intercultural, and volunteer activities. I cannot wait for the semester to get started so that I can start getting involved in life on campus in Florence!

There is an IKEA in Florence, or rather right outside of Florence. Every Saturday IKEA has a free shuttle running from Santa Maria Novella Piazza to IKEA every hour. Sam, Kasey, and I could not resist and had to make a quick trip! I love IKEA, I could spend hours on end in there if I had the chance.

Caitlin and Courtney protecting their newly withdrawn euros

Shenanigans outside the steps of the Duomo 

Mary and I enjoying our Saturday night (Mary contemplating something very important)

Sunday was a day to relax. I’m currently reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I have heard people talk about how good the book was for quite a while, but being reluctant to read “sad” books I have yet to give it a shot. Bad decision. The book is wonderful! I was able to go out and explore Florence and get wrapped up in a new story—a perfect way to end a perfect weekend. 

Massage time in room 407 (Chris and Kasey)

Miranda, Courtney and I

I cannot wait for all of the adventures awaiting us this semester! 

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