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In Florence and orientation

ITALY | Sunday, 14 January 2007 | Views [743] | Comments [1]

Sorry to cut it so short last time, I haven’t really been able to tell you all about my time in Florence yet, so now that my orientation is over I have time to sit down and tell you about it. The last few days have been unbelievable. I’ve had a fun time exploring the city I’ll be calling home for the next five months. It is so beautiful, I don’t know how Italians walk around without looking around in aww all the time. I live right in the center of the city between the Duomo, Piazza Republica, and the Palazzo Vecchio, which is where the replica of Michelangelo’s David is. I walk past this replica on my way to school everyday and then past the Uffizi Gallery which holds many famous pieces such as “The Birth of Venus”. I’m in artist heaven!!!!! Not only is the city beautiful but the people are, they are the friendliest and most helpful people. Since Florence is rather international and has many students studying in it, most people speak some English, which has helped a lot, but I’m looking forward to taking Italian and being able to speak more than the few phrases I’ve picked up so far. The other students in my program are a lot of fun and my flat mates are really nice girls. My roommate Ayami is from Japan, and has been here for a semester already so she’s been extremely helpful in showing me and my other roommates the ropes around the city. Our apartment is way nicer than I expected it to be. Two nights ago me and two of my roommates went to a Discoteca near the Piazza Republica, which is about 4 blocks from our apartment. It was a total blast, but I have to admit that on the street and in the club, I felt like a total hobo compared to the Italians and how they dress. For the first time here so far, we were at a place at night where we didn’t see any other American students, which seems to be hard to get away from here. I just got back from my orientation at a vineyard in the Tuscan hills. The estate that we stayed at is over 1,000 years old and once was owned by the Grand Duke of Florence, back in the middle ages. Today it is a castle/winery. The country side is like everything else I’ve seen so far here, unbelievable! This morning my roommate Lindsay and I got up to watch the sunrise and walked down the road from our villa to an old church at the top of the hill to get a better view. I can’t even explain how gorgeous the colors are, it is definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, but I’m sure I’m going to have many more of those moments while here in Italy. I am really glad to be here, but I do have to say that culture shock hit me much quicker than I thought it would. I’ve been having an amazing time in the few days that I’ve been here and I already feel like I’ve seen a lot, but it has crossed my mind that I’m here for five months, which is both exciting and terrifying all a the same time. Not being able to hop online or call whenever I want to check up on things back home is going to take some getting used to. Well I hope that this finds you well whether you’re back home or studying abroad as well!!!

Tags: Adventures

Comments

1

Hi Mattie!

FYI - Lindsay Mauk here, I work with your step-mom Karen, I'm John's assistant.
Anyway, when Karen told me you were going to Italy to study I was so excited for you! Oh my god I LOVE Italy and I am so happy that you are there. Oh and Florence! like you said, both the city and the people are beautiful. And the shops! Oh man we could spend thousands and thousands of dollars shopping! right? I love how all the women are all dressed up with heels and the works, then they jump on there scooters - its so great. The Uffizi is wonderul, when we went there was a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit and it was incredible.
I was in Italy last May and it smelled like roses in the country and 2 strokes (the scooters) in the city. What does it smell like now?
My last trip was with my husband Andy and his mom and his mom's boyfriend. Andy and I were sitting on a Tuscan hillside drinking wine, watching a sunset, and I said..."we need to come back here with friends". So that's what we are doing this coming May! Flying into Milan, renting motorcycles and going to Florence area for a week, then taking a train to Venice for a few days. I'm glad Karen gave me a link to your blog. Keep all of us in the loop on your adventures! And have fun girl!!!

Arrivederci!

  Lindsay Mauk Jan 16, 2007 6:03 AM

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