Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Another great week

This past week has been wonderful. All of us on the program are really starting to get to know each other and so we are rotating have dinner at each other's apartment. So on Monday night we had everyone over for dinner for my roomate Stephanie's birthday and then later in the week I went to to other apartments for dinner and it was so fun. I am an awful cook, and the boys are putting me to shame. Everyone on the trip has been great, we all get along so well and I feel so lucky to be with such great people.

The weeks seem to fly by and before you know it, it is the weekend again! We had a class field trip to San Giminiagno and Sienna on Friday, which are two medival towns right outside Florence. Siena is much bigger and is actually considered one of Florence's rivals on many different levels, so it was funny to hear the persepective of our tour guide in Sienna on Florence.
San Giminiagno was my favorite of the two. It was this cute small mideval village that was a walled city. I felt like I was literally transported back in time. We went in a tortue museum that was really interesting and very disturbing at the same time, and we just explored the little town. Within the walled cities, no cars, bikes, or mopeds are allowed on the streets, so it was so refreshing to just walk around without having to dodge cars or bikes! In Florence, there are so many people, so it was refreshing to just see a different towns. Siena was also a mideval town with beautiful old brick buildings, and in the same way no cars, bikes, or transportation is allowed in the central part of the city, so it was a lot of fun to just wander around. They have the cuttest shops there. We also got to go inside of Siena's Duomo, which was unbelievable. The outside of Florence's Duomo is more impressive, but the inside of Siena's was just so beautiful. Every inch of it was covered in mosiacs, painting or marble. I felt to honored just to be in there and it was just neat to see how much effort was put into the churches back then, it really was meant to be a sanctuary. I had such a great day visiting both of those places and I would love to go back and spend more time there.

The rest of the weekend I just enjoyed being in Florence for the first time. It is def busier there on the weekends. I painted for my watercolor class in the Boboli Garderns and on Sunday we went to church at the Duomo. That was such a cool experience, to be in one of the oldest Duomos in the world, attending a mass that has literally not changed at all since then. I am not catholic, but it was neat to see the tradition on the church. It was all in Italian, but very interesting none the less.

It was great to just be in Florence this weekend!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Here is the link to my pictures!! It is taking forever to load them, so I only got like 10 out of 60 on there, but check back because I will upload more!!


I still cannot believe I am here

Hey everyone! I am really sorry for the delay in getting this blog going. It has been crazy these past 2 weeks just getting into the hang of things.

I guess to start off, Florence is amazing. Everyday I wake up and I still cannot believe I am here. Our apartment is right downtown Florence, just a 8 min walk away from the Duomo. We are on the third floor and our view overlooks the mountains on the other side of the Ponte Vecchio. One of my favorite things to do in the morning is wake up and just open our green shudders. There is a large farmers market that we can see and that is right near by where we get all of our fruit and vegtables. I have four roomates and they are all around the same age as me. Our apartment has two rooms and so we have two to a room. The apartment is so nice- it is like the perfect italian apartment and fits the picture of what you think one should look like. We had a lot of people over for one of my roomates Birthday yesterday and everyone who came said we had the best one :)

Cooking and grocery shopping has been interesting. It definitley makes you appreciate all of the selection we have here in the states. At home we have like a huge isle dedicated to potatoe chips and here they have like one kind, potatoe chips! I have been having a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and then for dinner we usually have some pasta or pizza. It has been a lot of fun doing this on my own because I really have never lived on my own or had more responsibilites, but it has been great.

Classes are great. They are not too demanding at all- nothing like IU, which is great because I can enjoy just being here. It is great because for my art history class we do class field trips to the Uffizi museum and to all of these famous places and then we learn about them, so it is so cool to just see everything in the book you are reading right in front of you. Our school is right downtown and near everything, so in between classes I sometimes go and sketch for watercolor or just wander the city.

During the week I usually try and do one big thing that is in the city on my light class day, just because we have been gone every weekend since we have been here. So during the week I can enjoy Florence and then on the weekends we usually do day trips or weekend trips. In the almost three weeks since I have been here I have already been to Pisa, Fiesole (a small villiage right outside Florence), the Amalfi Coast, Capri and Pompeii. It has been incredible. Traveling has been really easy because of the quick train connections all throughout Italy, but it can still be tireing!! On Mondays I am usually wiped!

Everyone in the program is wonderful, there is like 30 of us and we all get along great. This past weekend we all went to the Almalfi Coast and stayed in the same place, so we all hung out together and went to the beach and it was so fun. We are all different, but we all have this one thing in common and we all came here for really the same reason, and so everyone is in the same mindset. I love my roomates. I hang out with them the most but then there is a big group of us that usually all hangs out together.

Overall my first three weeks here has been everything that I thought it would be. I hate to say that I am not homesick at all (more for food than anything else!) and I am just enjoying everyday. Italians take more time here for themselves and so it has been great to kind of live like that. No one has TVs or Internet in their apartments, so at night we all usually are just sitting around talking over a glass of wine and some bread. It is wonderful. I am putting pictures up of the first three weeks here and so I hope it can give you a glimpse at the spoiled life I am living :) I hope everyone who reads this is doing great and getting ready to enjoy the fall, my favorite time of the year! And cheer on those Hoosiers and Colts for me!!!!

PS- Sorry this post is so long, hopefully by now I can just try and do this once a week and so they will be much shorter!