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I'm a 21-year-old journalism student. I spent last semester living in Florence, Italy. These are my adventures.

Friday, January 20, 2012

One week of classes down

I was worried classes would get in the way of sightseeing and exploring the city, but my schedule is more open than I thought. Wednesday and Thursday I got to go on scavenger hunts for my mom's slide locations. I even sat down and made a map of several of them. I have to take some of them into Petra to ask her where they are since my mom labeled several with a very detailed and helpful "Florence." Love you, mom.

Wednesday I found Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale. It was a short walk from the apartment. At first, I thought my mom had mislabeled her slide, because the front looked nothing like her picture. Still impressive though.

So I began wandering home a different way than I came and found it on the side.

Satisfied with a close enough angle, I walked back toward Santa Croce, found a bench and camped out with my Kindle until class as the sun lowered across the piazza.

I reluctantly headed back to Palazzo dei Cerchi to meet up with Jess for European Issues. It's not exactly my favorite class, but I know it's important to learn about the EU. I just wish it didn't have to be a choice between that or Art History. Everyone else in the CCI group is in that class. They get to tour museums and see the real thing in front of them while they're learning.
Fortunately, I at least have the Genius of Florence class, where our professor teaches us about the history of Florence and then takes us to historic sites around the city. I'm sure he has plenty of narrowing down to do for sites for our weekly class. This city is a history book. It's so weird learning about what happened in the 1100s here. I'm not used to going back so far considering most history classes I grew up taking focused on the US completely. But I think that's what makes this city so much more magical.

Thursday I'm lucky with just one class, Italian, and I'm done by noon.
I came home, made food, then went out armed with my camera again. It was a pretty gloomy day. It wasn't raining, but it was cloudy and just generally damp.

A guy approached me while I was taking pictures and tried to sell me a painting of some sort. Despite my "no grazie" and "non ho soldi," he stuck around. I didn't even notice him still standing there until he started talking about a minute later. He asked me the usual: Are you a student? How long will you be here? Do you like Florence? Where are you from?
I answered them all politely, but when I said America, he said "Oh, Michigan?" I was baffled. I was wearing pink and grey tennis shoes, nondescript jeans, a purple jacket and a camera bag slung across my body. Nothing about me screamed "I'm from the mitten state that no one here has heard of." I stammered back "Uuhm no. Ohio," then booked it out of there. I looked back about a block later to see him standing at the end of the road with his paintings. I shuddered and checked my purse and pockets to make sure all of my belongings were there. Everything was in place. Odd to say the least. But I did get a 30 Years Later picture out of it.
I wandered briefly but went home soon after that encounter to hang out with Caitlin, Kate and Bethany for a bit. We talked, then went to get groceries. I made open-faced mozzarella and tomato sandwiches with pesto. Delicious, but I suffered for that food. I burnt my finger. With my track record, I should be happy it didn't happen sooner.
Today I slept in (no Friday classes). I rolled out of bed around noon but was still the first one up.
I went shopping with Caitlin for a while and am proud to say I successfully resisted a leather purse... although I'll probably be back to get it in a week or so. 40 percent off!
We walked around for a bit, and I of course took some pictures along the way:

I returned home with gifts for six people and nothing for myself. Hold on while I pat myself on the back for that one. I hung around the house for a while until the roomies and I went to dinner at Il Gatto e La Volpe around 9 p.m. I had pasta with alfredo sauce. I don't usually eat it at home except when Allison makes it for me, but I tried it after Jess raved about it. It was amazing. There are leftovers sitting in my fridge for a meal tomorrow. It'll be the first time I have to reheat something here. We don't have a microwave, so I guess I'll just stick it in the oven for a while. I'll make Caitlin remove it though. I don't need to burn myself twice this week.

I'm going to go get some rest. Tomorrow I'm leaving Firenze for the first time. The entire CCI group is headed to Pisa. We're going to figure out the train station and just go for a couple of hours. Apparently there's nothing there but the tower, so it will be a brief visit but a good, cheap first "adventure."

Buona notte, amici!

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