The flight was as eventful as a 12 hour flight can be. So, it was boring and I was ecstatic to land in Rome. As I exited the plane and walked down the steps, I was greeted by the Mediterranean sun and blaring heat. I then made my way through the Roman airport, complete with three bus rides around the maze. The flight up to Florence was only an hour and I just daydreamed the whole time, it was not worth doing anything else for such a short flight. Once I landed in Florence I went to baggage claim with a bit of a knot in my stomach, I am always worried about that. Thankfully I was able to get my stuff, so my suitcase and backpack in tow, I made my way down to where I would find my people.
Downstairs I found the International Studies Institute of Florence sign with Serena and Catarina behind it, they greeted me with hugs and a chorus of “Ciao bella!”. I went with Massimo towards the taxis and was taken to my apartment on Via Proconsolo near the Duomo. I walk up the stairs to the first floor and realize that the apartment is literally the first floor. My roommates arrived before I did, one is from Melbourne, Australia, and the other three are from New Jersey. We get along pretty well and we’re all very excited about the food.
The first night, we went to a small place near our apartment and I got a Margherita pizza which was amazing. The mozzarella was fresh along with the dough and everything, it was spectacular. We then went exploring for a bit and the city is just incredible, it all felt like a dream. I was following Alex, the Aussie, who had been here before, I was simply walking behind her and we turn a corner and I realize that I am in front of the Duomo itself. It’s so stunning because of the crisp white, the lavish green and details that adorn it; it truly does not seem real and photos do not do it justice.
The next day we had orientation which was pretty boring, as usual. Then we could go do whatever we wanted. So we went exploring again and did some shopping. It’s been pretty low key and simple, but that’s how it is here. You find the side streets and want to get lost in this old city.
Today, we again just went exploring. We went to the local farmers market that has a cafe upstairs and we were able to find food up there. I got a panini with ciabatta bread, mozzarella, tomatoes, and spinach with a glass of prosecco. We went around the leather markets and got gelato across the Arno River. We ended up walking about 7 miles without realizing, pretty good day.
We also booked a trip on Sunday to Cinque Terre, which is really exciting! There will be photos to follow that trip, for sure.
Day 2, check.